Mother’s Day. What does it make you think of? Flowers. Pretty pink gifts. Sweet baby hugs. Footprints in a card. Hugging tight the woman who raised you and gave everything for you. Posting on social media how blessed you are to remember the ‘most important person in your life’.
This day holds rough and raw, bittersweet edges for me. This year was my first holding my son in my arms, second of his life. It was already my 6th away from the place I grew up, the place I spent every moment, sans working, of 6 years of adulthood. It was also the day I learned my sister had a baby that no one told me about. It was another day I found it hard to smile and appreciate all the incredible blessings God has showered down on my undeserving life. I smiled when I needed to, and said cordial things to the people who took me in when I had nothing. And then my husband, who knows when I’m hurting, got to hear me work out some of my frustration and sorrow while trying to say comforting things about a situation there is no comfort for.
Sometimes you just need Mom. Even grown men cry for their mom’s when the going gets tough. Even those raised in non-hugging, non-emotional, non-affectionate families tend to have a high reverence for Mom. I’ve found that the more you fight something, the more it seems you’re actually willing it into your life. That came true for those who said they loved me, and the sad part is, the consequences have reached into more lives than seems fair.
But… what is fair? Who says we deserve a pretty, happy, loving life? What did we do to deserve it? Would we really know how to be thankful for it if we had it, or would we pine over the other things we ‘deserved’ but didn’t have? This has been something on my mind this last week surrounding the holiday. My mother was terribly abused as a child. Did she deserve it? Certainly not. Did that experience allow her to hurt her kids, only in a different manner? Certainly not. But this is life. Life is imperfect, because we are imperfect.
Those questions lead me to my situation. Does my hurt give me permission to hurt, or ignore, or snap at, or be frustrated with the loves of my life? Certainly not. But as humans it seems that is where our sin nature immediately takes us. We hurt, we hurt others, and the cycle lives on.
So what are we to do? Well here’s a little warning if we continue down the path of hurt/be hurt.
Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Life is hard. It hurts. I have as hard a time as any to be thankful and to truly appreciate what God has done in my life, but that is what we’re called to do. Find the beauty, find the good, and be thankful for it. When we do what we’re called to do, the contentment we then have is indescribable.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
How do we let the peace of God rule our hearts though? My favorite verses explain it better than I ever could.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
So what do we do? We make a conscious effort to let go of our anxiety. We pray and supplicate (ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly). We tell God how thankful we are for each thing He has lovingly given us as it comes to mind, and we make a conscious effort to bring those things to mind. And what happens when we do that? God provides a peace that we could never understand.
But does that mean it doesn’t matter when we hurt?
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
He cares. And He loves us. And He has a reason and a plan for why things are the way they are right now. Don’t push Him away, hang onto Him tighter. To our 11 month old, it is heartbreaking and painful to be taken away from the top of the stairs, but it’s because Daddy loves him that he does it. And Daddy is right there to hug him and be a shoulder to cry on through it. 😉
And lastly, I want to remind you that this life, and the pain in this life, is so short compared to eternity ahead of us. If you have the security of Jesus as your Savior, you can know that someday He will wipe away every tear and we will never have to hurt again! I’m sending a cyber hug, to any that might need it!
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory which shall be revealed in us.