Dearest Grieving Daughter,
I am writing you this letter on the Eve of my 7th Mother’s Day without my mother, and my 14th Mother’s Day, married, without a child. And this is the first year in the past 7 that I am approaching Mother’s Day doing “just fine.” I have been doing SO fine, in fact, that I have been surprised. Leading up to this weekend, I have been checking myself regularly, and giving myself space to feel the weight of emotions that I typically have learned to expect and make space for during this time of year, but I haven’t been able to find my usual sorrowful outpouring of silent, private tears, nor can I find my usual “May” visitors, PAIN, SHAME, and DEFEAT. I don’t share that with you to boast of myself or my own strength. I don’t share it as a badge of honor, to say, “Look at me,” no, I decided to begin this letter sharing this with you because I am a testimony of what God will do for His Daughters who find themselves in the throes of sorrow.
As I searched for Tears, Pain, Shame, and Defeat, I found instead, a burden on my heart for you, God’s Grieving Daughters. Women who have come to dread this time of year completely. Women who don’t feel like there is much to “celebrate” this weekend. So I wanted to write you a letter to tell you that you are not forgotten, and to assure you that there is indeed hope on the other side of your pain. I want to be very clear, this letter is not only intended for women who have lost a mother to death. I am also writing to women who have had to live with the pain of barrenness, women whose mothers are alive, but they are estranged from them, women who have buried children, or lost them to the judicial system in the form of incarceration, and women who are raising their children to the best of their ability, yet, they still feel inadequate and unfit to carry the title “Mother.” And though they will be acknowledged tomorrow, inside they feel undeserving. If you can relate to any of this, I have written this letter for you.
As I said before, I am a woman who has been married for over 14 years, who deeply desires to become a mother, but I am not. I am also a woman who unexpectedly lost her mother, her best friend, over 7 years ago. I am a “Grieving Daughter,” and I truly believe I have come through all of the stages of grief, and I am now in the “Acceptance” stage. This is the first year that I don’t feel angry or cheated for not having my mother, or for not being a mother. And I NEVER thought that I would be able to say that without, at least, having a child of my own to validate Mother’s Day for me, but because of God’s grace, I can, and I am thankful. I can only attribute my present state to the peace that Paul spoke about in Philippians 4:7,
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It’s Peace. God’s Peace, inexplicable, illogical, radical Peace. Because unlike the past 6 Mother’s Days, this year, I have learned the value of surrender, and now I truly trust God with the rhythms and the pace of my Life. And this peace doesn’t make me miss my mother any less, and it does not quench my desire to become a mother. What it does do is give me courage to trust God’s Goodness and Rest in His Timing.
There are 3 lessons that I want to share with you that I’ve learned over the course of my journey that I hope will encourage you , and cause your hope to be reignited. My hope is that you will believe that there are brighter days ahead of you too.
1). God Cares About Your Pain
One of the most difficult parts of my journey was the internal battle that I had with being disappointed with myself for grieving. I felt like because I am a Follower of Christ, and I know that God is Good, it was wrong for me to have any measure of sadness. I felt that God was disappointed in me for having questions and battling with depression. I was wrong.
Accordingly to Psalm 56:8, God keeps track of our sorrow and our tears. If our tears and sorrow were in some way disappointing to God, why would He keep track of them. If He did not care about our pain, wouldn’t He would just disregard those emotions, and wait until we “Got over it” to love us again. BUT HE DOES NOT! Instead, He wants to be welcomed into our pain. Yes, He wants you to trust Him with your pain, instead of you trying to battle it on your own.
I was pissed about my mother’s death! I was so angry with God, that I tried to move as far from Him as I possibly could. Because I was afraid to tell Him that I was angry, my pain intensified. About 6-9 months after my mother’s death, I sat alone in my bedroom, and I found the courage to voice my emotions to God.
I told Him that I was angry, and I did not know how not to be. I told Him I did not like the person I was becoming without Him. And for the first time in months, I asked Him to help me.
In that moment, I experienced the TRUTH of these words,
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18).
God swooped in so quickly to love on me, that I was overwhelmed by His immediate response to my request, especially after I had been silent toward Him for so long. He demonstrated to me, that He had NEVER LEFT ME, even though I had pulled away! While that was not the end of my toughest days in my grief journey, that moment taught me that God wanted to be with me in my lowest moments, and that I could trust Him with my pain.
I want you to know that you can too. I promise you it doesn’t matter how low you are, God wants to be with you there. There is absolutely nothing that can separate us from His Love, not our distance, not our unbelief, not our fear….. NOTHING.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
2). God Is Not Bothered By Your Questions
God can handle all of your questions because He is confident in who He is. People will get uncomfortable when you ask, “Why,” God will not. He loves the sound of your voice, He wants to hear your voice, even when you have questions. So ask Him.
I had so many questions, and I felt disrespectful toward God for having questions. To be clear, my questions were never meant to challenge His authority, I just wanted to understand. I wish I could tell you that God answered all of my questions. To date, He has not. I have learned that God is not bothered by my questions, but He is also not obligated to answer all of them either.
This is where trusting God comes into play. Every question I have, I ask God because He welcomes me to do so. However, I ask God having already settled the reality of my trust in His Goodness! I know that His goodness is not contingent on my understanding, but my Peace of Mind comes from the reality of His Goodness. HE IS GOOD. He cannot be any other way, so I filter all of my concerns and questions through that lens. And even though I have not gotten all of my questions answered, there is freedom in knowing I CAN ask. There is power in knowing I am forever welcomed to.
Questions are like burdens because they are barriers that get in the way of our ability to trust God completely. Questions that have not been given over to God become intense worry, and Proverbs 12:25 (NIV) says,
“Worry weighs down the heart.”
So the best thing you can do with your questions is give them to God, trust Him with every single one. Leave them with Him, and allow Him to care for you! (I Peter 5:7). I have found the most courage in constantly remembering , that God will not withhold anything good from me (Psalm 84:11), so the things that I need to know for His good purpose in my life, He will tell me. I trust Him when He reveals, and when He conceals. I invite you to do the same.
3). God Is Not Done With You
There were so many moments when I could not imagine my life beyond my grief. Some days I did not think I was strong enough to endure. I hated the weak person I was becoming, and much of the time when I was in the lowest points of my grief, I did not feel useful for anyone or anything. I felt lost, like I was mentally wandering around in circles, unable to see my way out, just journeying from bad to worst.
From the time I invited God into my grief, I began to understand Paul’s testimony when he said,
Each time [God] said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
My weakness became a platform for God to demonstrate the supernatural power of His strength through me. He kept showing Himself strong, and the more I sensed His Grace, the more I knew I was going to be ok. The more “Ok” I felt, the more, I believed that there was still Purpose left in me, and dreams that I had forgotten about, started to awaken again. And surprisingly, I had the courage to put action to those dreams. Sharing my writing publicly, and founding the women’s community, Kingdom Daughters United are a couple of things that were byproducts of God’s grace in my life during this journey.
I want you to know that your story is not over. There is so much Purpose left in You. Your presence in the earth is evidence that there is so much more in you. I want you to know that God loves you, He has not forgotten you, and He has promised that He would continue to perfect His work in you until Jesus returns.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
I trust God with your heart. I want to encourage you to be patient with your journey through grief. Trust God with every part of your process because He is working, even when you don’t know it. You have no idea how God will use you, but I am confident that He will because I know He is not wasteful. He will use it all. Right now, believe or not, He is orchestrating something beautiful with your story.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory (Isaiah 61:2-3).
Whichever category you may identify with as a “Grieving Daughter,” I want you to know that you are not meant to go through your grief alone. We were created for community, and when we deny ourselves community by isolating ourselves, we shut off a method that God utilizes for our healing. If you are in need of Christian Community, Kingdom Daughters United is a community of loving, Christian women, who you are welcomed to connect with. We would love to support you, so please CONTACT ME.
I love you, I am praying for you this weekend and beyond.
Sincerely, with Love,
I would also like to invite you to read the first public written piece on my grief in the loss of my mother, it played a huge part in propelling me forward in my healing, Motherless On Mother’s Day<<<<<<<<<
song is so powerful and encouraging. Enjoy!