When I was growing up, we had this Pastor who was a bundle of life in a small package. Pastor Weaver was always quick with a smile, and had this peace about him that no one could match. One of the things I loved most about him was that any time he spoke to our congregation he started with a simple greeting: Shalom. I love this Hebrew word. Simply translated, it means “peace”, but it’s meaning goes far beyond that one word. In the Hebrew language, words often convey multiple meanings that emphasize not only the vocabulary but also an emotion or feeling, and shalom is no different. Sure it can be simple hello or goodbye, but it also encompasses a feeling of contentment, wholeness and completion. It isn’t jus the feeling of peace, it is fully being at peace in your heart, your soul and your mind that can only come from the Prince of Peace.
For so many of us, shalom is not something we associate with Mother’s Day.Here’s the thing about Mother’s Day-people often don’t realize how incredibly devastating it can be. We see the flowers and the cards, Hallmark makes a bundle and all the restaurants in town rake it in on their Mother’s Day brunch. The cable stations play non-stop movies about the joys of motherhood, and the jewelry stores have an add on every station. And what’s not to love? Mothers are some of the hardest working people out there, from son up to son down and every second in between.
But when you’re not a mom, and your only wish in life is to be one-Mother’s Day is the worst holiday of the year. It beats out all the Christmas firsts and Thanksgiving celebrations. It highlights exactly what you so desperately want and can’t have. What makes it worse is that we are often the silent sufferers. Us girls don’t typically shout our infertility or our loss from the rooftop, and as a result, people don’t know what we’re dealing with. So the comments, the lack of understanding, it all just digs the wound deeper. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
This year, as you get ready to celebrate your mom, or the mothers in your life, show some compassion to those who so desperately would trade you places. Give an extra hug to the girl across the pew who is misty eyed at the toddler in the front row. Send an “I’m thinking of you” card to your sister or girlfriend who may have commented that they are trying to get pregnant. Pray for a cure for this monster, and pray for peace for the women who have lost children, or never held the desire of their hearts in their arms.
And if you, like me, have never held your sleeping infant, or have gone through the unimaginable pain of losing a child, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Shalom, dear sister, shalom.