A prayer for those with hurting hearts this Mother’s Day

I see you sister.

I hear the pain in your voice, I see the tears welling up in your eyes.

As we are approaching a holiday that celebrates mothers, your hearts are in mourning. There is darkness, rather than joy, in a day honoring mothers, and you are feeling the angst more as Sunday approaches.

Perhaps it is because you have lost your own mother, and the grief still sucker punches you in the middle of the night, no matter how long it has been since she has been gone. Or perhaps her health is failing, or Alzheimer’s is ravaging her mind, and you are already in the throes of sadness as you prepare for her future. I’m sorry, sweet sister, for that which you’ve lost.

Perhaps your mother never mothered you, and you grieve your lost childhood.  You weren’t able to be a child, to be free, filled with joy and delight, knowing you were loved, accepted, cared for, as all children should be. Perhaps you were abused, or ignored, or abandoned. I’m sorry, precious daughter, for the broken heart you’ve endured.

Perhaps you are grieving the loss of a child, one that made you a mother. A baby, not even carried to term. An infant, lost far too soon. A child, a teen, an adult. Our babies are always our babies, no matter their age, and every parent that outlives a child grieves deeply the loss. I’m sorry, momma, for what you have lived through, for the ache that your soul holds, for the part of you that will always be missing until you are reunited in heaven.

Perhaps you have never been a mother and it causes an ache in your heart, especially as we draw near to Mother’s Day. Every Hallmark commercial, every flower advertisement, crushes your broken heart just a bit more as you are reminded of that which you haven’t had. I’m sorry, dear one, for your empty arms that bring you pain.

For whatever the reason, if this is a holiday that hurts your heart and causes you distress, I am sorry. Sorry for your hurt, for your pain, for the ache and the sadness and the despair you may feel.

 

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My prayer for you in these days to come is that you feel loved and supported. I pray for grace and mercy to surround you; that those friends and family around you would be able to give you comfort, hold your hand, wipe away your tears. I pray that the good, gentle arms of the Father would hold you and that you would be able to lean into His embrace. I pray that you would find community that knows your pain, understands your grief, and can sit with you in your sadness. There is beauty in being understood, in being seen, and there is freedom found in sharing your burdens. I pray that you find trustworthy people who can help hold your grief, and that their love buoys you in the deepest, darkest places.

You are not alone, dear one.

You are never alone, and may you always find hope in the truth that you are loved abundantly by your Heavenly Father.

 

With a grateful heart

 

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Our time here in the sweet city of Wilmore, Kentucky, is quickly coming to an end.  And I hate it…even though I am looking forward to our future.  These four years of settling into this quiet, beautiful community will always hold a special place, treasured in my heart.  The relationships we have formed, the soul-healing we have experienced, and the overwhelming flood of love poured out upon our family will never be forgotten.  The way God has used this time to grow our faith, strengthen our marriage, and form us into new creations has been rich, difficult, glorious, beautiful and worth every moment of joy and sorrow.

Words cannot begin to express the deep gratitude that I have for all of the love and support our family has received for these past years here in Kentucky.

We have been abundantly blessed, and it is in this time of reflecting on those blessings, that my heart bursts wide open with love. We have been cared for in every imaginable way over these last 4 years, gifted with an incredible amount of prayer, love, and financial support.   We have been encouraged by others, through their words and deeds.  We have been covered in the thoughts and prayers of several different churches, as well as many individuals. We have been loved, by those both here near us and those far away, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and other such far-flung, exotic places.

Thank you to each and every one of you who has cared for us, from near and far, over the past four years, and even before. There have been people praying for my dear husband, for his calling, long (years!) before we ever stepped out onto seminary ground.  As he has explored his calling, slowly accepting and moving forward in the process, he has been covered with prayer and love.  Thank you for following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, for your reassuring him with your words.  Without the support and encouragement of so many, this journey would not have come to completion.

Thank you to those who have helped support us financially. We have been blessed by scholarships from Hilltop United Methodist Church in Mankato and Grace United Methodist Church in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  We have been surprised and delighted by the wonderful people of Zion United Methodist in Danube who regularly sent us monetary gifts that seemed to arrive EXACTLY when we needed a little extra for bills.  We have been blown away by a generous anonymous donor or donors who, for the past two years, have paid our rent, each and every month.  Not only has this allowed us to have a bit less debt in student loans, but it has been a tangible reminder of God’s goodness and provision.  We have had family and friends who have been extremely generous with us over holidays and birthdays, and on days “just because.”  Individuals we barely knew have sent checks and blessings.  Former pastors have contributed to student funds.  We have been overwhelmed on occasion after occasion of the way God ministers to us through His people.

We are grateful to those living near us, who were always willing to help in physical ways.  Caring for our children when work and school conflicts arose, providing meals after the baby’s birth, offering freely time, friendship, and outings…these are just some of the beautiful ways we have been loved here in this space.

We are appreciative of those who traveled the miles to come visit us in the Kentucky Bluegrass. The presence of family and friends over the course of the years served to comfort us and bolster us, encouraging us in this walk of faith.

Thank you for loving us so well, and showing us how to be Jesus to one another. Each of you who has cared for us has been a beautiful witness of the crazy, reckless, abundant love of the Father.  We are overwhelmed.

Thank you.

Eight letters that seem so insignificant with the magnitude of gratitude that we have. And yet, those little letters are all we have to offer back to those who have loved us so well, and so abundantly.

Thank you.