On Mother’s DayPosted: May 13, 2013
Not even halfway through the morning, and I was already teary-eyed, several times over: at a quick e-mail from Michael, flowers from my parents, a certain hymn, and yes, even a video of a commercial I saw posted on Facebook. It’s Mother’s Day, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude. I’m thankful, of course, for my own wonderful mother, and the love and practical wisdom and service she’s given me all these nearly 30 years of my life. But I’m also beyond thankful for the privilege of, Lord-willing, getting to be a mother myself, oh so very soon.
Today, I can feel the little one kicking, and my heart (and perhaps my eyes!) overflow. This day can, of course, be hard for so many. Last year, those feelings of sadness came laden with guilt: shouldn’t I just be grateful for my own mom? Why must my emotions zero in on what I didn’t have? Why was it so hard to even look friends with children in the eye?
This year, I feel hope and joy and anticipation, but sadness, too. Sorrow, for my friends who are waiting with empty arms, and no red-circled calendar dates on the horizon. Grief, for the silent pain this day can bring to many, so often unacknowledged. Sadness, because while my obvious pregnancy makes this in some ways my first Mother’s Day, there are little ones I’ve never known who will never have a future and will never call me mom.
It’s a complex mixture of joy and longing that swirl in my heart this evening. Computer in my lap, my feet are propped on the coffee table before me, thanks to burgeoning varicose veins brought on by this pregnancy. While I hate those nasty veins and the awful, constricting tights I now wear because of them, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more thankful for anything. This physical marker, ugly as it may be, means hope. It speaks of life, surging and strong.
And so it is with our sorrows. Ugly and unmanageable, yet he can use them to point us to hope: hope outside of us and beyond the feelings ruling our hearts. Hope that, though weeping may endure for the night, joy comes in the morning. That no matter what that joy looks like (the kind we wish for or the kind we’ve never even imagined), it really is his best for us.
I’m glad today. Yes, my little girl’s kicks make that easier, unspeakably simpler, than last year. But I’m most glad because, no matter which way my stubborn heart goes, he holds on. His love is better than any mother’s.