When I look at this photo, I have so many emotions. Sunday is Mother’s Day, and for many of you, it won’t be a joyful day. It will hurt.
I understand. There is a story I’ve never shared publicly, and even though I haven’t posted in ages, I believe now is the time.
When I was 35 years old, my sister gave birth to her second daughter. I was overjoyed when she asked me to be in the delivery room with her. Witnessing the birth of my niece was one of the most special moments of my life. I ended up spending the night in the hospital with my sister that night (her husband was caring for their 18-month-old at home). I couldn’t sleep at all. Of course, there were nurses coming in and out all night long, and I was there to help my sister with her newborn daughter. But there was something else keeping me awake.
At the time, I was 35 years old and utterly single . . . not dating anyone. I felt a huge weight of despair lying on that uncomfortable couch/bed in the hospital room. I just knew I would never get to experience the joy of childbirth. I felt crushed because I realized the odds were stacked against me. I was 35 years old with a string of failed relationships. I desperately wanted to be a mother, but it seemed utterly impossible. I ached and cried and told God I didn’t understand him at all. I didn’t mention it to my sister, of course. It was her special time, and I was so happy for her. But I can still remember the depth of that silent pain.
What I couldn’t comprehend in that dark moment: We serve a God who is all about redemption.
What I didn’t know in that hospital room: God had a beautiful plan for me, more beautiful than I could ever imagine. About two years later, someone I knew from my childhood suddenly popped back into my life and eventually became my husband. God’s timing is perfect.
One week after my 40th birthday, I gave birth to our beautiful son. My sister took this photo of me and my precious baby boy. I could have never imagined the joy. God brings beauty from ashes.
If you’re struggling today, lean into God. I can’t tell you that your story will turn out exactly like mine. But I can tell you that God has written a beautiful story just for you.
I can tell you:
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37 (KJV)
God knows your pain. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
And finally, I can tell you that God brings beauty from ashes. These verses were the ones read at our wedding:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)
Happy Mother’s Day. Lean into him.
To read more about my single journey, check out my book Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman.