Good News for Hurting Moms

Good News for Hurting “It is with great pleasure and joy, that it is hereby declared, that you are the best mom in the whole entire history of the world. Happy Mother’s Day!” This is an extreme example of a Mother’s Day card gone terribly wrong. However, it is one of thousands of cards speaking to moms everywhere and assuring them they are the best. Peruse the drugstore and read the glowing and flattering phrases; “Thank you Mom, you are the best! You add love to everything you do! You are the greatest mom! You are unselfish, patient and gentle!” I am thankful for the sentiment and I believe it is sincere. I just do not believe it is true. Me? The best mom? Gentle? Unselfish? I do not have kids at home anymore, but when I did, I can tell you I never felt all that gentle or patient.

Struggling moms
The truth is that countless cards are given to moms who know they fall short of the sentiment written inside. They know their struggles and their pain; they live with the guilt and regret. This may be you and you ask yourself, “How could those words possibly describe the person I know I am?” We are moms, and many days we feel crushed by pressures, regrets, guilt and circumstances. You may be a…

Mom in the hospital delivering her first…or fifth child.

Mom who has a week old baby at home and is struggling to figure it all out.

Mom raising three little ones – all still in diapers.

Mom putting her special needs child on the bus.

Sngle mom working the night shift to make ends meet.

Mom who is cutting herself just
hoping it will make the pain of life go away.

Mom struggling to make it though each day.
Mom desperate and on her knees for the life of her child.

Mom despairing in the midst of teenage rebellion and anger.

Mom doubting faith and God.

Mom battling alcohol abuse .

Mom who feels isolated and alone.

Working mom trying to keep it all
together as everything seems to be falling apart.

Mom whose child just left for college.

Mom battling an addiction and caught in an endless cycle of guilt and shame.

Mom agonizing over the loss of a child and crushed under the weight of regret.

Mom in the midst of divorce
proceedings, fearful of the impact to her children.

Mom barely able to get out bed.

Moms feeling stressed and busy,
fragmented and failing.

Mom living on the street with her children trying, to find food for the day.

Mom feeling completely alone with no one to turn to.

Stepmom despairing and feeling like an outsider in her own home.

Mom who had to say goodbye to her baby through adoption and has never had contact since.

Mom whose children have turned away from her and remain distant.
mom who has lost all contact with her children and has no idea where they are.

Mom praying and pleading with God for the child addicted to drugs.

The broken hearted
For all of you feeling frantic and faltering in your failings know this. God is near to the broken hearted. He is with you. You are not alone. I know it is hard. I know you hurt and it seems overwhelming and confusing. God is with us, and he will see us through. God’s promises are sterile to the cleaned-up, all-together moms. However, for the beat up and hurting, God’s promises are brilliant. They are dewdrops on your desperation. You see, the promises of God do not wait for your recovery. They are in your disaster, they are in the midst of your dishevelment. God’s promise that he is with you gives you courage as you cry. His promise that he will never leave you or forsake you gives you faith as you falter. God’s promise to deliver beckons you to depend on him even in your despair. His newness of life comes to you in the midst of your listlessness. He loves you in your languishing. He is healer in the midst of your hurting and he sends help as you hang on in hopelessness.

Your comfort
Scripture gives specific examples of consolation for discouraged strugglers. In Exodus, the people could not listen to God because of their despondency amid cruel bondage. “So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery” (Exodus 6:9). They were enslaved; they were harassed and broken down. They were short on hope and long on despair. They were discouraged. Does that describe you? Are you too tired to even listen anymore? Then you are in good company. Do you know the rest of that story? The Lord kept acting to redeem them anyway, and by Exodus chapter 15 they had seen God act and heard his promises of rescue. They were filled with joy. “Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD…The LORD is my strength and my song” (Exodus” 15:1-2).

Encourage one another
The days are long and the nights longer still. This Mother’s Day, the apostle Paul’s urging makes more sense than an exaggerated Mother’s Day sentiment. Paul urged the brothers and sisters at Thessalonica to, “…encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all,” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). The late author and pastor Brennan Manning encourages our hearts in his compelling book, The Ragamuffin Gospel. He writes: “Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last ‘trick’, whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school. ‘But how?’ we ask. Then the voice says, ‘They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ There they are. There *we* are – the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to faith. My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.”

Christ and his righteousness
Christ’s robe of righteousness covers you. It is expansive and enveloping, covering all guilt and despair. It is healing, soothing, comforting, and embracing. It is perfect, flawless, sparkling, and bright. It is all-loving, all-powerful, and all-forgiving. It is the warmth you can wrap yourself up in when the cold cruel world howls. It is the shelter over you when life breaks apart. It is the only refuge and safe house – the temple of God, the cleft of the rock.

Lay your weary head on your pillow and rest. Yes, the storms of this life are beating down, but you can count on this truth in the midst of it all. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Lori Harding is the Director of Care Ministries and Women’s Support at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, as well as a small group leader and Bible study teacher. Email Lori [email protected]

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