As I have the past few years, I would like to offer to pray for anyone who requests prayer for Mother's Day weekend. If you find yourself facing your first--or your fifth--Mother's Day with empty arms, please leave a comment below and I will be on my knees this weekend lifting you before our Heavenly Father. You may leave your name anonymously if that is more comfortable for you.
It is my desire to pray for those of you who:
- want healing for a heart that is broken, bitter or hardened from years of waiting
- need to be reminded that your identity lies in Christ, not in your role as a parent
- are striving to trust that God's plan is worth waiting for
- feel a sense of deep sadness or loneliness as you wait for children
- need perseverance to continue to wait in trust and faith for the God of perfect timing
- just desire a little extra prayer for comfort and hope to get through this weekend.
I post the following story each year around Mother's Day. It's my story of how the God of restoration healed my heart as I waited on Him.
The Year I Skipped Mother's Day (from the archives, May 2009):
One year ago today I could not face the reality that another Mother’s Day was upon us. My dreams of motherhood were unfulfilled, and I did everything possible to avoid facing the day that so many families celebrated. My husband and I enjoyed a lazy and relaxing Sunday morning. We didn’t go to church and we didn’t see our families.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “A hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Last year my heart was desperately sick. For nearly three years my husband and I had walked the road of infertility and miscarriages.
We lost our first little one at 10 weeks in July 2006. For the next two years we struggled to conceive again. We pleaded with God. We begged God. We petitioned God. But His answer was no. His answer was, “Wait on me.”
Waiting is hard. It’s full of questions, doubts, and fears.
And for me, the pain of waiting was magnified one year ago today when everywhere I looked I was reminded that others were celebrating a gift that God had not yet given to me. Mother’s Day 2008 represented the tender reality that my womb was still empty. I was 32. It had been 22 months since our miscarriage and my heart was bitter, broken and hardened.
Last summer led me on a journey of dealing with the resentment, anger and bitterness that had taken root in my heart. This was difficult, yet necessary, as I longed to walk in the freedom of God’s grace and forgiveness.
And finally, in August of last year, I discovered I was pregnant. Surely this was God’s blessing as a result of the healing that had taken place in my heart. At 7 weeks we heard a beautiful heartbeat. But at 9 weeks we were told, for the second time, our baby had died in my womb.
My dreams of motherhood vanished as quickly as they had come. And another bitter root threatened to grow.
But in God’s great mercy he didn’t allow that to happen. Just 24 days later God took my waiting and showed me it was not in vain.
On October 4, 2008, we got a call about a baby boy born in Waconia the day before. He was just 24 hours old. Were we interested? We had not started the adoption process, but we jumped in the car and went to the hospital to meet the birth mom. Within an hour she told us she would like us to adopt our son, whom we promptly named Samuel. We took him home two days later.
For seven months we have not stopped praising God for Samuel’s miraculous arrival into our lives. We are in awe of God’s timing and God’s plans for our family. And we continue to live in awe of the author and creator of life: in January we discovered that I was pregnant. Samuel will become a big brother this fall. Our story continues to be a beautiful reminder that despite all of our planning, God alone determines our future.
Today, Mother’s Day 2009, I could celebrate that my future will hold children just 11 months apart. I could celebrate that my battle with infertility has come to an end.
But instead, today I choose to celebrate that God restored my soul…before He restored my circumstances. I celebrate that He healed my heart. I celebrate freedom from the bondage of bitterness. I celebrate the blessing of waiting on the Lord.