If I reach back to touch the dogeared image of who you were,
I forget to take pictures of who you are now with God.
I acknowledge I want you here today. Concrete.
Real. Healthy. Vibrant.
You are all those things with Him.
He is my promise, beyond the years of loss, that nothing
Heartache isn’t the end of my story.
So, I keep my eyes fixed on the horizon. Anticipate
God’s goodness in my pain.
And God shapes the sunrise of hope—without you.
Remember you beyond the grave.
Joy still comes. Joy comes!
I snap a fresh picture of you by living motherhood forward.
Make new memories, not despite missing who you were,
but because I live, remembering you
I could have stopped climbing motherhood, after you fell. Sat in the crag of grief and let death bury my scarred soul.
We were supposed to view this summit together. Your spirit strengthened and equipped, ready for the difficult ascents of adulthood. Teaching your siblings life is worth the climb.
You were my first heartbeat of adventure. My own fearful expanse of the impossible became a vibrant vista of God because you lived.
The struggles of life became another rock to conquer. And we did. I breathed joy more deeply because we grappled circumstances. Our pain revealed gems of truth—life to the fullest.
The muscles of motherhood burned when I first stretched out for the next handhold of hope after your death. The ache of loss—you lived—crumbled resolve beneath my feet.
Did I make a mistake in motherhood?
No, you grew in the rich valley of youth. Stumbled, yes, but you scrambled back up, eager to learn. I look back at your tiny fingers wrapped around mine as I swung you up and wiped your tears. Every struggle was worth it.
The foothills became treacherous mountains. Required sturdier equipment, a deeper trust, training, and faith without seeing. I watched you climb further away, testing footholds that would not sustain.
Was letting you go a mistake?
I wipe my dusty tears and jump to the next ledge of trust. I was never meant to make secure your every step. God you are faithful. Sturdier in grief, because I loved.
Did I fail motherhood?
So many missteps. I watched in agony as your grip on life loosened. Motherhood stretched and strained to breaking. I prayed. Pleaded. Don’t give up. God catch him! Your life was a sunrise worth experiencing.
Does motherhood end?
No, because love always remembers life. Your laughter echoes in the canyons of my sorrow, the memories of your beautiful, valuable, life stirs my warrior cry of joy.
Was it worth it?
I climb this mountain of motherhood—gut it out to the fullest because my scraped knees of prayer and bruised soul of faith testify life is sacred, come what may.
Motherhood is worth the climb, even if I see the vistas of heaven without you.
Turning Your Page
… but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
John 19:25-27, ESV
Motherhood tests every spiritual and physical muscle you have. Your children may be grateful. They may hate you. Keep a short account. Be humble to admit when you are wrong. Embrace, love and hold them when their hearts are broken by this life. Celebrate life.
Do your best to steward your children, but know their life is their own. Motherhood is worth every bump, bruise, and yes, sometimes even loss.
What is motherhood like for you right now? Be honest with any bitterness you feel. Record what you love about moments with your children.
Pray for your children by name. Stormie Omartian has books that guide scripture prayers over your children. These are an immense help and encouragement in spiritual battles.
Your children have an enemy and they need you to fight well. Equip yourselves and gather others to pray and support you.
Write a story, poem, or list out scriptures that describe motherhood.
Father, motherhood is a mixture of pain and joy, love, and sacrifice. Help me to value the good moments and let go of attempting to control the outcome for my children. May your love be enough. Amen
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
Turning My Page
I didn’t look at the calendar–I knew it was May from head to toe. Grief is a seed also planted every year into my spring. It is a heaviness that grows when May begins. This year, as it did the first year after his death, Jonathan’s birthday falls on Mother’s Day. With my foot still misbehaving and quarantine my yearly tradition of hiking at the cemetery with my family may have to change. I felt angry that something that brings me good memories and joy would have to shift. I was tempted to give in to the anger and spiral down into despair.
I received cards this week from friends who know the difficulties of walking through the next three months. Thank you. I was especially struck by the quote in one card, Deuteronomy 31:6 because the NLT translation used the word “personally”. I love a God who gets personal in my grief because he reveals the truth of his character in my soul and lifts my head to see hope.
Today, he showed me the gifts he already is giving me in my first days of deeper grief. Saturday night I lay in a field at dusk with my family and watched the stars emerge. I didn’t want to go in! The delight of each star, the brilliant moon, and even catching a glimpse of the comet and Venus had me filled with joy. The symphony of sounds in the field soothed my heartache.
Sunday morning I let my husband have fun cutting my hair. I promise, he did a shockingly good job, Michelle! Each moment of joy and laughter reminded and testified to God’s deep love, compassion, and provision, for me. There is an undercurrent of movement of the Holy Spirit I never see with my head down. I must press into experience.
God gently nudged me to look up. See hope in this season of grief, and offer it to those who neither hear the voice of God nor see anything beyond the darkness of their circumstances.
I am weeping for any of you who only see the darkness and right now are contemplating suicide. Hope! I see you turning this page, and then another, and another. One day you will look back on the story God is writing into your life and say, “Wow! I see the stars. I hear the music through the darkest nights.”
I know there is a vast world beyond my brokenness and sorrow because God himself, is involved in my life. I promise he is personally involved in your circumstances.
Turning Your Page
You will have seasons you wonder where God is in your circumstances. Look up, don’t stop experiencing life, and allow others to speak hope and truth into your life. You may not yet feel the hope in your grief, but as you make yourself available to hope, you will not be disappointed.
What is one adventure you would like to take this week? Set up a time, location, and invite someone to experience with you and or hold you accountable to step into the moment.
Describe a part of nature that reminds you to hope. Try to use as many senses as you can to describe the experience.
Meditate on Matthew 6:25-34 What in nature can you consider as a display of God’s extravagant love, provision, and personal touch in your life.
Thank you Lord for getting personal in my grief. Lift my head from this pit that I can once again see the stars in their place, hear your presence in my life. Amen
Come over to my Facebook Page for our Facebook Live Discussion and question and answer time on intense grief.
The rain fits me right now, I am cloudy. As May is on my doorstep, so is Mother’s Day and my son’s birthday. I have had such an amazing year, butÂ the heaviness of my heart is overwhelming today. So what do you do when pain and grief are so heavy they threaten to floodÂ your soul?
I look for the rainbows. Lord, even grief carries the seeds of your healing. May I grow stronger as I remember my child. Amen