Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. I enjoy seeing the FaceBook and Instagram posts of friends sharing in family festivities. I love seeing all the smiles. I can almost smell the adorning bouquets of spring flowers. Kids surrounding Mothers and Grandmothers with hugs and homemade signs and handcrafted gifts. Holiday scenes reminiscent of a Hallmark movie. A sweet simple story crafted with a delightful, most always, predictable, happy ending. Who doesn’t like the occasional feel-good Hallmark movie? I certainly do.
Mother’s Day can be more complicated for some. Images gather in the mind’s eye. A picture of a woman. A flashback to a moment. A memory of a private place where only you and she dwell. Recollections that can cause grief or pain. Sadness grips the heart of the one whose mother has passed from this life. Resentment fills the heart of the one who has experienced mom’s rejection. Hurts flood the heart of the one neglected by maternal abandonment. Wounds wander through the heart of the one damaged by abuse. The comparisons and questions inevitably come. “What if”, or “I wish”, or ‘If only”, clutters the mind of the one who is in need of a healing in the Mother-Child relationship status.
Longings surface. At least they did for me. For a time, the very word “Mother” tangled my heart. The loss of what “should have been” plagued me. I had resolved to forgive. I had determined to accept. I had committed to the work of restoration. I had hope for reconciliation. Yet there was an empty place in need of a mother’s touch on my heart. In those years, yearning marked the day set aside for prescribed happiness.
It was in this state of longing that I happened to attend a Christian women’s conference. The speaker was sharing her childhood experiences. Though our circumstances were different I could relate. I recognized the wanting. She directed us to Mark 3:31-35. Jesus is at the beginning of his ministry speaking to a crowd near his hometown. There were rumors. Had he “lost his senses”? His mother Mary and his brothers sent word for him to come out. Hearing this, Jesus responds with a poignant question; Who are my mother and my brothers? He answers,“Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother”. In an instant I found clarity. At once, I understood. There were mothers all around me in the family of God.
Decades have passed since that profound realization freed my heart. On Mother’s day, I remember the special God-honoring women who willingly invested in my life. These faithful servants listened, cared and spoke truth into my wounds. Each one helped my heart to heal. Beautiful women who taught me to recall the one woman, my mother, who resides in the recesses of my mind, through the eyes of grace.