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A Word from Mary Beth Chapman on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is here! The act of selecting just the right Mother’s Day card for my own mother got my already constantly swirling and whirling mind spinning with thoughts even more. Mothers…they come in all shapes and sizes (I think I’ve been them all) and all mothers are on their own journey unique to them. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of motherhood, I pray that these random thoughts of Mary Beth encourages you in some way. May you feel God’s presence as some of you will laugh while others weep this Mother’s Day. Some will rejoice while others mourn. Some will celebrate being a mother for the very first time, while others will be crushed by the pain of not having become one. From one mom who has laughed, cried and experienced a little of it all, I pray this will give some comfort to you…

I am a mother to six beautiful children. Emily made me a mother for the very first time, and Maria made me a mother for the very last time. Each and every experience has been just as unique as the qualities they each embody. I am the mother to three children through birth and three children through adoption.  I’ve been the young skinny mom, and I’ve been the older “fluffy” (as I like to call it) mom. I’ve mothered girls…and boys… I’ve been the mother of the bride, and the mother of the groom… I’ve had married, college, high school, middle school, and elementary school children all at the same time. I’ve cried over broken hearts, and broken bones, and I’ve laughed with and at my kids…  I’ve even been the mom that no one wants to be. The mom that buried her little girl. It’s been 7 years this May. It’s been a looooooooong 7 years. It is as if it happened yesterday, and that time stood still. I know I’m not going to say the right things here, I can only write based on my own personal experience, but that day in May, when Maria left for Heaven… my axis was forever altered and a new normal had begun. Obviously, I couldn’t stop being a mother to the other five. But I did change…it is different. It always will be. My fight is different. What is important has changed. The only thing that is important is my family. My fight is for the moment and for the day, the day that we are in… instead of a future… a future that may never happen. When I’m operating well and not so psychotic, I remind my family that tomorrow may not come, so we are going to enjoy the “today” that we have been given. Sounds like it’s easy and that I have it all figured out. Notice that I said “when I’m not being so psychotic”…  Yes, there are plenty of days that I can’t do it, don’t want to do it, and am simply still angry. I always have more questions than I do answers, and I think about May 21st, 2008 everyday. I have decided that I always will. Some may think I have not “done the grief work”, I say “you’re wrong, it’s just that hard.”

I know, I know… this is supposed to be a “Happy” Mother’s Day blog… it is! My point is that I am blessed beyond words to be a mother. I don’t take it lightly. It comes at a huge price. I’m thankful beyond words that God has allowed me to be one. I’m simply stating what I feel is the obvious: without hope, without hope in the One who has called each of us by name and has a plan for us, I would go crazy. I am holding on to that hope with all that I have. Some days it is a secure tight grip, and other days, I feel it slipping between my fingers. But I am actively holding on.

How about you? Are you holding on to hope? Wherever you are at on your journey, I encourage you to anchor tightly to hope. Grab tight and hold on with everything you have. The days are gonna come when you feel it slipping, but God even understands us in those times. If we actively do this, if we take hold everyday, readjust our grip, or simply hang on with everything in us, I know that we will experience more and more of the way God is making all things new. I can’t wait for the day, when all the striving to hang on goes away and the pressure is off to “do grief” right. I’m SEEing sweet bits and pieces of this unfolding this side of heaven, but it won’t be until with my own eyes, I SEE Maria run into the arms of Will Franklin, that the glorious part of that unfolding will be fulfilled. Until then, I will hold tight to the one true Hope. I pray that on whatever mothering journey that you find yourself on this year, you hold tight as well. And instead of  “Happy” Mother’s Day, I’ll just say….Have a Hopeful Mother’s Day!

Mary Beth

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