When Mother's Day Isn't a Celebration

God knows Mother’s Day is the hardest day in the year for some of you. Your sadness may be related to your mother:

  • Your mother is not alive.
  • Life with your mother was too difficult to celebrate.
  • Your mother wasn’t part of your life.
  • You can’t celebrate with your mother because she lives too far away.
  • Your mother is ill or suffering dementia.

It may be grief related to your own mothering:

  • You have longed for children but have never been able to be pregnant.
  • You have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth and never had even one sweet moment of looking into your baby’s eyes.
  • After that loss, you fear it might happen again.
  • You laid your baby down to sleep one afternoon or evening, and your little one never woke again.
  • After losing that child, you feel fear when you look at your other children or think of having another.
  • You were so close to adopting the child you already loved from a distance, and then the plans fell through.
  • Your child—whether a child or adult—lost the battle to a disease, or died accidentally, or was murdered, or took his or her own life.
  • Your child was placed for adoption and has another mother now.
  • You grieve over a pregnancy you chose to end.
  • Your child is alienated from you.
  • You’ve always dreamed you’d be married by now, with children, and that hasn’t happened.
  • Your child has a disability that doesn’t permit you ever to hear “I love you” from him or her.

God knows. That wasn’t a throw-away phrase I used at the beginning. God does know. He knows your fear, grief, anger, anxiety, love—the welter of emotions today that you hardly know how to name. He knows that even though you may be mostly composed most days, this day stirs it all up.

I pray that your church and others close to you will be Christ’s hands and heart for you this Mother’s Day. Even if other people aren’t aware or sensitive, I pray that you can feel deeply the com-passion (together-suffering) of Jesus who bears our griefs and carries our sorrows.

Is Mother’s Day a celebration for you this year? Why or why not? Either way . . .

  • Ask God to fulfill His purposes. God uses adversity to show us what is in our hearts, to purify us, and to deepen our dependence on Him (Deut. 8:3).
  • Place your confidence in the Lord. He can be trusted. He loves you, He knows what you are facing, and He cares for you. Trust Him to meet your needs (Matt. 6:25–34).
  • Reach out to others. Don’t just think about your own problems; put the needs of others ahead of your own (Phil. 2:4).
  • Rejoice in the Lord. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. If you have God, you have everything you need, and you have reason to rejoice (Hab. 3:17–18)!

Bullet points excerpted from Hope for Uncertain Times by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

About the Author

Noel Piper

Noel Piper

Noel Piper is wife of John Piper, mother of five, and grandmother of fifteen. She is also the author of Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, and two children’s books.

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