"This Mother's Day" can be different...

Mother’s day. It means something different each year, depending on the season we’re in—A dream that’s another year removed, the joy of answered prayers, the struggle of parenting a toddler, the grief of a baby we will never get to hold. We can feel the sting of a relationship on the rocks, a longing for a mom that’s no longer with us this side of Heaven.  I believe it’s possible to feel multiple emotions, all at once... and we can feel all of those emotions, heightened, on Mother’s Day.

Holidays and the waiting can be difficult. We remember a milestone of another year past. Often we seek answers and set goals and try our best to stay busy and distracted when all God really wants is our dependence. But dependence is a scary place.

I often think: How can I trust a God who seems to be withholding something good from me? How can I trust Him with my hopes when they’ve been dashed over and over? Can He really mend my heart, my relationships? Is He really leading me into what’s best? It’s hard to see sometimes.

Friends, it is possible to make it to the other side.

I have hoped and loved and lost (more than once). I have been angry and frustrated and sad and discontent. I have been grateful and entitled all in the same breath. I have been told by a well-meaning doctor “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Go ahead and add, insane to the list.

The truth is, hurt and hardship do not necessarily bring out the best in us, but they show our true character. And they build our character. God has refined me through my own journey of infertility and loss. I wouldn’t choose it for anyone, but I wouldn’t change for me either.   

This Mother’s Day, I encourage you to reflect on what God has done this last year. Find a way to celebrate this day. Ask Him to reveal things for which you can be grateful, even if the ultimate request has not been answered.

I’ve thought so much about the Israelites when they were in the desert. God showed up in so many miraculous ways, including: an angel of God (Exodus 13:21-22:14:19), a wind making a path through the sea (14:21-29), the bitter waters made sweet and drinkable (14:25-31) and manna from heaven (16:4, 13-18), just to name a few. But no, they were so focused on themselves and always waiting, complaining, wanting the next thing, that they would often miss the miracles in the waiting. Let’s acknowledge the gifts, the provision He gives, however seemingly simple, small or ordinary.

Lord, open our eyes! Help us see You through our blurry, tear-filled vision. Help us to rest in your provision for our today, and then tomorrow and the next day. May gratitude for life in You be first in our minds. Increase our hope and faith, while tethering our hearts to yours. Help us not to miss what you’re doing in the middle. Use our stories to honor you. We trust you, even in the darkness. Lead us on, for you are our faithful Shepherd — all we really need. Amen.

*Thanks to our contributing writer Caitlyn Joiner for sharing today. Caitlyn is a lover of Atlanta, Georgia where her and her husband, Chris reside and serve full-time with CRU along side their 2 girls. Their journey included Primary and Secondary infertility thanks to PCOS.

-Waiting in HOPE- "This Mother's Day" can be different...