April 15, 2011

The Heart of a Mother

I have found myself sitting across the table from women who have stories of deep pain, profound grief, and uncertain outcomes.

I have a friend who recently shared with me that she had an abortion a while back. Her story is messy and complicated (most are) but her pain is pretty straight-forward. She is grieving a decision she made at a really scary time in her life. She was so afraid to tell me about her story because she wondered how I would feel about her. I told her it made me love her even more.

I grieve with her because she has the heart of a mother who does not have her baby with her and wishes she had made a different choice.

I have a new friend who struggled with infertility for years. She took all the drugs, did all the tests, and saw all the doctors. But despite all that, she could not have a baby. Then she lost her husband. And just like that, her dreams of a family were gone. Sure, she may remarry one day and have a family by other means, but from where she is standing now, that seems far and not likely.

I grieve with her because she has the heart of a mother who wonders if she will ever have a child of her own.

I have two friends who lost their sons at full-term. Oh, they grieved something fierce and wild. Today, one of these friends has a second son and the other friend is nearing the half-way point in her pregnancy. And they are happy and we rejoice with them. But still, they will always have an empty spot at the table and they grieve the loss of their babies- there is no replacing those dear sons of theirs.

And I grieve with them because they have the heart of a mother who’s life has known deep sorrow and great joy all at once.

I met with a young girl who found herself unexpectedly pregnant. Her story plays out a bit like Romeo and Juliet only there is a baby involved. The family that does know about her baby wants her to have an abortion- they tell her that if she just gets rid of “it” that her life will be better and easier. But she knows the truth and she is going to keep this baby. She is choosing life. It won’t be easy- some of the best things in life worth fighting for never are- and she is scared. She wonders how anything good could from having a baby outside of marriage with the disapproval of her family, but I tell her that GOD has this. This baby is not a curse or punishment, but rather a gift from HIM that HE has entrusted to her.

I will walk with her because she has the heart of a mother who is choosing to give life despite what lies before her. And I want to be there- I want to see how GOD ushers life into this girl’s heart and womb.

As for me, I have the heart of a mother and I am thankful to have three babies to call my own. They are with JESUS and HE gets to hold them before I do. I was there when HE ushered them into my life and I was there when HE took them into HIS glory. As a mother, I will always be grateful for that.


Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I want to encourage you to do something small for someone you know that has lost a child in any way; that has a heart of a mother but no children to call her own; or is pregnant in less than ideal circumstances and needs to be encouraged.

Send her a note- something she can touch and feel and read when she is having a hard day. Giver her a flower. Take her out for tea and listen to her heart. Please do something to acknowledge her pain and feelings of loss or fear on what can be a very sad day.