When You Feel Forgotten On Mother's Day

It was one of our hottest summers here in South Carolina. The sun was shining. There wasn’t a cloud in sight and the sky was so blue I wanted to bottle it up and save some for later. But I was sitting at the red light in our little town, crying so hard I could barely see the light turn green. The air conditioner in my car was screaming at me just as loudly as the pain in my heart. I remember in the middle of infertility treatments calling my sister sobbing over another pregnancy announcement.

The announcements of close friends are the hardest.

You feel so many emotions. Truly, from the bottom of your heart, you are thrilled for your friend and her story, but broken for you and yours. My sister was always there on the other end of the line, speaking His truth into my heart when I was too hurt to see.

Most of her conversations with me were the same. “God is good. He hears you. He is faithful. Remember when He came through for you? He’ll do it again. It’s Who He is. He’s writing a story, but you are just in the middle. His plans are higher than ours. He is enough for you. He is near.” I would literally call her and ask her to preach truth to me. She’s one of those who can do it in the kindest way.

Because when you are aching to be a mother, and you feel like God isn’t hearing, you need a village around you, to point your weary eyes towards Him.

Mother’s Day is only a few days away. And I can’t help but think of you, Waiting Mama. Even though I am a mother now, I dread Mother’s Day for you because I remember the pain laced in that day. I remember wanting to stay home all day, in my bed, with the covers over my head. But I couldn’t. There were moms to celebrate.

And then there was that time I walked in the doors to church, and the sweet greeter gave me a rose. I guess I looked like a mother. A kind gesture to honor mothers drove those thorns deeper into an already open wound. I immediately passed it to my husband. And it confirmed for me what I was feeling.

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Forgotten.

I felt forgotten by everyone. I walked around on Mother’s Day feeling as if I was not seen. I didn’t “just decide” to have children, it was a calling. And the worst part was the God who had called me to be a mama, wasn’t giving me children to mother. I felt forgotten by even Him.

But I wasn’t.

I learned in that season of hiding from Mother’s Day, I could be found in Him.

He saw me. He was there. He was Emanuel, God with me, in that summer and the one that followed. He may have seemed quiet, but He became the only place I felt safe. And my sister was right, He WAS writing a story. It was just in the middle, and I couldn’t see the end…yet.

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“I’m praying for you as you budget your emotions,” my sister said. I knew of a budget with money, but budgeting emotions was an idea new to me. When we spend money, we allow more money in our budget for certain things. It’s the same with our emotions. When I’m expecting Mother’s Day to be hard, I can allow myself more grace in the days before.

When you have allowed a large emotional budget for this week, you can also be on high alert for the enemy’s lies. Now is the time, more than ever, to preach Truth to yourself. Find a village who will point your weary eyes towards Him.

Just say it over and over until your heart believes, “He is good. He is near. He is faithful. He sees me. I am His. He’s writing a story, I’m just in the middle.”

Friend, wake up on Mother’s Day morning knowing you are going to rock it! You have everything you need. Your belly might still be empty, but your heart isn’t.

You have Him.

And you are not forgotten.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16 ESV

Photos by Rachel Ackerman Photography

The Weight of the Wait

The hardest part in my journey of motherhood was the waiting for it to begin.

Every year on my birthday, I just knew the next one, I would be a mommy. The seasons would change, another year would pass, and I was still there, on my birthday, waiting…again.

In each of those seasons were months, weeks, and day after aching day of waiting.

It was exhausting, and one of the hardest times in my life.

I couldn’t escape it, the waiting.

I would have dinner with my husband, and see a mama snuggling her baby across the restaurant. I would go to the store to get groceries, and see a cute toddler demanding her way at the checkout line. I would sit down to watch a show on TV, and see a diaper commercial. I would check the mail, and once again, be invited to yet another baby shower. When would it be my turn?

Then there was the waiting on the calendar. Those two weeks in between infertility treatments were the worst. Every second I was awake, I was wondering if I was already a mama and didn’t know it yet, or if I still had the same barren womb, I had come so well to know.

And then, right when I thought the wait was over, that one lonely pink line, reminded me it started all over again.

Photo by Rachel Ackerman Photography

Photo by Rachel Ackerman Photography

After that season came to an end, a new kind of waiting began. Waiting for paperwork, waiting for our home study, waiting for a birth mom to choose us, and it was still just as hard.

It was during all of that waiting when the Lord took a girl who had only known of Him in black and white, into a desert. He allured me out to a place where He was the only One left. It was in that desert of waiting, where I began to see Him in color. He became more than my God, He became my lover. It was there in that desert where He tenderly showed me my desire to be a mama had become more important than my desire for Him.

I was able to ask Him hard questions. I was able to engage in a conversation with Him about the unbalance I was seeing in my life. I was finding Him to be good, even in the brokenness of my body, and in the weight of the wait. Yet, my circumstances were not changing. I grieved before Him the unbalance of Him giving me a calling to be a mama, but no children to mother. It was in that waiting, my faith became authentic.

If we want a real, deep, authentic faith, we have to engage in real conversations with the Author of it.

The more of Him I saw in color, the more of me began to die. I saw His worth in that season of waiting. I found Him to be enough for me when I reached inside my mailbox to find another baby shower invitation. He was enough every time I saw an ultra sound picture on my news feed. And I decided He was enough even if He chose never to give me children. I had come to know Him in that desert, and I knew Him to be good.

The waiting really was the hardest part in my journey to motherhood, because the Lord used that wait, to prune parts of me that needed to die. The season of just Him and me before children, were the hardest, yet sweetest days of my life. Because it was in those days, I desperately needed Him, and in that desperation, He became enough.

On a cold, cloudy December day, the waiting finally ended.

My daughter’s birth mom placed in my arms a six pound five ounce answer to thousands of prayers. And it wasn’t until that day, did I really understand the weight of the wait. I promised myself to never forget.

Photo by Rachel Ackerman Photography

Photo by Rachel Ackerman Photography

Because it was in that wait, that I would find all I needed to be her mama, Him.

Waiting is so hard, sister. It is painful. And it feels as if there will be no end. My prayer for you is that you will allow yourself, rather than pushing away from Him, to lean in. Take His hand, and walk into that desert, knowing you will come out one day, the wait will be over, and you will walk away changed.

Photo by Rebecca Lauren Photography

Photo by Rebecca Lauren Photography

The waiting produces more in our hearts, than the gift ever could. It’s often the weight of the waiting that helps us understand the gravity of the gift.