For All Women on Mother's Day

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Before Dave and I were blessed with a child, we spent three painful Mother's Days waiting. One of which, we were also mourning. 

Oh, sweet Hope. We named you Hope because you were such a long-awaited prayer. We hoped for you for so long. And when we said goodbye to you, we hoped for Heaven. You would be two this year, and I imagine you'd be a crazy, sweet mess just like your sister. I always imagine us at a quiet park together, and you are running up to me with arms stretched wide, curls bouncing. I think of all the pictures you might have painted me and the gifts you would have brought to this world. I think of what color your eyes would be, and if you'd be an organized planner like your Dad or unorganized artist like your Mama.

I didn't know how much Mother's Day could hurt until we said goodbye to you, and I was left with aching, empty arms. I was a mother - I knew that in the deepest part of me - but I couldn't share a photo with our baby in my arms and talk about my blessed Mother's day. I was a Mother, but I couldn't squeeze you and kiss your baby cheeks. I had nothing tangible to show of my Mama heart. 

I watched all the mothers being acknowledged for their earthly babies, and my heart ached. My husband made the day as special as he could. We knew in our hearts we were parents. On the day, I received a few text messages from friends that knew of our loss, wishing me a happy Mother's Day. I can't tell you what their words meant, and what comfort it brought to my soul that they remembered. They surprised me, and I cried because of how bittersweet it all was. While it hurt, it give me so much joy that they remembered our Hope and the short, sweet time that she was with us on earth. 

This year, I will be celebrated as a mama to Eastlyn and Hope. And while pain of her loss will always be present, we hold so much excitement for Heaven. We also have the blessing of holding a beautiful daughter in our arms here on earth. But there are so many mamas still in waiting. And so many mamas in raw, recent mourning of the loss of their child. On Mother's Day, we often think of our own mothers, our role as mothers, our daughters, etc. 

But this year, I want to encourage you to think about women of all seasons and do something small to show them that they are seen. 

Think of your friend who is struggling with infertility. 
Think of someone you might know who has had a miscarriage or stillbirth. 
Think of the mother whose child passed away in the past or presently. 
Think of the friend who may have an estranged relationship with their mother, and vice versa. 
Think of a friend with a sick child. 
Think of someone you know whose mother has passed on. 
Think of your friend who longs to be married and have a family. 
Think of the mother who is in the process of the adoption wait. 

The Bible tells us to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, and all the same, mourn with those who are mourning. A simple message to let a friend know that you are thinking about them this Mother's Day reaches so much farther than you know. 

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Father, thank you so much for mamas.

For mamas in the trenches of motherhood.  For mamas in waiting. For mamas in recent sorrow. For mamas in grief or regret. For mamas that now hold their grandbabies. For mamas yet to be. Thank you, Lord, for the women who have been our role models and helpers. For the women who made countless sacrifices for us. For the women that have been our friends. For the women that have been on their knees in prayer for us. Lord, we lift up the hurting hearts. Give them a peace that passes all understanding in their wait and their sorrow. On Mother's Day, we pray that all women would be acknowledged. That they would feel your love and know how cherished they are by You, in whatever season. Give us eyes to see Your children as You see them, words of encouragement to speak, and compassion to love on and honor women in all walks of life. 

We love and praise you. Amen. 

Courtney Longnecker