Thursday, May 5, 2022

Hope For Hurting Moms


By: Donna Bucher

Mother's Day looms ahead in a few short days. Many mothers look forward to special honors from their families. Sadly, not all mothers find this day especially joy-filled.

The beautiful cards with tender sentiments, portrayals of happy moms and grateful children, touch our hearts. But for some moms, they trigger despair or depression anchored in painful memories.



Whether a woman suffers the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, an unexpected death at any age or an adoption placement, her grief is for a lifetime.

Regardless of the avenue of loss, losing a child is arguably one of the hardest things to endure. But finding hope when Mother's Day hurts, as in all suffering, is in God and His presence with us always (Joshua 1:9, Psalm 34:18, Isaiah 43:2 ).


If YOU are the mother grieving child loss:

  • Acknowledge your grief. A mother's grief is as timeless as her love. Though painful, grief speaks love, let that love flow through your tears.
  • Have specific plans. Plan ahead, choose how you desire spending the day, avoid leaving it to chance.
  • Talk about your child, speak their name, do something to honor them.
  • Honor another mother grieving a loss.

 If you know a mother grieving child loss:

  • Validate their grief. Acknowledge their story without expecting them to "be over it by   now".
  • Speak their child's name; share positive memories of the child if the child was old enough to do so. 
  • Do something to honor the memory of the child, a donation, placing flowers on the grave or the gift of a memory item with the child's name on it.
  • Forget the flowers. Flowers can trigger memories of those placed on the casket or gravesite or sent during the time of bereavement.
  • Give your time to listen, share or serve in another way. Bring dinner or invite her to dinner.



Mothers of prodigal children or mothers living with estranged relationships with their children suffer their own grief reality peppered with hints of failure and shame.

 If YOU are the mother of a prodigal:

  • Don't make it about you. Avoid dwelling or ruminating on past mistakes or what ifs. Avoid playing the victim.
  • Set aside a specific time to pray for your child on Mother's Day; thank God for their life, your privilege as their mother and the hope you have in God for them.
  • Avoid allowing your wayward child to steal your joy. If your joy depends on having everything right with your child, you make them an idol. Trusting God with their situation demonstrates love for God above all and also for your child.

 If you know a mother of a prodigal:

  • Assure mom of your prayers for the child. Asking specifics triggers anxiety if mom has no knowledge of their whereabouts or embarrassment if they remain distant or uninterested.
  • Avoid judging either mom or the child. Distant or prodigal children are still loved; you don’t know the whole story.
  • Do talk about positive things regarding the child. Mom needs reminders of sweeter, happier times to spark hope and keep the right perspective.
  • Help mom start new traditions, offer a listening ear or send a card.



A mom suddenly finding herself a single parent due to divorce or death, may find it difficult celebrating Mother's Day without a spouse's validation.

 The most important hope for single moms is the reminder that God is their husband, (Isaiah 54:5), their provider, (Philippians 4:19), their protector, (Psalm 18:2) their Father, (Psalm 68:5) their helper, (Hebrews 13:6) their peace, (Ephesians 2:14) and their future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

 If YOU are the single mom:

  • Remember you deserve a special day, too.
  • Tell your kids how you prefer to spend the day. If you have young children, help them understand how special the day is for all mothers.
  • Help your children make gifts. Younger children can draw pictures of your favorite things, or colors, older children can help make a simple meal.
  • Honor yourself; journal about your experiences of motherhood, hopes, dreams and desires. Find time for some special time alone.

 If you know a single mom:

  • Send a card. Nothing says "I see you" more than a handwritten card.
  • Make time to hear her story, listen with compassion.
  • Provide dinner for her on Mother's Day; drop off a casserole ahead of time, or invite her and her children over to your home.
  • If her children are young, send her cards from them, imagine her surprise! If older consider helping them make gifts for her, perhaps with your children.



The most precious lesson I learned about Mother's Day came to me from Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." When we compassionately see and value each woman in her motherhood journey, we interlace joy and sorrow into a garment of hope. Who will you bless this Mother's Day by rejoicing with them or weeping with them?

Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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  1. Dearest Donna, I am the mother of a prodigal. My oldest daughter age 25 and I are estranged. It's been that way for years now, and I still have no idea why. I grieved, and still do at times lament. I gave her up to God because she was his in the first place before she was mine. I pray for her and my youngest daughter age 20. And, I'm okay with His wait, I haven't always been, but I am now. So I wait. I've had an incomplete post about finding peace when you love a prodigal sitting in my drafts for over a year now, working on it off and on. Someday, I will post it. You have no idea, how much your words mean to me today. I find great comfort in this post. My heartfelt thanks to you my friend. Blessings.

    1. Thank you, sweet Paula, for sharing your story with me. I do feel your pain, and more than that, God does. I think the hardest thing sometimes is sitting with the unknowns. I have no answers for my oldest daughter and son's removal from my life. It leaves us with more questions than answers. But as you pointed out, the waiting is in Christ, and I'm OK with that too. On a particularly bad day, He reminded me I carried each child within my womb for 9 months without knowing anything about them until the appointed day of their birth. So it is now, I must trust Him as I trusted Him then.
      I will be praying for you this Mother's Day- Remember, a mother is defined by the children she holds in her heart, not in her arms.

  2. Donna, there is encouragement and hope for every mom in this post.

    1. Thank you, Joanne, I praise God for His comfort and pray other moms may likewise find comfort in Him.


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