Mother’s Day 2022 is right around the corner, promising to be an incredible time of celebration for so many. It conjures up images of breakfast in bed, handpicked wildflowers, and homemade finger paintings hung with refrigerator magnets. But what about when Mother’s Day is painful?
The truth is that, for too many women, Mother’s Day 2022 will be a tough day. It’s a holiday that can be incredibly upsetting, whether you’re grieving a loss, facing a strained relationship with your own mom or child, or battling infertility.
Here’s what we know, though: God is good, all the time. Even in our lowest lows. Even on painful days. If Mother’s Day is painful for you, if your heart is grief-stricken, we want you to know you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve collected experiences from others moms who have gone through loss and learned about God in the process.
Mother’s Day is something I feel little connection to—outside of celebrating and appreciating my own wonderful mother. I never held my children in my arms due to miscarriages, and consequently never felt myself to “fully” be a mother.
I have a strong sense that I do have children, birthed by God through my womb, who are now alive in Jesus’ presence, fulfilling their eternal purposes. However, when I no longer carried them in my womb, the internal permission I felt to consider myself a mother was cut short, along with my growing anticipation.
Without proof of motherhood, it felt strange to claim myself as one.
But this has really helped me understand that my identity is not a mother or someone who is childless. I’m not defined by what God has given me to steward. Rather, I’m defined by who I am in Christ. I’m a child of God, deeply loved by Him, first and foremost.
God’s love for me was evident in my losses by the way He spoke to me through others, through specific timing, and through specific words.
I have found in moments of difficulty and pain that His goodness is always present. It can be easy to look and see a thread of pain, but if you also look for the thread of His goodness, you will see it there too.
God knows how to love His children and how to comfort them, much as I see mothers doing for their children. He may put many things in my hands to nurture, cultivate, and steward with Him, but those things are not the source of my identity, and they will never separate me from His sweet, tender love.
After trying to conceive for a full year, my husband and I found out we were pregnant. Our joy soon turned to heartbreak, though, when I experienced a miscarriage a week later. For the next three and a half years, we kept trying. Mother’s Days would come and go, but still no baby.
We had consultations with doctors, endured tests, and tried medications. Nothing worked. We lived in the cycle of the “two-week wait.” You find out you’re not pregnant, wait two weeks to try again, then wait two more weeks to see if this is finally the month.
We waited a total of four and a half years to have our sweet daughter. And while we’ve faced three more miscarriages, she remains our only child.
Through it all, as I look back on all those experiences, I recognize two important things. First, God has always been a safe place to express every feeling, every frustration, and every moment of hurt and heartbreak. When I asked for comfort, even in the despair, I found it in Him. Second, trusting God doesn’t require understanding Him.
I still don’t truly know why this is our story, but because I know who God is, I have found the peace I’ve needed to live open-handed before Him, believing that whatever comes or goes in my life, He is always faithful.
When I was newly married, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup and found out some conditions I had would make it hard for me to get pregnant. I was disappointed but hopeful we could still find a way to grow our family.
A couple of years later, a mutual friend approached us and offered to pray for us to conceive, and miraculously, we did! But shortly after, our joy turned to grief as we miscarried the day after Christmas in 2017.
A few months later, we got pregnant again, and we went on to have our healthy rainbow baby, who brings so much joy to our lives. As we got ready to expand our family again, we were hopeful this journey would be less eventful, but we experienced our second miscarriage last year.
The due date for our second loss came and went, and we’re still waiting for another rainbow baby.
So, if you’re approaching Mother’s Day with both grief and joy, you’re not alone, and it’s okay to hold space for conflicting feelings. It’s okay to celebrate your child and mourn the ones you never got to meet. You can celebrate the moms in your life and long to become one yourself. It’s okay to be grateful for what you have and sad about what you’ve lost.
And through it all, it’s okay to come to God with your hurt, your doubt, and your questions. I promise you that He’s kinder than you think, and He will meet you in both your joy and your grief with His mercy, peace, and comfort.
There are certain phrases you hear throughout your life that will always stick with you. “Will you marry me?”, “I got the job!”, and “I’m pregnant!” come to mind. Unfortunately, for me, one of those phrases is: “There’s no heartbeat.”
The impact of those words took all the air from my lungs as I stared at the ultrasound screen with an image of my lifeless baby. I felt so many emotions all at once. One that surprised me was jealousy. I was a little jealous she was already in Jesus’ arms. I was in so much pain, and I just wanted it to go away and be there with her. But knowing that she would never have to go through the trials of this world was also a comfort.
I remember telling our then 2-year-old that the baby in mommy’s belly had gone to be with Jesus. She looked confused. I felt that too. Then she smiled and said, “Jesus Loves Me,” which was a song she had just learned. She asked us to sing it with her. From that day on, she has asked us to sing it every night at bedtime.
Somehow, strangely enough, as I repeatedly sang the words, “… little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong,” with tears in my eyes, I was comforted.
Don’t get me wrong, there are absolutely difficult times. The first Mother’s Day after losing Zoe, I remember thinking that there should be two little girls celebrating with me today. Now, as we approach the second Mother’s Day without her, and I rock my new infant, I can’t help but think there should be three where there are only two.
But as I look at the faces of my sweet girls, I cling to one truth. There will come a day where I will see all three of my girls’ faces together.
God writes everyone’s story. Every story has a timeline, a set beginning, and an end. And here’s what I know: No matter how brief some stories are, God has a good plan for them all. The biggest lesson I have learned from my miscarriage is that God isn’t always the healer we expect, but He is always the comforter we can experience.
As I looked ahead to the first Mother’s Day after my miscarriage, I anticipated nothing but pain and grief. I planned to pull the curtains closed and cry into my pillow while eating ice cream and numbing my feelings with trash TV. Equal parts of me hoped friends would reach out to console me and that everyone would act as if it were just another day. What I didn’t anticipate was being pregnant again.
What they don’t tell you about pregnancy after a loss is that it’s not just made of rainbows.
You’re not only grieving the loss of a child, but also the loss of the innocence and excitement that’s supposed to accompany the pregnancy process. You’re simultaneously filled with cautious optimism and paralyzing fear.
But in moments like this, I’m also struck to my core with conviction. I am not alone—just like I wasn’t alone when I sat in the empty emergency room just a few short months ago. Although my husband wasn’t allowed in because of COVID restrictions, God never left me.
I can have hope for the future because I have seen what He has done in my past. My God is good. Today and every day. Even when I was hurt and angry, even when I wanted to run from Him and isolate myself, He never left.
Ecclesiastes chapter three has been on my heart since the day the stick turned pink again, and I cried in frustration instead of excitement. It reminds us that there is a time for everything. A time for mourning and a time for joy. Both are real, and both are valid. If you’re in a season of what should be joy, I pray that you embrace it. Don’t negate your happiness today in fear of what may never come tomorrow.
As for me, I will keep praying for each of you incredible women reading this, for your families and your babies, earthside or not. I pray that answering, “How many kids do you have?” gets easier and that milestones like due dates bring a smile to your face and love to your heart, because you are a mom, and you are so loved by God and whatever little ones you may have with Him. Mother’s Day is your day too.
What’s your story? Does your heart ache on Mother’s Day? Are you reminded of loss, or are you filled with hope?
Regardless of where you are in your journey, here’s our encouragement: Allow the feelings. No matter what emotions you’re experiencing, know that it’s okay and it’s valid. God welcomes it all, and His love for you reaches unimaginable depths. Despite what you’re facing, no pain is insurmountable for our God Almighty.
So, if you’re hurting, if Mother’s Day brings up feelings of pain or disappointment, if the sting of loss is ever-present, we’re praying that you’d experience God’s peace. Our prayer is that you’d remember how much you’re loved, and that no matter what happens, you’d continue putting your faith in the Lord, who never fails us, no matter what our circumstances look like.
If you’d like prayer, we’d be honored to pray for you. Let us know here. And if you need additional guidance or support, these resources might help.
- Child Loss
- Custody Issues
- Hope in the Dark