I didn’t go to church last year on Mother’s Day.
Oh I got up, put on my new beautiful dress, recently purchased especially for my 30th birthday, fixed my hair in pretty curls, and put on the most feeble of facades. The Professor and I drove to town, and I stifled the sobs that threatened to shatter that facade, and reveal my broken heart.
As we neared the church the tears began to fall. Big fat tears that burned my cheeks, betraying my every attempt at bravery. And my husband, his heart filled with love and compassion, realized that it was too much. Too much pain, too much frustration.
That afternoon, as I enjoyed celebrating my own mother and my grandmother, I got a text from a sweet friend. She was the very first person to whom I ever spoke the words “infertility.” She sent a simple text, just a few words, really. But they brought so much comfort. A hint of peace, and what might have been joy filled my heart as I realized that I was not forgotten on Mother’s Day. Someone remembered my story, a brave woman who herself had battled infertility and survived the long and painful road to motherhood. She remembered her own struggles, and she offered hope and comfort to me in the midst of mine.
Will you be that friend this year? Maybe you haven’t battled infertility or infant loss. But surely you can understand how painful Mother’s Day is to the woman who longs for nothing more than to be a mother. There is so much encouragement that comes in knowing we are not forgotten, that we are not overlooked, that we are not an after thought.
Would you be that encouragement this year? That glimmer of light on an otherwise painful day? Here’s a few ideas:
1. Send a text. Something as simple as “I’m thinking of you today.” It’s a simple statement, but it silences that fear we have of being forgotten.
2. Send a card. Obviously not a Mother’s Day card, but something that reiterates the the fact that you’re thinking of, or praying for your infertile friend on Mother’s Day.
3. Send them a gift. Although infertile women aren’t frustrated by Mother’s Day because of the lack of gifts or flowers, sending a small gift will, without doubt, brighten their day. A small act of giving will encourage their hearts more than you can even imagine.
4. Spread awareness. It is so important for people to understand how painful Mother’s Day is for those who are unable to conceive, and for those who have lost a child (or their mother). Here are a few blog posts that I think are incredibly helpful in spreading awareness.
If you’re accepting this challenge, tell me what you plan to do to be an encouragement to your childless friends this Mother’s Day.