Mother's Day - the Pain and the Joy

It is not chains that hold a marriage together. It is hundreds of tiny threads which are sown together over the passage of time.  Over the years, God has been teaching me how to look at life through His perspective through the Word, and life experiences have shown me that weaving those threads around the central cord of Christ is what gives my marriage not only joyful longevity but strength to endure the Refiner’s fire.

Before kids, Mother’s Day had always been about celebrating and honoring our own mothers, but 16 years ago, for the first time, Mother’s Day was finally going to be my day, or it was supposed to be… But things didn’t turn out like I had planned.

I distinctly remember that May of 1995, sitting in the pew at our church when the pastor asked all the mothers to stand. As I remained seated, my heart ached.  Not just because I wanted to be a mother and wasn’t, but because I felt like I should have been a mother and God took it from me.  A miscarriage a few months rocked my faith, and to deepen the pain, the baby’s due date would have been that Mother’s Day.

Later in the day at a quick shop, the cashier handed me a rose and said “happy mother’s day”.  I refused the rose, shamefully murmuring that I was not a mother.  His insistence that I accept it affirmed my value and place in the world as a woman. God used him to show me that I did not have to be a mother to my own biological children to use the qualities of nurturing and caring for others to impact my world.

I believed in Jesus as my personal savior at the age of 6, but God took me to a new level in my relationship with him when I realized I could not control something I wanted so badly.   I turned to His Word, the Psalms, where I learned how to express both disappointment and reverence, and both despair and hope.  In the Psalms, I can pass from thinking of God as a part of my life to the realization that I am part of His.  

Psalm 46 was the passage I clung to in that season of my life.   “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.” 

God revealed to me in this passage that even if creation itself became uncreated, a river of joy flowed from the Lord’s mighty throne.  He bestowed on me a sense of comfort, a sense of hope, something better someday.  God is good, even if at the moment from my own perspective it doesn’t seem like it.

The center cord of Christ secured the threads of my marriage as my husband honored me and expressed my worth, even if God did not plan parenthood for us.  As my faith was refined while walking through the dark valley, I realized that my identity was not to be found in motherhood, but in Christ.  If He did not choose to bless me with biological children, perhaps He would choose to use me to bless others and in a sense have “spiritual children.” 

It seemed like years had passed, but on Mother’s Day one year later, I worshiped in that same pew while embracing the amazing gift of our newborn baby in my arms.  And a few years later, the Lord blessed me with another. 

Even though my children are now 11 and 15 years old, every Mother’s Day I remember the pain of loss but also the joy that comes in the morning.  While I cherish the gift and calling of motherhood, most of all I cherish the love and greatness of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and desire to continue to grow in understanding of His perspective through all the chapters of my life as He works them out for our good and to His glory.


  1. Dear Paula,
    I really related to this post. I, too, am not a mother. It was really hard in my thirties, but now that I am forty-two and no children yet... I am peace. Christ is all I need. He fulfills my empty places. I have many spiritual children that He has blessed me with as a counselor. I love the verse you shared. One of my favorite songs is taken from that verse. Thanks for sharing this. It reminds me how far God has brought me. I have learned one thing. His plan is way better than mine.


  2. Happy Mother's Day (a day late =)) I loved this post and your honesty. There are times when we realize that we can't control stuff!! I went through this last year (different situation) and although I didn't have what I wanted, I saw myself press into God like never before..and be matured and shaped by this season! Tough, so tough, but God's timing is always perfect..