Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My First Mother's Day

Sunday was my first Mother's Day to celebrate.

I feel like I've been a mother before this year, of course, but this was my first one with a baby in my arms. In previous years I had the heart of a mother, but I'd never been able to hold my babies, see their faces, or even know their names. Unfortunately, no one really recognizes you as a mother in that case, besides maybe a few caring family members and special, sensitive friends.

I think it will always be a day of mixed feelings. I can't erase all the years of hurt that I used to feel on that day, but I will rejoice for the child that I've been given. I'll always miss the six little ones who aren't here, and I'll always feel a heaviness in my heart for all of my precious friends who will be hurting and grieving and dreading the day.

For a long time I didn't know whether I'd ever be on the other side of recurrent miscarriage, but I did know that if it ever did happen to me, I wouldn't care about feeling honored or celebrated on Mother's Day. For me, the gift was my daughter, my miracle, my answered prayer, and my healing heart. It wasn't a day about me; it was a day about the power of my God. Although it was a long and rocky road to get there, He finally brought the two of us together in His own time and His own way. Sometimes I didn't wait patiently. Sometimes I felt angry, confused, bitter, and hopeless. But God mercifully made a way for a baby to grow in my womb, and that's what I celebrated on Mother's Day.

I wanted to have a simple, sweet day with my husband and daughter, and that's exactly what it was. It was a beautiful day here in Texas, and although I specifically told my husband that I didn't expect gifts, flowers, etc., he did all of that anyway (which is true to form). It was really, really special. After a sweet morning at home just the three of us, we went to church in a nearby town where we'd been invited to watch my dear friend's daughter perform in a play. It wasn't a Mother's Day service at all, but the pastor did recognize the occasion briefly during the welcome. I was touched that, on my first time in church on Mother's Day in probably 5 or 6 years, this particular pastor made a point to pay tribute to all women present. He had the men and children come forward to take a flower and hand it out to mothers, grandmothers, aunts, teachers, or any other women who had impacted their lives, and I thought that it was done just right. It was a far cry from some of the really isolating, lonely Mother's Day church services that I'd experienced in the past. I'm sure it may be true that my heart is different now, but I genuinely felt that it was the kind of moment that would have left most women in just about any circumstance or stage of life feeling pretty appreciated and special. It was great.

We had lunch with our friends afterward (I was so proud that Lily again sat so well through the entire service!) and returned home to a fun afternoon of ice cream and a walk in the park. It was a perfect and lovely day.

Of course I did miss not being with my own mom on that day. We knew after being there for the past two weekends that we wouldn't be together for Mother's Day, but my mom was able to spend the day with her mother, who hasn't been doing well lately. And my sweet mom sent me a precious card that touched my heart so much. I wanted to share with you what she wrote that brought tears to my eyes when I read it.


It is with great awe of our heavenly Father that I am able to send you this card. Years ago I found this card... I kept this waiting and praying for God to give you a miracle and the desire of your broken heart. Oh, what a beautiful blessing He gave to all of us... our sweet, precious, and beautiful Lily Rae!

You are the wonderful mother I always knew that you'd be. Cherish each minute, because they grow so fast. My heart just overflows with love every time I see her. Enjoy your first Mother's Day, and to God be all the glory!

I love you,

To God be the glory!
Amen, Mom. Amen.

Mother's Day 2011, My Longing Fulfilled


Amazing Life said...

I love your mom's words!

This is a beautiful reflection.

Amy said...

And THIS is the post that we've all been waiting for! We know you were a Mama many years ago, but to actually hold her in your arms...awesome. And now you learn, Mother's Day is not the day to say "Oh, you don't need to do anything special." Do it BIG, girly! You've earned it!

Deni said...

Your mother's words could NOT be truer! How beautiful!!! Love that big Lily smile!!

Anonymous said...

so glad to hear you had such a wonderful first MOthers day!

Lisa said...

Thanks for your comment over on my blog and Happy late Mother's Day to you! And your little girl is adorable!

Jo said...

Congratulations Stacey on not your first Mother's day, as you are a mummy of 6 special babies in heaven, but on the first one that little Lily has been here to share with you. I am glad you had a lovely day and was thinking of you. Lots of Love and thanks for your continued friendship xoxo

Indy said...

Stacey this is beautiful! My eyes watered reading your mother's words.

It is beautiful to see that the gift God has given you, your daughter has never taken first still recognize that He is the giver of every good and perfect gift and never cease to remember what it is to be on the other end.

May the Lord continue blessing you as you minister to many.

Happy belated Mother's Day!

Anonymous said...

Your mom and hubby are wonderful! Happy Mother's Day to us! :)