Sunday, May 3, 2009

Guest Post: When Mother's Day is Difficult - Day 1

This blog is written by a woman who is reminded every year in May that she is not a Mommy yet.

On May 10th, we’ll celebrate Mother’s Day once again. For many, it’s a time of appreciation and joy. For others, it can be one of the most difficult days of the year. This is often true for women facing infertility, families who have recently experienced the loss of a mother, and many other painful situations.

I’ve learned what it’s like for Mother’s Day to be difficult through my work at Dayspring as a card writer. Each year we receive letters about our “Difficult Mother’s Day” cards. One woman expressed her appreciation and then said, “I spent seven very painful Mother’s Days longing for motherhood while dealing with infertility and the losses of eight children through miscarriage and failed adoptions. I’ve also seen my own mother’s grief and struggle through Mother’s Day after the death of her mother. And I have many friends in less-than-ideal situations with their children.”

I’ve learned what it’s like for Mother’s Day to be difficult through my experiences as a counseling intern who works with women each week and co-leads a grief support group. I’ve found sadness on special occasions is a normal part of grief. These days often serve as reminders of what we have lost or do not yet have.

Finally, and most importantly, I’ve learned what it’s like for Mother’s Day to be difficult through my personal struggle with infertility.

So as Mother’s Day comes this year, I’d like to share a few thoughts with you. These are taken from my own journey as well as my training at work and in the Counseling program.

Embrace Your Emotions

First, if Mother’s Day is difficult for you then give yourself permission to grieve. When holidays come, we often put expectations on ourselves to feel a certain way. We may think, “This is a special occasion. I have to put on a happy face and make the best of it.” But it’s okay to feel sad and even cry. As the authors of Empty Chair, The: Handling Grief on Holidays and Special Occasions say simply and powerfully, “We grieve because we loved.”

It’s also helpful to realize that emotions are not good or bad. They are just messengers that tell us about what’s going on in our lives. Sadness tells us, “You’ve lost something or someone important to you.” It’s not a sin to feel sad. Jesus often experienced sadness and the Bible says he was “a man of sorrows, and familiar with grief” (ISAIAH 53:3 NIV).

Sometimes we need to help others understand our sadness. People who are trying to comfort us may say things like, “At least your loved one is in a better place now.” Words like these can make us feel guilty for being sad. People who say these things are often really trying to tell us, “I care about you. I want you to feel better. So I’m going to say anything and everything I can think of that might help.” Sometimes we need to gently share with those around us that what we really need is for them to just be there and listen.

In Psalm 13 King David pours out his heart to the Lord and asks, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” He ends by saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.” Does that mean we need to go from feeling broken to blessed in just a few lines? No, absolutely not. But it does show us something important about emotions. They are meant to be detours rather than destinations. If you continually feel sad over an extended period of time, or it seems as if there is no hope, then you may want to consider getting help.

Continued Tomorrow...

About the author: Holley Gerth is an award-winning writer and editorial director for DaySpring. She is also the author of Rain on Me: Devotions of Hope and Encouragement for Difficult Times. Visit Holley online at Heart to Heart with Holley Thank you Holley for allowing me to share this article with others!

1 comment:

  1. so much truth in this....such an encouragement, thank you!

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