If Your Heart Hurts this Mother’s Day {a few things I’d say if we could do coffee}


I awake early to sit here and wait in the predawn quiet, my littles still snug in their beds, and a hundred or so passions burning all at once in my soul.

And out of those hundred burning thoughts, this rises to the surface — this aching that comes with the approaching of Mother’s Day. It’s an aching over my own losses, yes — but even more, an acute awareness that for many, this day holds more pain than joy.

So to those who just wince a little inside, and to those who want to completely run and hide as this weekend approaches — to you whose aching heart feels sidestepped, avoided, overshadowed as Mother’s Day draws near–

I so wish I could sit one-on-one with you over coffee in the next few days. I wish I could ask questions and hear your heart’s journey and hold your story with quiet understanding.

Because I want you to know — I see you. I’m not afraid of the depth of your heart’s ache. And I hold you in my heart before the Lord.

You, my friend who parents alone. Day in and day out, cooking meals and working a job and wiping noses and folding mountains of little people clothes, falling into bed exhausted beyond words. Then you wake up Monday morning, and face the grind all over again. And you wonder if anyone sees how your heart bleeds this tired loneliness. How you cry to Jesus for grace, for strength to keep going. Please know — I see you. My heart cries with you. You are not forgotten.

You, my sweet friend whose mom passed away when you were a child. Or when you were 20. Or when you were 50. How old you were doesn’t matter as much as the fact that when you long to dial her number and ask about a recipe, or about parenting, or about a story from your childhood that you can’t quite remember fully, she isn’t there to answer. Part of our childhood dies when we lose our mom. Part of our childhood, and a lot of our right now. Your loss sits heavy in my chest in these days.

You, my friend whose relationship with your mom is broken. The communication is strained if it happens at all and you wonder if the pain wouldn’t be more bearable if there had actually been a death —  instead of this long, excruciating dying of your connection. Of a piece of your soul. Know that I sit with you, mourn with you.

You, my friend whose womb aches empty. Whose desire to birth babies and shape lives has been long delayed. You who have been medically unable to bear children, or whose circumstances for whatever reason have not allowed the fulfillment of that God-given dream. Because the dream to mother is God-given, and when the desires He places within us go long unfulfilled, the throbbing ache can make our hearts sick. I see your pain, connect with it deep in my gut. 

You, my friend whose road to adoption has been longer than you imagined. You who’ve spent long months and years agonizing through prayer and mountains of invasive paperwork, but the distance between you and your child seems no shorter now than at the beginning. The calender pages turn, and turn, and turn again. Maybe hopes have been raised only to be dashed, or “the call” has never come at all. Regardless, the questions loom ever larger in your heart. I’m leaning into those questions with you. Leaning into His heart with you. Sitting with you in the silence.

You, my friend who found yourself unexpectedly bearing life in your womb 6 months ago or a decade ago or 30 years ago — and the fear and questions landed you right in the abortionist’s office. The new life was snuffed out and even though they told you it was just a cluster of cells, something in your gut knew better. Knows better. And you weep, even still, in the middle of the night, because the guilt weighs heavy. I am weeping with you. And I want to whisper it straight to your heart this Mother’s DayForgiveness can lift that crushing weight. 

You, my friend who knows the gut-wrenching bittersweetness of “He gives and takes away.” You who’s been gifted a child and poured out every ounce of your soul, your life, your sleep in love for him or her, only to pour it out all over again in grief. Whether loss struck in the womb, or further down the road, you carry that empty, love-carved cavern in your soul. And some days you have to just breathe your way through each hour, just to keep functioning, just to make it through this one task. To the next. To the next. In my heart, I am holding your hand. Breathing through the grief alongside you.

You, my sweet friend who made one of the most terrifyingly courageous choices imaginable — you birthed your baby… and then entrusted the precious life that had grown within you to an adoptive family. You wrestled, agonized, faced the unfathomably brave realization that your personal resources were less than what you desired for your child. Yet daily, hourly, you carry the ache of that baby’s absence from your everyday life. Your selfless love has personally, profoundly impacted my life, and there’s this debt of gratitude to you that I can’t repay or fully express in words. I carry you close in my heart this week. I honor the selfless extravagance of your mama heart. The beauty of your love.


All of you. I do see you. Your Father sees you. Carries your pain in His heart, collects your precious tears, and weeps over your heart’s groaning. Over the loss. Over the longings unfulfilled.

And if in all things He is working for our good, for all of our good, and if deeply knowing His heart is that ultimate good, then this would be my blessing for you in this Mother’s Day season:

May you respond to His invitation to intimately encounter Love in the midst of the pain.

May it be a prayer, pulsing in your depths as you hold your raw places open before Him — Christ, form yourself in me, right here. Encounter me in this gaping wound, in all these questions with no answers. Press your scars over my own, wrap my heart in yours, and make your affection tangible to me now.

And may Jesus deeply meet you in that heart cry. May you hear His whisper today that He has not cast you aside, but drawn you close to His heart.

You are seen.

You are valued.

You are loved.

You are held.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

-Psalm 34:18

P.S. As always, please feel free to share if you have friends or loved ones who might be touched by these words. I so value your presence here, friends.

{from the archives}

This entry was posted in adoption, Celebrations, Grief and Loss, misc. walking with Jesus, Parenting, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to If Your Heart Hurts this Mother’s Day {a few things I’d say if we could do coffee}

  1. Alainna Shannon says:

    Dana, thank you so much for this post!! It really touched my heart.
    As a daughter who misses her mom, a mom who misses her child, and a mom who is blessed to be raising her daughter-thank you!
    “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”(Romans 8:28 NIV)

  2. ~Karrilee~ says:

    Amazing… this. You. More importantly, Him!

    Love you, friend!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…GRATEFUL – Five Minute FridayMy Profile

  3. Thanks for recognizing broken relationships with moms…that’s where I’ve been this year and last. It makes me feel very guilty and awkward on Mother’s Day. I so appreciate you reaching out to EVERY woman with this post.
    Aprille @beautifulinhistime.com recently posted…A girl and her jeansMy Profile

  4. Jolene says:

    This is beautiful and so very encouraging. I love reading the words from your heart poured out onto paper. I hope that you have a lovely day.

    • danalynnb says:

      Jolene! I somehow JUST realized I didn’t reply to your comment here. So sorry! I always love find your thoughts in my space, friend. You bless me. Thank you for this.

  5. Dana, you wrote this with such heart. Mothers Day has come and gone again this year and I didn’t share what I wrote – Mothers Day is complicated for me. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all the joy and ache. But reading your words, weeks after the fact, have helped, I’m grateful. Been meaning to stop by and show you some blog love. Glad I did it today. Glad He chose this post.

    • danalynnb says:

      I feel you so much, Lisha, on the complicatedness of it. SO much. I’m really glad my words helped your heart a bit. This was a really vulnerable post for me, somehow. And struggled not to feel silly writing it because -hello- how many Mother’s Day posts fly around out there every year? I mean, thousands. A TON. But I couldn’t NOT write it and the Lord really blessed it and used it to reach more hearts than I expected. Anyway… so, so blessed by your presence in my space, friend. You are a treasure.

  6. Melissa says:

    Thank you for this post! My Facebook is full of people who have lost their mother, and my heart breaks for them, but even though my mother is very much alive, we don’t have a mother/daughter relationship. It’s hard for me to be very sentimental about this holiday.
    Melissa recently posted…Young Living Diffuser Recipes On A BudgetMy Profile

  7. Tara says:

    Thank You sweet friend! “It is a God given desire.” Oh how I needed to hear those words especially when I ache to be a mom so deeply. The tears may not fall or may fall silently but there are more days than I care to admit that they are there. Your words were a gift to me tonight friend!!

  8. Dawn says:

    You have a gift of encouragement, Dana. Your psalmist heart follows cloaely after His; it is beautiful. It is His grace to be seen, heard, loved, touched. Your words connect hearts to His newly spent mercies and there is joy in that. Thank you!
    Dawn recently posted…Mercy’s Veil of GraceMy Profile

  9. Just reading this now, beautiful. Wow. You really walked through so many places — either in your own life or in your compassionate imagination or both – to arrive at these sacred prayers and blessings. You’ve affirmed so many and said so much that needs said. I love how you see, feel and share Jesus.
    Ashley Larkin @ Draw Near recently posted…On full circles and twin rocksMy Profile

  10. Tara says:

    These words still continue to be a gift to me dear friend. THIS: “Because I want you to know — I see you. I’m not afraid of the depth of your heart’s ache. And I hold you in my heart before the Lord.” Thank You!
    Tara recently posted…Let’s Not Miss Out!My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge