Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My 1st Mother's Day

I couldn't believe it. The time had finally come. The time when I once again went to church on Mother's Day.

In recent years, I've avoided church on Mother's Day. Sitting in my seat, sobbing as other mothers stood, trying not to be too loud or embarrassing, fighting off the urges to flee, and hearing people say "Happy Mother's Day" constantly... it was just too much. I couldn't handle it, so I hid.

I hid away from Facebook and blogs. I hid away from church the past couple of years. I didn't want to celebrate, though I would call my beloved mom, and often spend part of the day with the in-laws celebrating {and rightfully so} my dear mother-in-law. But I'd try really hard not to be depressed or cry lots of tears when everyone in the family was hugging and celebrating all the moms... of which I was the only one who wasn't.

Years of hurt and struggle later, and now I was back at church on this day.

Emotional even as I walked in the doors.

With my mom by my side.

And hubby holding my hand.

Weeping for those who weep and mourn and struggle on this day. So many dear friends struggling.

Finding myself randomly in tears as we praised our God and lifted high the name of Jesus in worship.

Then the moment came.

That moment when they have the mothers in the room stand up to be celebrated. I was awaiting my moment. I was shaking. I wasn't sure if I really wanted it. I partially wanted to stay seated just in honor of those who couldn't.

Our pastor got up.

And this year, for the first time...

That moment didn't come.

At first I was surprised and didn't know what to think. I'm a bit selfish at heart and thought "wait a minute, when it's finallyyyy my turn after all these years of longing and waiting and hoping for this moment, it doesn't come?!?!?"

But softly and tenderly our pastor began to explain.

And then I was glad it didn't come.

Our pastor lovingly explained why things would be different this year. How he'd read a blog post that would forever change the way he viewed celebrating mothers on Mother's Day.

Keep in mind, this pastor speaks to roughly 13,000-15,000 people at our church each weekend on 7 campuses across many service times. This isn't just one little decision effecting a handful of women. It's kind of a big deal.

He explained that he knows now that it's not a celebration for every woman. And then since he knew this lady had said it way better than he could, he simply--but powerfully--read the impactful part of her blog post:
To those who gave birth this year to their first child — we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren - yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
By Amy at The Messy Middle:

My mom was sitting next to me as we heard this read. My tears overflowing, and hers as well. A moment of catching each other's eyes and being able to see the years of heartache melt away, as we sat there rejoicing not just in the changes in our lives, but that things were being handled in the exact way I'd longed for them to be for all my years when I was that person hurting and wishing it would all go away.

Even though the timing was different and I am now a mother to the baby growing inside of me, the wounds and deep desires aren't far gone. The heartbreak I still feel for loved ones struggling is massive. Friends I know who hurt so badly and long so much for children of their own doesn't escape me.

When you've been there and know what it's like, even to some degree, you will never be the same. Even though our outcomes are different now, my heart feels their pain as if I still carry the same trial.

Mom & I shared a moment just by a glancing at each other. We had both seen what could have been for me, what is now, and what God had done in our lives. Feeling God's presence in that moment was like a deafening roar. Evidence of his grace and mercy pouring out on our church was unmistakable.

By the end of the powerful sermon about generational obedience and teaching your children how to really love & follow Jesus, the church people were on fire. At the end of our pastor's call to kneel at the front for those hurting and longing for their kids, he prayed a prayer over us all that brought the roof down {no, not literally!}.

As we started to leave, I glanced around at many ladies in my midst and I didn't see a single dry eye.

We are forever grateful for this lady's blog post and that it made its way into our pastor's hands.

You guys, it was so special.

I was happy and overjoyed and filled with praise to our God for this little boy I'm carrying. Who is due to enter this world in merely 7 weeks.

I still couldn't believe I was even there, much less... finally... as a mother.

The reality sunk in and I wept. Prayed for this boy to know and love Jesus. Prayed for those hurting. Prayed for continued health. Praise for our dearly respected and admired pastor and his team of people who helped get to this point.

I spent the day prior to Mother's Day at a baby shower thrown by dear friends, combined with some family, and I was completely blown away. The love and prayer support was unbelievable. We feel so at awe, so at peace, and so comforted by God's love for us through his people.

Even our family dinner that night with Tim's family {and my mom & stepdad} felt so surreal and different. It was incredible to hear "Happy Mother's Day new mama!" I hardly knew what to say in response.

Because I still can't believe it was finally here. The day I'd prayed for and longed for, for so long.

I'm so grateful. For the blessing of an amazing, prayer-warrior mama. For the blessing of this little boy we'll, by God's grace, meet very soon. For the blessing of an incredible husband who has been there every step of these sometimes very long and hard years of marriage, waiting for children.

Praise God for what He's done and continues to do in our lives!!

A joy-filled, loving, celebration of a day as the day went on. Lunch together celebrating. Putting the final touches on organizing the nursery with my mom.

Yet, never forgetting. For those who have a hard time on Mother's Day, I feel your pain. You are loved, prayed for, and remembered.

For those new here, or for those wanting to read our story again of getting to this point, go here.


Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

You are such a compassionate, warm and special lady!

Kimberley Linstruth-Beckom said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your story! Mother's Day was a little tough for me this year because of my miscarriage. I didn't let on because I had to be strong for my two little ones and on big one (the hubby). Your words comfort me. Thank you!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Ohhhh, this is so cool!! I read that post last week, too - and I also have friends who are so sad, so confused, so bitter even as they wait or struggle through the no. My heart breaks for them often, but this year on this holiday after reading that post, I was on the edge all morning at church. Our pastor was sensitive and tried to celebrate all women, and I wondered if he'd read the post, too.

I love how you've written this - and shared your still-tender heart with us. xoxo

Janice (Woodworth) Marks said...

You are such a beautiful person inside & out what an awesome post. For I have known your Mom Gloria since grade school, and she is also a beautiful person. I have suffered from two miscarriages, and know that empty feeling. I was blessed with two healthy children. It is another test from God!
I will pray you have a healthy baby boy and as many as God allows that you wish for. Happy Mother's Day.

Rachel Jones said...

Love this post and all of the pics are so awesome of you and your mom and you and Tim. You look so great, Rochelle, and so so happy. Soooo excited for you and all that is to come. Praising God with you for this special mothers day and for the little baby in your tummy. Can't wait to meet him!!!