We have Mixed Feelings at Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a day which brings with it a variety of feelings. Some celebrate motherhood, mothers, children and so much more on this day. Others avoid any mention of it. Others recognize it as important, but don’t always know what to do with it. Our mixed feelings can range from great delight to significant grief. All of these are real, and all of these are normal and acceptable. Our relationship with parents, family and parenting are not all that simple.
This is not the first time someone has pondered this reality. Here is a blog post by MLLC member Jennifer Clark Tinker regarding her mixed feelings about Mother’s Day. Click this link.
At MLLC we know that both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are special day, yet these are difficult for some people. There are many and various reasons for these difficult feelings. Here are a few significant examples:
*Loss of a child, or children, through death of any circumstance, such as infant death, murder, accident, disease, abortion, stillbirth, miscarriage, etc.
*Death of a parent at any age.
*Desire for children, but circumstances prevent conceiving a child, such as singleness, divorce, widowhood, relationship difficulties, financial hardship, infertility struggles, etc.
*Struggles with one’s relationship with God and/or others.
*Broken relationship with a parent, a spouse, a sibling or a child.
*Abandonment by a parent.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are special for many, yet difficult for many others. This Mother’s Day we will recognize Mother’s Day in a few ways. One is with a reception for all after worship this Sunday, May 8. Worship is at 9:00 a.m. this Sunday, the reception will be at 10:00 a.m. Come for the fellowship and food. We will also remember in prayer mothers and women of all ages. Part of our prayers at worship will also remember those who have struggles and mixed feelings about this day. Here are examples of the prayers being prepared for this day:“On this Mother’s Day we pray for those who struggle with grief related to motherhood. Comfort those who mourn for deceased loved ones or who are estranged from either mother or child. Give strength to women who have lost a child or whose circumstances have prevented motherhood. Help us as a community of faith to care for one another in our grief. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer. We give thanks for all mothers, grandmothers, along with all faithful girls and women in this congregation. Help them to love, serve and lead in ways which are honoring to you. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.“
Some congregations around the country have a banquet around the time of Mother’s Day. One congregation I served as pastor years ago did this well. They understood the various feelings people have around Mother’s Day. What they had was a banquet called, “Daughters of All Ages”. This event was for all women and girls, no matter what their relationship or parenthood circumstances were. All the women and girls present at that event are the daughters of somebody. Most importantly, by the Grace of God, they are daughters of God. While this event didn’t solve all the struggles of each woman, the event opened the door for healing and support.
Mother’s Day is not a bad thing, but it is not always easy for each person. We have good reason to be thankful for Mothers on Mother’s Day. We also have good reason to love one another and to love God at this time of year. Part of our love for God, one another, and our neighbors, is in how we show sensitivity to those who don’t always have good feelings regarding Mother’s Day.
No matter what your feelings are about Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, know that what matters most is what Jesus Christ has first done for us. Because of his abundant mercy, forgiveness, and gift of life-giving hope, we have our most important identity in Christ. The photo at the bottom of this article is of men and women, boys and girls, all gathered around the cross. This reminds us that all people are loved by God, and are called to follow the way of Jesus, no matter what they have struggled with in this life. By the stirring of the Holy Spirit and the power of God’s Word, Jesus draws all people to himself. Through Christ Jesus we have healing, hope and restoration for this life and in eternity with our Lord. Through this goodness of God we get to follow the Lord and to share his goodness with others.
This is an edited and updated version of an article which was on the http://mllccarmine.com website in May 2014.