Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Joy and Pain of Motherhood

Motherhood. I became a mother for the first time 24 years ago today. I don't know of any one thing in life that could have such potential both for immense joy and devastating pain. When we become mothers, we open ourselves up to the most wondrous joy possible in this life. Giving birth and seeing that miracle of new life occur right before our eyes is amazing. There is nothing like it. Watching our children grow and learn and discover is a truly wonderful experience.

But when we become mothers, we also open ourselves up to the potential for the most heart crushing pain I've ever imagined. Nothing hurts more than seeing your child hurt--helplessly standing by as they struggle to navigate life's twists and turns. Nothing hurts more--except maybe seeing them die.

Today I'm going to the funeral of a 24-year-old boy who could not bear life's twists and turns any longer. His mother and father will stand bravely greeting an almost endless line of well-wishers. Then they will go home to figure out this "new normal" that will be their daily lives. The well-wishers will go back to their lives and routines as usual, but this family's lives will never be the same.

This mother's life will never be the same. She will be asking God all the most difficult questions. Not just "Why," but also, "Why couldn't You have intervened?" "How could this possibly be Your will?" "How could anything positive ever come from such a tragedy?" "Where did I do wrong?" And most of all, "Are you really in control? Do You really care?"

And God will answer. There is no answer that will completely heal this mother's pain. She will have to do the hard work of feeling every excruciating ounce of the pain while allowing God to do major surgery on her heart. Only then will she be able to experience the healing that God's holy scalpel can bring. It is not a quick-fix, pain-free process. But it is a healing process. She will never "get over" her grief, but she will come out a changed person if she allows God to do His refining work.

Father, I pray for this family that is experiencing the deepest pain I have ever known. Thank You for Your faithfulness to comfort them. Thank You for Your people who will be there to comfort them--to help them remember their son--and to assure them that he will never be forgotten--that his life was not in vain--that You will bring something beautiful from this terrible tragedy. Amen.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!