I thought I could avoid it. Really, I did. I don’t know why, but I did. Turns out, I was wrong. I thought that maybe, just maybe, if I didn’t post anything, or do what we usually do, or make a big deal, I could trick my heart into thinking that it wouldn’t feel as much pain this year. And honestly, I thought I had pulled it off. Mother’s Day came and went. We did enough. Went to church, bought lunch so I didn’t have to make it, Blake and the kids surprised me with gifts, grilled out for dinner, and I even got to plant my flower bed.It was a nice day! I went the whole day feeling like I didn’t really feel a lot, which I thought was a good thing.
In case you need caught up, because of the loss of our three baby boys, Mother’s Day is one of the hardest days of the year for me. Every. Single. Year. It’s always a mixed bag of emotions. Joy and grief simultaneous. And so, this year I decided that the pain was too much and I just didn’t want to feel it. Every time I felt the pain creeping in, I would push it back down and ignore it. Every time I was tempted to feel sad, I would shake my head “no” and distract myself with something else. It was all a big charade, this fooling myself. All over facebook and instagram I saw people making posts about how Mother’s Day can be so hard and how nobody is alone and they’re sending out love and prayers. It’s something I usually do too. I thought about doing it yesterday, but something inside me just said, “Nope, not this year. I don’t want to open myself up this time. It hurts too bad. Nobody will miss it anyway.”
Yet, here I am. Only one day after Mother’s Day. Because guess what? I took one look at my blooming hydrangea plant and it all caught up to me. The pain from Judah’s birthday. The burden of the twins’ upcoming due date. And Mother’s Day. It all hit me smack in the face and there was no denying it anymore. I stood out there in my yard, watering my freshly planted flowers, Fletcher on my hip, weeping. I. Could not. Escape. My grief. This side of glory, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I never will. And I’m trying to accept that that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My grief is what makes me relatable. It’s what helps me see the pain in others. It’s what makes me a better, more grateful mom. It’s what gets me running full force into the arms of Jesus. It’s also what helps to make me look more like Him.
Oh dear friends, this road is anything but easy. In fact, it’s hard as hell. It’s brutal, and soul crushing,and heart wrenching. It’s painful, it’s unfair. And just. Plain. Hard. But can I tell you one thing it’s not? It isn’t hopeless. Of course there are moments, even days that it feels that way. But that feeling never stays. No. Jesus doesn’t let it. And even on the nights when I’m afraid of a new day, it still comes. And with it, new promises, fresh hope, and the ever-loving arms of Jesus. I still cry, and feel sad, and ache so badly to hold those boys in my arms. And that’s ok, good even. That’s the way God intended it to be. But I don’t ever have to lose hope.
Are you hurting today, dear one? Is the weight of death, or grief, or even life, hanging over your head? Me too. All of it. I feel it hard. Even now, as I sit here at this desk typing these words, I have tears falling down my face. I. Feel. It. Hard. And as much as I was trying to avoid it this year, I’m ok with it now. It doesn’t feel good, allowing my heart to actually feel the pain I’m trying to hide, but it’s necessary. It’s part of the healing. I’m trying to embrace it and let the walls I’ve built up around myself fall. I have so far to go on this journey of healing. I don’t know what it all will look like. It’s unsettling for me to not be in control. But I know that I’m going to be ok, because I know that my God is Good. I’m not alone. I never will be. And while I will never have a Mother’s Day that isn’t shrouded in pain, I have much to be grateful for.
I guess I need to get used to this whole “joy and grief” simultaneous thing, because it goes far beyond Mother’s Day, and into every single day of my life. I invite you to join me on my journey, because even though our circumstances may be different, we need each other. We need someone beside us to breathelife into us when we feel like we’re suffocating. We need someone to help us stand when we feel too broken to hold ourselves up. We need someone to help us see when our eyes are too blurred by tears. We need someone to take our hand when we seem to have forgotten our way. We need each other. And I’m so glad God intended it that way.