Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day

I've been refusing to think about the looming holiday all week.

We attend a very small church. I am the only adult woman (that I know of--there used to be another but I haven't seen her in a long time) who is not a mom or with child. Every year, they ask all the moms to stand up and be recognized. It's so humiliating to be the only one over the age of 25 still sitting, especially because I want so desperately to be standing. I feel conspicuous and ashamed. We were in California last year so I didn't have to go but this year we are home. Also without fail they do a hymn-sing where the congregation requests hymns to sing. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love hymns. I worship through them in a way that I just don't in contemporary music. The kicker? They do this hymn-sing only twice a year. On Mother's Day and on Father's Day. And only parents are invited to participate in requests on their respective days. Ouch. I just wish churches would don't things like that. I understand the point to honor mothers but I don't think that requires a big spectacle.

So I'm sort of dreading it. But I think I'll dread sitting home even more.

See I'm in sort of a quandry. This is the first year that there is any sort of real hope that maybe in the next year or so I'll join the standing crowd. On the other hand, it's also the first year we've ever had the solid "never" with regards to biological childbearing and I admit I still do mourn that loss sometimes. I struggle also with the fact that because there is such real hope, our children are so close, and we're still not with them yet. Yet I also feel a little sad that I'm mourning our infertility when I know they ARE out there so I have cause for rejoicing and hope. So it's a big mixed bag of conflicting emotions. I'm trying to not decide today how I'm going to feel then so that I don't get hung up on forcing myself to feel that if I don't. If I do ok, I do ok. If I don't, I don't.

It's also hard because both DH and I have wonderful mothers. We don't at all want to take away from honoring them so I feel almost ashamed of my heartache. Then we'll repeat the whole song and dance all over again with Father's Day. What a great dad my sweet DH will be.

So anyway, friends, we're praying for you and know you're praying for us. I imagine many of my readers out there are experiencing similar struggles. This isn't going to be an easy weekend for any of us, but we take comfort in knowing we are not far from the heart of God. I hope that comforts you! I know I'm clinging on to it for dear life!

If you are not in our boat, please take the time to remember your friends who have suffered from infertility, miscarriage, still birth, child death or failed adoptions and know that they are needing extra measures of God's tender mercies this day.


  1. I am having the same feelings right now. As of this very moment, I am not planning on going to church on Sunday. This may or may not change. I don't know. I always say, "maybe next year..."

    If you decide to go, I am sure that God will provide you sufficient grace to get you through. (Me too...) Who knows, I may just go after all.

  2. Jen, I SO know what you mean. I have always dreaded Mother's Day with a passion. The past FIVE Mother's Days have been torturous. My husband is my pastor, though, so he doesn't do anything more than have the mothers stand so he can pray for them. That's it. That makes it a bit easier to bear. This year he told me I am a mother-to-be, so I don't have to be so sad. :)
    I think celebrating these things in churches can be SO insensitive. I'm like you...small I'm the only woman who doesn't stand. Everyone else has children.
    Then, two Mother's Days ago (I guess that would make it 2006?) a friend began handing me a card as she left the church after the services on Mother's Day. Her card always tells me that she prays that the next year I'll get to celebrate Mother's Day and that she's praying that the day won't be hurtful for me. I'm pretty sure she'll hand me a card this Sunday and it is so encouraging to me to have someone be so sensitive to me.

    Anyway...good post, Jen. Maybe next year will be SO different.

  3. I wrote just such a post recently on my blog. I totally feel your pain. That must be hard. Ours is a large church, and there are some women going through what I'm going through too, so I might go. I feel if I stay home, I'll make myself depressed focusing on it, but if I go my friends will get it off my mind. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I'm glad you wrote this because I never gave it a second thought and I'm so sorry about this mixed bag of emotions you're going through. How frustrating for you! You are right though that you have a wonderful hope/future just around the corner!

  5. I'm so glad to hear I am not the only women who feels that way in Church on Mother's day. It was always like a knife straight to my heart.

    I'm thinking of you often.

  6. Beautiful thoughts and so right on!

    Our church does the "will all the mothers stand up" thing as everyone claps too. I'm thinking about us going to Saturday night service instead. I'm not sure if they'll do it then since it wont actually be Mother's Day.

    I will be praying for all of us this weekend! Like you said, we can just hope (and pray) for the best until proven otherwise!

    Thanks for writing this!

  7. In that case, you'll probably be glad to hear that K. completely forgot about the Mother's Day hymn-sing this year! :)

    But seriously, we'll be praying that the day goes smoothly for you and that next year's Mother's Day would truly be a day of celebration for you. Even if you're not a mom yet, you have the heart of a mother - and that's what counts!

  8. I've been thinking a lot about you today ::hug::