Mother's Day is a holiday that causes me equal parts joy and extreme discomfort. I love being a mother...every part of it has changed me; mostly for the better. But its this holiday that makes me squirm. People all around my life are posting cute pictures of them with their mother, telling sweet memories and stories of childhood. That is wonderful, and I am glad with them that they experienced that love and can look back fondly.
We can't all look back on childhood with fondness, however. Some of us are just 100% relieved that we are grown and those years are passed. Some of us have no pictures to post, no anecdotes to share. Some of us have a hard time even turning onto the card isle this time of year. To honor that which has brought so much pain, judgement, and heartache into my life...that is a hard task to accomplish, for certain.
I know some people will try to tell me that I should "honor my parents while they are here on earth". Should I? Is it ALWAYS the "right" thing to do? To gloss over the years of pain and hurt for the sake of.... ?
I know some people will tell me I need to heal more, that I need to give all of this over to the Lord, and trust that He will help my heart be whole, and that I can love others despite their words, actions, and opinions.
The thing is, I communicate with Him regularly regarding this subject. I pray for love to grow, and for pain to lessen. I'm doing my part, and giving Him my heart. He has done much; I have grown as a parent...I've got more confidence that I can do this "mom" gig successfully moreso than I did a year ago. But healing is a step by step process, a daily commitment to become something different than I used to be, to let go of fear, hurt, anger, pride, insecurity, and the harsh words that seem to hang on and linger no matter how fast I run in the opposite direction. Healing is messy. It cannot be glossed over, it has to be REAL.
In this season of my life, healing does not mean I must be present and celebrating because a calendar tells me so. Right in this moment, healing looks like spending every moment I can with my own little ones, curbing my own words and actions so that their memories are worlds more positive than my own. Right now, healing looks like being a mother, and looking forward, not backward.
As I said, I am extremely glad for all my friends who will be able to hug their mothers tomorrow, to take them out to eat, present the perfect Hallmark card, and enjoy an afternoon of laughter, tears and love.
Celebrating what motherhood should look like is very important.
Please just try and remember in the midst of your holiday that there are those whose experience differed drastically. There are those who are doing all we can to smile through the day and step by step recover from the past. Pray for us, that our futures, and our sons' and daughters' futures, may be brighter and that one day Mother's Day will look like we've always hoped it would; with the renewal and change we reap from what we sow with our own babies now.
Happy Mother's Day, from our herd to yours.