So here it is, I'm not looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day this Sunday. It brings up too much pain. While I do want to honor my mom, Dolly, who courageously raised five daughters on her own and who I love dearly, this year Mother's Day has a whole new meaning to me.
As the tears flow softly down my cheeks, I'm slammed with the realization that this may be the last Mother's Day with my beautiful mom. You see, two months ago, she was diagnosed with malignant, stage 3 brain cancer. Medical testing has revealed our worst nightmare. The cancer cells have spread throughout her brain and they are aggressively growing.
It's not that I don't want to hold onto hope that God could give my mother a medical miracle. It is more so that I'm working through acceptance, which is one of the five stages of grief. Last month, was anger, rage, and despair. This month is acceptance and trying to make the most of the time my mom has left on earth.
Perhaps, this Mother's Day is painful for you, too? A bittersweet celebration of loss, grief, and not exactly the happy ever after that you had dreamed of? Maybe you have spent years enduring the turmoil and disappointment of infertility? Of desperately praying to Jesus for a baby, but your prayers have gone unanswered? Or you did have a precious child, but his or her life ended far too soon?
For some people it could be that you never knew your birth mother. Instead, you were raised by someone else. Maybe you didn't have the best of life, nor a joyful or loving upbringing. So this Mother's Day represents what you never had. A painful hole sketched forever in your heart leaving you feeling empty, broken, and lost.
No matter what circumstance you may be confronting today, trust that you are not alone. The Bible tells us that when we go through deep waters, our Heavenly Maker is right there with us. When we are sinking deep, He sends us this anchor of hope to lift us up. He gently carries us through the smashing waves and brings us back to shore. To plant our feet firmly into His unconditional love that is far deeper, longer, and wider than we can ever imagine.
"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)
Through my mom's fiery furnace of affliction, I'm on my knees crying out to God. I plead for Him to give my mother strength and peace. To intimately show her that she is not alone and He cares deeply for her. This may sound morbid or off the wall, but I can envision my mom entering the gates of heaven. Next to Jesus is my beloved furry friend, Samson, who adored my mom more than anyone else in the world. His tail will be wagging and he will jump for joy to give her wet kisses in celebration of spending eternity together with Christ.
Perhaps, this is what brings me peace? Or my wild imagination during a time of losing my two best friends is the only thing keeping me sane? Losing a pet is hard, but losing my mom is going to cut like a knife and hurt more than anything I've ever experienced in my lifetime.
Despite Mother's Day being a bittersweet occasion, I am going to celebrate life; not death. With my four older sisters, we will shower our mom with gifts, love, honor, and gratitude. Today is all we have. Tomorrow is not promised. Therefore, if you have someone special in your own life, whether it's your birth mother, step mother, or another caregiver, hug them a little tighter. Take the time to let them know how much they mean to you. Count your blessings. Relish the gift of this valuable moment as if it were your last.