About the Author

Adrienne currently lives in South Georgia with her husband and three children. She is a recovering people-pleaser and loves all things chocolate. Through her writing, she encourages women to seek Christ in their chaos. You can find her online at her blog, Blessed Beyond Exhaustion.

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  1. Adrienne,
    Isaiah 41:10 is one of my very favorite verses….I just quoted it the other day in response to Renee’s post. It meets us right where we are in our struggles and in our grieving places. I feel much like you do on Mother’s Day, but for a different reason. I have two grown children. Both of them I have poured every ounce of love and caring I have into them yet one remains distant, hurt, and angry. Though I have extended the olive branch many times and have loved from afar….she remains separate and distant. I will celebrate my mother this day, though she lives far away, but in my heart I will hurt for what isn’t in my life right now and wonder just what it is that I did that was so wrong? The Bible says we are to participate in Christ’s suffering. Though nothing could match what He went through for us, I do know what it feels like to have poured out one’s self in love and then be forsaken and left behind. I know betrayal and it hurts. I will do my best, like you did, to still proclaim God’s goodness and faithfulness. I will “stay in my lane” and let God work on my daughter in “her lane”. I can’t “fix” this…only God can. I am trying to glean and learn as many lessons from this as I can. God is God and I am not. I know His heart and I know He can be trusted. Loving the tender mom-heart that you shared here today. Thank you from all of us who will ache on that “happy” day.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev, I cannot imagine the hurt you must be feeling. As a mom still in the trenches, I know the amount of love you poured into your children. It is a sacrificial way of life for sure. I will be praying for your relationships with your kids, and praying that God will use this time to do His work in your life as well as theirs. Thank you for sharing from your heart!

    • Bev,
      I have a similar situation. I was a single mom. I raised my daughter and son when their Dad decided to divorce and move a state away. Which left me with everything. There was no every other weekend break for me like other divorced families. I was all they had and they were all I had. I worked hard to give them their needs and only small wants. They watched me work hard and persevere through many years of struggle. I say all that to say my daughter 22, and I have good communication but there’s a little something negative, but my son 24, basically shuns me. Oh the pain I feel when my birthday, Mother’s day come around and I hear nothing. A few times he waited till after midnight to TEXT and say happy birthday. Talk about a heart ache. (tears) I have remarried and I don’t struggle now. I confide in my Mother about this because she was single mom till I was 16 so she can relate to a lot I went through and the present. And she loves Jesus and prays for her children. She thinks there is a sense of jealousy as they watch me be happy and live comfortable, maybe even feel left out. I try to include them in stuff but they ignore my invitations. I wish I would’ve met my husband when I was still raising them. I can’t live in fear or sadness because of their negative attitudes, but it hurts. On top of that I raised them in a good church family and taught them everything I could about God. At this time my son feels like it was all a lie and fantasy world that I live in. That hurts so bad. He was saved at a young age but has strayed far, far away. Needless to say my prayer life is full of all kinds of wants, desires and needs for my children to change their perspectives on EVERYTHING. I’m sorry this is so long. When I read this article and your reply I felt led to share. I hope God fills your heart with his anointed Holy Spirit on not only Mother’s day but every day forward.
      Sister in Christ, Dana Q.

      • Dana, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you must feel. I’m so sorry. I will be praying for your family. Thank you for opening up and sharing your heart!

      • Dana,
        Thank you so much for sharing. My heart echos so many of your thoughts. I do think, perhaps, my daughter is jealous because here I am married twice before she’s even been married once and I do wonder if my children resent my happiness in this marriage and wonder why it couldn’t be so in my marriage to their father. Of course there’s so much they don’t understand like verbal and emotional abuse, etc. They know about the affairs, but yet they stay “loyal” to their dad. I wonder what the situation would be like if he were to remarry? I, too, wish that my husband now could have been around to raise them and be an influence in their lives. Coming in while they are adults they seem to resent him too and certainly don’t want any help or advice. I suppose I can wonder and wish all I like, but the situation is what it is. I have a major surgery coming up and I knew I wouldn’t hear from my daughter, but haven’t heard from my son either. Feeling “shunned” is a good word….and why? Because I’m finally happy and being treated and cherished like I was supposed to be treated all along? Not that misery loves company, but thank you for sharing your story and situation. At least I know I’m not alone and this type of thing is not just all my fault. It’s so easy to take all the blame upon myself and wonder what am I doing wrong. I will be thinking of you and praying for you on Mother’s Day – as I know it will be hard for both of us. God bless you and thank you for reaching out. You’ve been a true blessing!!
        ((Hugs))
        Bev

      • Dana,

        Praying for you and your family sweeet sister. Children do not understand all that their parents do for them. The long work hours, going without, etc. It is especially hard on single parents. As they age and watch their single parent remarry and be happy it is hard for them to grasp why they aren’t happy. They soon forget all the hard word you put in. Praying for God to soften you children’s heart and bring them back to Him and you. May you feel God’s loving arms holding you and showering you with love.

        (((((Hugs)))))

  2. Or the women who choose to not become a parent. The church has done a horrible job of supporting us. I intentionally skip church that weekend, because I’m done with the “being a mom is your purpose, it’s what God calls you to do, blah blah blah”.

    • Tracy, I had never thought about that! You are so right. Everybody has a different purpose. Thanks for the reminder to be more intentional with my friends who have chosen not to have kids!

    • I also skip church on Mother’s Day weekend because I couldn’t have children & so desperately wanted them. I always felt so shunned & discounted at church that Sunday. I really wished the service could have spoken to women – all women who mother – we all do in so many ways – it takes a village to raise a child. Why not use a Sunday service to include all women & speak of the mothering and nuturing that all females do thereby being more inclusive? I always felt that would have been a more Christian approach–just saying…

      • While I understand and appreciate pastors who honor mothers on this day, I completely understand what you’re saying. It is definitely difficult for those who aren’t mothers, especially women who really want to be. And more than likely, many of those women are mothering in different ways, whether it be helping with children of friends or a college student who needs a home cooked meal or investing in the lives of children in Sunday School. So I totally get your point about including all women in some way or fashion. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you for sharing with such honesty, and for willing to be vulnerable. Your post resonated with me, and Bev your response too, not because I don’t have children, but because both my own mother, and my children feel very distant from me, because of life circumstances.
    God is close when we are brokenhearted, and will comfort us in our sorrow.

  4. This brought tears to my eyes. I too will be struggling Mother’s Day…especially this one. I don’t have children of my own, though I have been blessed with two stepchildren. This Mother’s Day will be the four year anniversary of my mother’s passing. It is also my sister’s birthday. I am already praying that I have Peace that day. Your story is a reminder that many are hurting while others are celebrating.
    It has made me think that maybe I should be more aware of those hurting like me. Take the focus off myself…reach out to somebody who needs comfort.

    Whenever I am feeling down this scripture always gives me a lift.

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. I already feel God’s blessings through it!

    Blessings to all,
    Debbie

    • I love that verse too, Debbie. I’m so sorry this Mother’s Day will be difficult for you. I will be praying for your peace as well. Thank you for sharing your heart this morning!

  5. Thank you! For years, Mother’s Day was torture for me, albeit for different reasons. I had my own family but I could not move passed my childhood, my mother looking the other way while I was abused because it made her life easier. When I finally reached the point of forgiveness through Him and a wonderful group of Christian women who embraced my hurt and showed me that forgiveness is the way to go, Mother’s Day became something cherished, a day it should have been all along. I can now concentrate on being celebrated as a mom on that day without the bitterness… Most time anyway. It’s a work in progress but as long as I have God by my side, I feel I can get through this. It’s not always easy and there are.years where it still hits me and I wrestle with the commandment to honor your mother and your father but I am getting better. Your words were needed this morning because I feel this year is going to be one of the harder ones to manage. Thank you again for this blessing!

    • Heike, I am so sorry for what you experienced as a child but I love that God has redeemed the situation with help from other Christian women. We all need community and I’m so glad you found it! Praying this Mother’s Day is a blessed one for you!

  6. I always miss Church on mother day i lost my daughter on palm Sunday so mother day and palm Sunday i do not attend Service. But after reading those encouraging words. I am going this mother day i have always trust God but sometimes when we are hurting we lose sight your word was what I needed today

  7. My mom is not a Christian, yet at a very young age God used a little friend of mine to invite me to church. It was there that my SS teacher became my spiritual mother and other women became “mom” to me. They made sure I made it to every Christmas program year after year as I was always chosen to be Mary. I was taken to AWANA where I learned to memorize and love scripture. My mom is still not a Christian, “missed” all of those years, and we do not have a great relationship even today. All this to encourage women to look for that little girl in church that needs some love. She isn’t “yours” but the relationship will be absolutely amazing and deeply cherished for a lifetime.

    • I absolutely LOVE this, Lisa! I am glad you had those spiritual mentors in your life. Thank you for that reminder! My mom was a school teacher as well as a Sunday School teacher and she always seemed to take in kids and bring them to church. She was such an inspiration to me.

  8. From someone who is currently walking the hard, painful road of infertility, thank you so much for this. I started dreading Mother’s Day in about February. I was just praying about it (again) on the way to work this morning. Got here, opened my email, and here was this. Thank you, God, and thank you for sharing. <3

    • I am so sorry that you are walking that road. It can be so difficult and people who have never experienced infertility can’t understand the depth of the pain. I think we need to do a better job of talking about it so others can understand when we bow out of baby showers or Mother’s Day celebrations. I will be praying for you, Kayla!

  9. Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me, as many years ago I suffered a miscarriage on what is supposed to be a very special day of celebration. So I laid alone, in a hospital bed on the maternity floor – listening to all the joy, listening to the sounds of new born cries – while I grieved. But a wonderful woman from our church reached out to me with a message of caring and compassion, reflecting on her own history of miscarriage… and she motivated me to trust God. I’m thankful to God – for then and for now – that we are blessed when we surround ourselves with other Christian women who can come alongside us – with encouragement, with prayers, with support. God is good!

    • What an encouraging testimony, Leanne! Thank you so much for sharing. We all need community and I know you’re thankful to have found it during such a hard time.

  10. I’m so thankful to see this message today and the comments. I got married 11 years ago a week from today. It’s always near Mother’s Day and it’s a great reason to keep the celebration going. Little did my husband and I know that we would struggle with infertility. After many prayers and tears we were finally blessed to be pregnant 2 years ago at this time. It was still so early in our pregnancy so I didn’t get to stand and be honored or celebrated because so few knew. I was alright with that though because we knew what a blessing this baby was to us. Then at 20 weeks into our pregnancy our beautiful daughter was stillborn. It’s beyond devastating as a mom to not be able to do anything to save your baby. God was in control and was taking me on a path I would have never imagined. We are still struggling with infertility and pray for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. God does know the deepest desire of my heart because He placed it there. Last year was the first Mother’s Day without our sweet girl and nothing could have prepared me for the day. I’ve already started to dread this one coming up and I pray that God will just continue to be close to me as his word says that He is close to the broken hearted. For me, this is the worst holiday of the year. It’s so sad that such a beautiful day like Mother’s Day can hurt so badly. I will continue to be faithful and just stand on His word and promises. He says that my mourning will turn to dancing and that Joy will come in the morning. Lord, I pray it’s soon!
    Thanks again for sharing!
    Blessings

    • Lyn, I am so sorry that you experienced such a devastating loss and after so many years of infertility too. I can’t imagine the hurt you must be feeling and I really have no words except to say that Jesus is close to the brokenhearted. Lean on Him. I will be praying for you this Mother’s Day.

  11. Mother’s Day is my least favorite of all the holidays. I’m a single mom of 3 children. The struggles I face on a daily basis often consume and overwhelm me. Sitting in church on that day is almost unbearable.

    • I haven’t been in your shoes as a single mom but I can imagine it is a difficult situation. My husband was in the military for 20 years and he deployed multiple times so I got a small taste of what single motherhood looks like. I have a greater respect for women like you. I pray that you will be blessed this Mother’s Day.

  12. Mothers Day has been a tough one for many years. My only child went to be with the Lord at 18 months old. We’d had fertility issues for a few years prior to his birth so his death, to this day, hurtful. Frankly, Mother’s Day is confusing. I’m pretty blasé about it – probably in protection of my heart. I don’t miss church and honor those who are mothers and say “thank you” to those who offer me comforting words. I am technically a stepmother now, but I’m really more like the loved wife of their father. And that’s OK. They’re great kids and I enjoy our relationship. Mother’s Day? I could skip it.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Dana. I’m sure Mother’s Day will always be difficult because of the loss of your son but I pray that your heart would be ministered to this year.

  13. Adrienne,

    Friend I thank you for inviting us into such a raw, vulnerable space. I too have a longing on Mother’s Day. My own mother was absent much of my life then passed away when I was 18. In the last fews years I’ve had to give it to God again and again because some days the wound is open and fresh and painful. I just give thanks to the Father for being a heart mender and for loving us wholly.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I completely understand about the wounds opening and being fresh. Praying that this Mother’s Day would be an encouragement for you!

  14. Adrienne thank you so much for sharing your heart. I needed to hear these words so much today. May God bless you always. Xoxo ❤️

  15. Adrienne,
    I am truly sorry for those of you who this day causes grief, and pain.Thank-you for bringing this to light. I’ve always thought we were to”Honor thy Mother.” So then why do we set aside this day’?

    Blessings to you all,

    Penny

    • Penny, infertility issues aren’t talked about very much so there are many people who don’t understand the depth of pain that it causes. I do love the thought of honoring our moms on Mother’s Day though and I try to honor my mother and grandmother because they have been such amazing influences on my life.

  16. Adrienne, thank you for sharing from your heart. When I read the title I immediately thought of my pain. My husband & I had to deal with infertility issues for the first 4-5 yrs of our marriage. After a few medical procedures, we were blessed with a son, and were beyond happy. My infertility doctor said that we might not be able to have more children. Almost 5 yrs later, Cristina, our daughter was born. She was born with multiple medical issues, and we were told that she might not live more than 5 yrs. Cris could not see, speak, or even hold her head up. She was completely dependent on others to care for her; was on oxygen, and tube fed. She died on 5/13/11, a couple of months before her 16th bday. So every Mother’s Day since, it’s VERY painful. My mom didn’t get to meet my children as she died (was only 54) before I had them. It’s only through the grace of God that I can say “It is well with my soul.” I try to focus on the blessing that Cris was, on all the joy she brought with her cute crooked smile that lit up a room. So many were touched by her without her speaking a single word.
    I can’t wait for the day Jesus comes, and wakes her & her grandma up from their sleep. He will tell my mom ” meet your granddaughter,” and they will embrace for the first time.
    God bless all the women who might or might not have birthed a child. So many have been mother figures, that they should be recognized as well!

    • Thank you, Maria, for sharing your testimony. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you must feel. I will be praying for you this Mother’s Day!

  17. Mothers Day can be hard for so many reasons and for so many different women. Society places so much emphasis on this day and we are to have joyful celebrations and perfect days on this day. But in reality it doesn’t always work that way. I have friends suffering from infertility. Childless friends by choice. A friend who lost her mother right before Mother’s Day and who choose to be childless. Friends whose children are distant or have no relationship with their mother. Friends with very bad relationships with their mother or no relationship at all with their mother. For many it is a day to be remembered and honored, and for others a day full of painful reminders. I think if we remember this and are sensitive to where others are, this can be helpful. I do feel that sometimes to much emphasis is placed on women to be mothers in the church and those who are not are looked on as not quite whole, which is wrong. We women have a mothering instinct that God gave us, this need to nurture, protect, sacrifice for, and preserve. I see women using this instinct is so many ways other then mothering their own children. Caring for the weak and helpless, fighting to right the wrongs of injustice, coddling dying plants back to life, rescuing animals, taking dinner to the suffering, or shutting down a bully. All around me women are using their mothering instinct to make this world a better place, pass laws, mentor women, fight for children, or start non-profits to help the disadvantaged. Let’s embrace our mothering instinct that God placed in our DNA and use it make this world a better place. And let’s quit thinking that only mothers of children can be honored on that day.

    • Theresa, I complete agree with your thoughts! The Lord did not make us all the same as women. He created each of us for a specific purpose and I love the thought of women using their “mothering” gifts to pour into other people and other passions. Thank you for your comment!

  18. Adrienne,

    Holidays, in general, can be hard for many. The world’s view is be joyous, & celebrate. That can be hard for some. Each person is in a different stage of life. Life can be challenging at times and we don’t know God’s plans for us. I say it is ok to cry and let God know of your pain. Look around at others. We should be sensitive to others hurting. Give them a hug and cry with them.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, I totally agree with you. We never know what is going on in someone else’s life and we definitely need to be sensitive to others even as we rejoice in our own families.

  19. Thanks for sharing your heart, Adrienne. As I read through the comments above, my heart squeezed with the transparent brokenness shared. So many situations when Mother’s Day is a sting instead of a time of celebration. I’ve had a few of the former. Thankful you showed us in Scripture that God is with us to strengthen us.

  20. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’m also a woman who wanted children and could not have them. Mother’s Day has always been hard to put on a happy face at church. It’s even more difficult now since by dear Mother passed 5 years ago.

  21. Adrienne, thank you for sharing your story, and for the encouraging scripture. It’s been 8 yrs now since I miscarried at 10 weeks, but I am still unable to face Mother’s Day. I just skip church on that day, somehow I have not been able to overcome the feelings of inadequacy and feeling like less than a woman.

    My door has also been closed because last year I had to do a hysterectomy because of huge fibroids and being 50 years old the doctors were not willing to try to remove just the fibroids and leave my womb intact so everything has been removed. I feel like insult was added to my injury.

    As a child I never knew my dad until I was 12 and so I decided that I would never have children unless I was in a stable marriage. Well my first marriage ended after 3 years because of infidelity and by the time I got married again over 20 years later it was too late. I kept praying and fasting that God would bless my womb although I was in my mid 40s and battling the fibroids but that prayer was never answered.

    At this late stage I am considering fostering a child but I am not fully convinced so I just go along the best way I can. I know avoidance is not necessarily the answer but this is what I can manage at this time.

    God bless you for sharing!

    • What a difficult road you have been down, Nisa! I’m so sorry. It’s always difficult when God’s plans don’t meet our expectations for our own lives. I will be praying for you. Fostering is a wonderful thing – maybe He is leading you down that road. Or maybe He’s leading you to be a spiritual mother to someone in your path too. Keep praying and listening to His Spirit.

  22. I wish I could go into hiding during many of the holidays​. I feel alone yet I know that the Father is with me. Got married then divorce. Heart was broken because I found out that medically​, I couldn’t have children. I have worked with and cared for children for over 25 years yet felt alone. My mom died 4 years ago and it’s been hard for me to celebrate the different holidays. I know that it will get better as time goes by.

    • I’m so sorry for your losses, Claudette. But you are right – God is with you. I will be praying that you will feel His presence every day but particularly on those hard days.

  23. Praying for all those who hurt on this day! Lord Jesus, may your joy be our strength today! May we find joy in you! Only you can do that! Only you can cause joy and faith to grow. Do that in everyone hurting today, including me! Show us the characteristics of “mothering” (nurturing, teaching, and discipling others) that are alive in those of us who don’t have children. How fitting that I’m leading “Your Grace is Enough” today in church! Lord Jesus, strengthen me to believe that today and to live out the truth that your grace is sufficient for all our hurts and pain today!

    God is with us, ladies, and will carry us through! Despite the pain, find a church where you can hear God’s truth on a day that causes pain like today! Let him heal that pain . . .

    Come, Lord Jesus!!!

    Nicole

  24. I have struggled with feeling like I am a bad mother for over 20 years because after I kicked my former husband out, he took over custody of the house and my two kids when I was hospitalized for severe depression. Now that my kids are in their 30’s, I hear from my son occasionally, but rarely from my daughter as she feels I abandoned her since after the divorce, I had to move to get a job when she was 10. The pain is gut wrenching and it was such a blessing to read others stories through my tears. I know God has a plan for my future yet my depression is always there along with ADD. Thank you for this place to share and encourage each other in our nurturing Lord of Love

    • Thank you for sharing, Ann. It is good to know that we are not alone in our hurts. I will be praying that the Lord restores your relationship with your daughter. Keep trusting in Him – His timing is usually so different from ours and it’s difficult to wait on Him. But, as you said, He has a plan.