It has been the tradition of many churches to give out awards or special gifts on Mother’s Day to the youngest mother, oldest mother,etc. Often times special recognition is given to new moms or baby dedications take place on Mother’s Day. In no way am I recommending that churches should stop these recognitions. They are very meaningful and mothers are worthy of our honor, no doubt. I am asking church leaders to be aware that this Sunday you will have some in your church that are hurting. In the United States 15%-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, thus the chance of someone in your church having recently suffered the emotional, physical and spiritual pain of the end of a pregnancy is likely.
In 2000 our second daughter was born. We enjoyed two healthy uneventful pregnancies with our first two girls. However, in the next two years my wife and I would endure the pain of two miscarriages. I remember the shock and dismay of both of those events. It made no sense to us that we could have two uneventful pregnancies and then, suddenly, we would be unable to have a third child. The depth of pain my wife and I went through is much deeper than I could ever explain through this article. As a husband, I felt ill equipped to help my wife through the pain she was experiencing. I saw her struggle through the emotions of anger, disappointment, sadness and concerns about future pregnancies. It has been my experience that many women experience feelings of failure after a miscarriage. They sometimes blame themselves for not being able to carry the baby full term. As a husband, I learned the best assistance I could give was to hold her tight and cry with her. (Which I did, a lot.) Those two Mother’s Days for us were bitter sweet. Yes, we had two daughters we adored, but we also knew we had two children in the Lord’s presence and not with us. According to the Scriptures, life begins at conception. The newly formed baby isn’t just a piece of tissue, it is a person created in the image of God. The Psalmist was clear on this point, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous and how well I know it. You watched me being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Ps. 139: 13-16 NLT. I believe that when I get to heaven I will, for the first time, hold my two babies. How precious the thought. On January 9, 2003, our third daughter was born and we rejoice in the Lord for his goodness in the gift of Averie. We relished in her birth knowing the emotions of the two pregnancies before. Through those experiences I came to better understand the emotional, spiritual and physical pains that came with miscarriage. It is often called a “failed pregnancy” which further leads the mother to feel that somehow she “failed” in her role. And then there are the well meaning people in the church along with family members. People who (bless their hearts) are trying to make the woman feel better. They say things like, “Well, if the Lord wanted you to have that baby you would have.” Or maybe, “It just wasn’t the Lord’s will.” It seems with every comment the pain gets worse. Many ladies just stay away from church for a while to avoid the conversations.
Perhaps Mother’s Day is the worst of the days for those who have been through this pain. While we celebrate the joys of Motherhood, we should find opportunities to recognize those in our midst who are hurting. This Mother’s Day, I am asking church leaders to consider those ladies who strongly desire to celebrate Mother’s day, but haven’t had the opportunity.
I encourage church leaders to have a special time of prayer for those moms who have suffered loss this past year. You don’t need to point them out (please don’t make them stand), just a simple healing prayer for hurting moms can go a long way in making this Mother’s Day a little more tolerable.
Also a reminder, be thoughtful in what you say to those who have suffered through a miscarriage. The right heart that offers the wrong words can be damaging. Words aren’t even necessary. A simple touch, hug or smile can speak a thousand words. For those Mom’s who have been through the pain, be a blessing to those who are going through similar struggles. “He comforts us in all our troubles so we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corninthians 1:4.
Also in your church will be ladies who are dealing with infertility and Moms who have lost children to death. Be sensitive to these deeply wounded ladies. Church should be a place where the wounded find caring, wonderful people who “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” This Mother’s Day honor Moms, recognize their significance. But also recognize that some Mom’s may not need a gift or flower, they may just need to know that someone cares.