Celebrating Mother’s Day with a broken heart

To all the moms who read this, a sincere and joyous “Happy Mother’s Day!”

A few years ago, I wasn’t able to say those words with a joyful heart. My heart was sore and raw. There were definitely moments of bitterness. Some of the more painful memories of Mother’s Day include:

Having strangers wish me “Happy Mother’s Day,” because I was holding the hand of my niece while walking into an unfamiliar church.

Bawling while singing the words from “Majesty,” “Here I am empty-handed but alive in your hands.”

Running out of the church before sobs escaped me as a parade of babies entered for a Mother’s Day dedication.

So, I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve avoided Facebook on Mother’s Day, even making a big declaration one year according to my Facebook “on this day” memories. One year I even considered skipping church on that day.

But here’s the thing that hit me recently, if it was someone else’s birthday and not mine, I would be considered rude if I didn’t want them to celebrate. Unless I were two. Then I might be allowed to sulk, just a little. Or I might be given a present, too, to pacify me.

But, I’m not two. And this is not my day.

But it is my friends’ day. It’s my sister’s day, and my own mother’s day. How selfish am I to not celebrate them on their day.

Ecclesiastes says there’s a time to weep and a time to laugh, and a time to mourn and a time to dance.

There are those times to feel the pain of the curse for those who have children who turned their back to their mothers, for those who have had to say that final goodbye to their mothers, for those who have lost children or had miscarriages, for women who, like me, will never know what it is to give birth and hold her baby in her arms. There is infertility awareness week and infant loss and miscarriage awareness month and probably others. Those are the times to mourn. Those are the days to weep.

Today, is a day to rejoice.

But, it may not be so joyful for you, and that’s okay.

I know, I truly know, how easy it is to be hurt today. To only see the emptiness of your own arms. I’m so sorry for that.

I can say this because I know. Because I’ve been there. Because my own heart has wrestled with this.

If today is difficult for you, may I challenge you to look around for someone to rejoice with. You’ll have your own days of rejoicing in other ways or about other things. Set aside your hurt, just for today.

Find a single mom and give her a hug. Seek out a new mom and offer her a shoulder massage. Go to a mother and genuinely love her in this moment. Look for someone to rejoice with today.

I’m sorry to say, your pain will still be there, but today is not for you. Today is not about me. Today is the time to rejoice with our sisters who are rejoicing. Tomorrow, or another day, find these same sisters and ask them to mourn with you.

Today we rejoice.


  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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