My First-First Mother's Day

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Complex. Complicated. Confusing. That is grief. Emotions ebb and flow, feelings change, thoughts are hard to communicate. Grief is hard to manage on its own, but becomes increasingly difficult when you throw life on top of it. More responsibilities, more obligations, more stress, and more joy. Life continues to move forward when grief stands still. When these two are mixed together, life can be absolutely overwhelming at times. At that moment, a choice must be made, “What will I choose to focus on?”

Proverbs 17:22 ”A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up bones.”

Mother’s Day was no exception. It was the first with my son Derek, and without my daughter, Claire. It is unnatural that these two events should exist together. Needless to say it was a difficult Sunday as we have passed the one year anniversary of her relapse and approach the one year anniversary of her departure from this world. Emotions were plentiful, memories were surfacing, and a choice was made. I decided to spend my day thanking the Lord for the blessings in my life, the promises in scripture, the joy of motherhood, and everything in between.

1 Tim 2:15 “Yet she will be saved through childbearing-if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.”

I am so thankful the Lord blessed us with Derek. He has truly helped to save me from myself. There are many interpretations of the verse above, and it holds a lot of meaning for me. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through motherhood has been self-sacrifice. From the moment of conception, a woman’s body is changing, preparing, and adapting to care for and protect this new life. Meeting the needs of my child becomes top priority; therefore, saving me from my own selfishness. Thinking about his well-being prevents me from becoming trapped in my own thoughts. Providing for his needs keeps me from sitting around stuck in a life I don’t recognize. Enjoying the presence of my son keeps my heart from being consumed with sorrow. Derek’s frailty and innocence has softened my heart and filled me with an indescribable love again. My son not only made me a mother again, but he continually saves me from myself. Labor pains may be the curse laid upon a woman, but motherhood is definitely a gift. Mothering Claire and Derek in the Lord is the greatest role I have been given, and it is one I am thankful no matter the circumstances.

Proverbs 17:3 “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”

The most precious metals are formed through intense periods of pressure and fire by purifying the substance and removing flaws. We are no different. The Lord uses our difficult times to purify our faith and strengthen our character. God humbled me through our trials, teaching me to find strength, peace, comfort, and security in Him alone. Realizing I can accomplish nothing on my own, prompted me to draw nearer to the Lord to seek him at all times. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

Proverbs 31 gives the description of a God-fearing woman, one to model. Among many things it speaks about how we should view our future with a positive outlook. There is no situation on this Earth that God does not intend to save and rescue us from. All pain and sorrow will give way to a glorious salvation in the end. Knowing this promise allows us to smile as we look into the future. This life is short, and only a tool to prep us for eternity. So I try to smile and rejoice in the blessings God has given me each day. It makes the journey to meet Him so much sweeter. I believe that is why the Lord blessed us so quickly with another child. Watching Derek grow, making Derek smile, giving Derek a bath. These are the little gifts that help get me through each day and make the next one better. Children are truly an inheritance from the Lord, and I am grateful that the Lord created the role of motherhood.