A Single Girl On Mother's Day
Mother’s Day is an interesting one. It’s a day to celebrate moms. Buuuuut.... that doesn’t mean celebrating is always easy.
Disclaimer: Every year I’m thankful for my mom, my grandmothers and the many other women who have had an influence in my life. And every year, I am beyond grateful for all the families that have welcomed me into their lives and shared their kids with me. I can without hesitation say that I have been loved well by so many. And that is so incredibly humbling.
But even in being loved well and in the thankfulness, some Mother’s Days are easier than others... For all of us I would assume. The reality is you can be thankful and struggle at the same time. For me, some years it is a joy to see kids excited to celebrate their moms and moms thankful for this opportunity they have been given in life. And some years it’s hard. Some years I struggle with bitterness, my heart aches and my soul hurts. I want to be a mom. I want a family. And in those years the struggle is pretty real.
And this year. Well it’s been a hard year and as luck, or... you know... divine sovereignty, would have it… the sun, moon and stars apparently decided to align in my life. And by sun, moon, and stars, what I mean is Mother’s Day, the uncertainty of life at the moment, and those lovely girl hormones...
All. Aligned. Perfectly.
And so today, I ate chocolate for breakfast. That seemed like the BEST possible life decision I could make at this moment. I'll be running it off later today.
Buuuuut back to Mother’s Day.
There’s that oh-so-familiar statement, “The grass is always greener on the other side” that comes to mind. Guess, what?!? It’s true. We tend to want what we don’t have regardless of what we have. The single girl wants a family. The childless wife wants a baby. The single mom wants to not do it alone. The married one wants a husband who treats her differently. The mom with all the kids wants the life of the single girl at times. She wants a quiet house. Kids who behave. A husband who helps. Or maybe just kids and a husband who show a little appreciation. The working mom wants to stay home with her kids. The stay at home mom wants to work or at least escape her kids some of the time. All moms are sick of cooking and cleaning at some point... I think. And of saying everything on repeat and not being heard. I could be wrong. Annnnd I’m sure we can add something about laundry in there too. The list is pretty much endless, I’m sure.
I know it’s not easy. In fact, I know that my life is probably a lot easier not having to juggle and navigate all of that. But easier isn’t always better. I’ve sat across the desk from enough people struggling in life to know that I would much rather be single than miserably married. But I’ve also had the joy of being a part of families who only make me want one of my own so much more. And while that might not be easier than my single life at the moment, I can without hesitation say it's a harder I'm willing to put the effort into. (Soapbox moment…. All of you right now who want to throw out Paul’s whole, “It’s better to be single”... just stop. I have lots of thoughts on that. Let me help you out... For the love of all things, please do the world and every 'single' person a favor and please, please, please refrain from ever quoting that to any 'single' person to try to prove a point. Ever. Pretty please.)
I don’t share any of this to be poor me or for a pity party. I share this because I recognize that Mother’s Day isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for many... moms included.
It’s a day full of expectations, often unmet.
A day intended to honor one that unfortunately often emphasizes and highlights the hurts and losses of many… And there's a lot of hurts and losses to choose from... infertility, loss of a mom, loss of a child, singleness, miscarriages, a struggling marriage, divorce, single parenting, or maybe grown children who are making poor choices... the list goes on. I write this because I hope that those who have the joy of celebrating or being celebrated today, even if it doesn’t go the way you want it to go, I hope you realize what a gift you’ve been given, even when it doesn’t seem that way. And I write this because I hope that those who are struggling today, moms included, I hope you know you are not alone in your struggles and your struggles most definitely do not define you.
A few years ago I was listening to an older gentleman, who had recently lost his wife. He boldly stated something that for as long as I live I will never forget... God has never let me down.
I sat there in shock. I’m not going to lie. I feel pretty let down by God... often. I struggle with how God can know the desires of my heart and withhold those from me. I struggle with feeling like I’m trying so hard to honor him every step of the way and seemingly getting my hand slapped every time something is just within reach. I struggle with why. I struggle with understanding. Truthfully, I often feel pretty let down.
But feelings aren’t always truth. In fact… they quite often lie to us. That whole follow your heart thing…. Well.... we shall have to talk about that one one of these days.
But for now… Paul writes in the book of Romans...
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
All things work together for good. You guys, a lot of times life doesn’t feel good. Maybe even most of the time. How can this be good? One only needs to watch the news or scroll through social media to question where the good is. But there’s a difference between good and working together for good.
Working out when you first start... it is awful, right?!? But ultimately it’s for your good. Not letting your child do whatever they want... is hard. But ultimately it’s for their good. Talking through problems in relationships…. Is stressful, frustrating, and sometimes hurtful. But ultimately, it’s for the good of the relationship.
The moment might not feel good, but there’s always more than a moment at play.
When I look back at my life I can see that the moments that have been the hardest, the things I have struggled the most with, are, in the end, what I have learned the most from. They are the things that have changed me the most. They are the things that have benefited me the most. Not gonna lie, all that is pretty painful to acknowledge. But because of that, I can only conclude that if the Lord is withholding something from me, if he is allowing me to go through hard things, if he has taken something away, maybe, just maybe, he’s got something better planned. Maybe He knows something I don’t. Maybe he isn’t going to let me down.
And maybe... whatever you are struggling with, he isn’t going to let you down either.
Words can be pretty easy. Believing them is not. These are not easy truths for me to hold on to or to live out. Getting my head and my heart to be on the same page is a continual battle. I hope I can someday boldly make that statement that God has never let me down. Right now, it’s hard. Right now, this hormone crazy, uncertainty in life, single girl has lots of questions. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
If this Mother’s Day is highlighting a whole lot of struggles for you, know that those struggles aren’t who you are. We can take those struggles to God and know that for those who love him, he is working all things together for good. And maybe, just maybe, in holding tight to that truth, we will soon be able to boldly claim what that sweet older gentleman so humbly shared... “God has never let me down.”
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18
It's just a moment, friends.
And this moment that is today, in both the struggle and the celebration (because they do co-exist), I so hope you have a Happy Mother's Day!