As I sat in church this morning I couldn’t help but look around at all the women that surrounded me. On my first Mother’s Day as a mom as I looked around the church my eyes landed on an older woman as she wiped the tears from her eyes. I couldn’t help but feel my own eyes well up with tears as I watched her. I couldn’t see her face and I didn’t know the reason for her tears but I could feel her hurt, her sadness, her pain. I knew from experience what a hard and painful day this day could be. Don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful to be able to celebrate the wonderful mom that I have. As I’ve watched loved ones lose their moms, it’s something I don’t take for granted. I knew from experience how hard and painful this day could be because in celebrating what one has, it puts a magnifying glass on all those who don’t have it.
As excited as I was for my very first Mother’s Day, there's a part of me that will always be the single girl who so desperately wanted a family surrounded by moms and families on this day. It’s a feeling I won’t soon forget and one I don’t want to. Even as I celebrate the opportunity that the Lord gave me to be a wife and a mom, I hurt with those who are currently living in the dark valley that can be Mother’s Day.
I love writing because I love looking back and seeing the thoughts and emotions that I was experiencing through different moments in the past. On this Mother’s Day I went back and read my blog post from Mother’s Day in 2021… A mere two years ago. ( A Single Girl on Mother’s Day. )
God has worked in my life in such great ways. But I can still read what I wrote over two years ago and tear up as I recall the emotions that went along with life at that time. As I read through this post from two years ago I was reminded of some wise advice that an older gentleman who had recently lost his wife shared. I’ll let the 2021 version of me share what I had wrote then:
As he stood in front of church on this day, 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. 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.
Two years ago the Lord took me down a dark valley. Two years ago, as I recalled this man telling me God had never let him down, I couldn’t understand. Today, I can sit here and with confidence say ‘God didn’t let me down.’ In that dark valley He worked in ways that only He could. And yet, if I’m honest, when the next hard thing comes, which I, without a doubt, know it will, I’m not sure my confidence is unwavering. I think I still will struggle with the why, the goodness of God, and the whole he has never let me down things. But I’m hoping I will struggle a little less. I’m hoping I’ve grown a little more, gained a little more knowledge, and practiced a little more faith. And I’m praying that whatever the Lord throws my way I will never stop digging in. Because while I might feel like he has let me down He has shown me He will never let me down.
And I can’t help but laugh because as I am typing this last line the song currently playing in the background is Maverick City’s Promises… a song which I had on repeat as I struggled so deeply those two years ago…
I put my faith in Jesus
My anchor to the ground
He's my hope, my only hope
He'll never let me down
Great is Your faithfulness to me
From the rising sun to the setting same
I will praise Your name
In every season, great is Your faithfulness to me
I loved my first mother’s day. And I’m so thankful that in the joy I’m reminded of the sorrow that truly showed me… Great is His faithfulness.