“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
Isaiah 40:1-2 NIV (1984)
Chuck showed me this verse right before I spoke one day. He knew my heart was breaking and full of shame. The speaker right before me had just spent the last ten minutes condemning women for having abortions. She did this broad sweeping character assassination of “those kinds of women.” I had not planned to share my testimony that day, but you can bet that I did. This verse washed off my shame. Again. As I read it out loud the Lord surged in my spirit and whispered that He had given me beauty for ashes, and a double portion instead of shame. (Is. 61) I needed the reminder that when God looked at me, He no longer saw a murderer but a Jesus-washed daughter.
The Lord brought this verse back up again this morning. Why? It speaks to a woman’s heart. I don’t know about you, but I think Mother’s Day is hard on women. For lots of reasons.
What women need on Mother’s Day is real comfort. We don’t need more mother-martyr sap and Hallmark pats on the backs about “where would the world be without a Mother’s Love.” If that were true, the world should be in a better state. It’s not our love the world needs. It’s God’s love we need and rely on.
I mean, thank you for the attempted affirmation. But what mothers need is comfort, from God and from others. We need to know that someone sees us and understands there are many different kinds of mothers in many different emotional places, rejoicing and mourning.
To the woman who desires to be a mom but is not.
Whatever the reason, singleness, infertility, or age, God sees you. He has not forgotten you. You are not incomplete as His daughter. You are not lacking value as a woman. We honor your place in the Kingdom.
To the woman who is a mom of the never born.
Every year you struggle on Mother’s Day. Should you raise your hand for a flower or stay silenced by shame and grief? Should you celebrate your child even though it died through abortion or miscarriage? Does anyone see you are still a mom? Forever a mom and yet empty-handed. We speak tenderly to you. Comfort, comfort.
To the woman who is a mom in the “difficult years.”
If we are honest, every season with your children it is hard you and hard on your heart. You are learning, failing, and succeeding just as much as your children are. We remind you that mothers are made, not born. God graces you day after day as you show up and try again to raise these little humans. We see your hard work. Comfort to you in the daily grind of motherhood.
To the woman who is mom to adults
We know it went faster than you could imagine. As you look back there is a mix of regret and joy, loneliness and pride, maybe even disappointment and gratefulness. We acknowledge your journey. We speak comfort that God will complete the good work He began in you and in your children. Even though your children may be grown, we know your mother’s heart still beats with hope and concern for them. Continue to pray with your God-given mother’s authority.
To the woman who is a mom and faced death.
Whether it is the death of your own parents or the death of your child, we speak comfort to you. The focus of the day often brings up hard and hurtful memories. We speak comfort in your loss. It never goes away. We remember the person your heart is longing for.
To all the women who blow it as a mom more often than they care to admit.
God knows your heart. Let him heal and comfort you in the weak places as you walk along side your children. Trust that His grace is greater than all your sin. Trust that His Love is the cup that never runs dry. Drink from it often. Take a deep breath of His new mercy every morning.
So my Mother’s Day gift to you this year is the same I am asking for— revelation from God that He knows us and loves us and carries all our many seasons, weaknesses and dreams as women. Remember to enjoy this journey with Him and may we rejoice in the beautiful moments and receive comfort in the sad ones.
To you women of God and mothers of many:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we have received from God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives,
so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV (1984)