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My mom passed away six years ago…so hard to believe it’s been that long.  I’m missing my mom.

That mom left her baby abandoned, and the baby is orphaned.  That baby misses her mom.

One mom works a 70hr work week and is barely home for dinner.  Those children miss Mom.

Another mom was in a shopping mall where a shooting took place.  Now a missing mom.

And yet another “mom to be,” she thought, but then she never was…she’s missing being a mom.

There are so many gapes and holes in families when Mom is missing, for any number of reasons.  There are lots of women that want to be moms and it just hasn’t happened, and hope is waning. And this makes holidays like Mother’s Day so hard for all.  In fact, I remember when my mom passed and Mother’s Day rolled around, I had  to exit  a  department   store   because   I  couldn’t  look  at  all  the gifts  on   the

photo courtesy of Doug Gephardt

gifts on the shelves.  I know that aching hearts that long for children have sick stomachs as another Mother’s Day rolls around, and they’re disappointed again.

We often hear how fathers are so important to families, and of course, they are.  And we read about how if the father/child relationship is severed or broken, this affects our view and connection with God, which is true.

But what about when Mom is missing?  Or when Mom is never a name for some?

When we have family gatherings, it’s not the same and never will be, without my mom.  She lived to bless her family by serving, baking pies, giving out change to the kids, tucking in cash in my grown kids’ hands, and making sure everyone was full and having fun.  I suppose that’s my role, now, to be the mom, now that Mom is missing.

When couples gather and friends hang out, and children are around in every circle, but there she sits…having suffered miscarriages or never being pregnant at all, though trying…it’s heart-wrenching.  She longs and she wants, but He hasn’t given that gift that she wants.  I suppose that’s our role, as a friend, to be sensitive and understanding even if we just pray and never say a word.

When kids hear other kids talk about Mother’s Day and what they’re making or giving, but their own mom is gone for one reason or another…kids feel lonely.  There’s a hole in their hearts and they want to depart that circle of kids with moms and dads and all things family.  It’s hard to not have a mom when everyone else does, or so it seems.  I suppose that’s our role as another mom, to be aware and care, to offer here and there…and to stay on our knees for those kids without.

When we watch on the news and hear from afar that moms are unable to feed their children, or die in war-torn countries and leave children behind, it can be so unbelievable to watch…we turn it all off.  But the images they haunt us, the little children’s cries we still hear, and we wonder if we can help or how to help all of the hurting moms, the missing moms, or the poverty-stricken moms.  I suppose it’s our role to support the goods they make and send, or their children through donations and gifts, and at the very least through prayer for mercy from God.

I don’t even know what hurting moms need or want, or what families in grief wish others would do, or how to even think or process about moms around the world, or what to say to encourage the one who just wants to be a mom.  None of us knows how to perfectly serve those in need.  And even when we’re in need or grief ourselves, we don’t know what we really need or want.  Because people say odd things, assume other things or have ideas about how we feel, and we don’t and we sit and we wait in misery…as this holiday and that holiday passes…so life can move on.

There is always hope when sadness looms…always.   I do know that God cares about the barren woman.  He says he sets the lonely in families.  He makes provision for women and elevates them with honor.  And he definitely cares and sees the mother in sorrow, or the children in grief, and the aching hearts without relief.  He also gives miracles…just like he did to Sarah when she thought all hope was gone.

I’m also sure and know that nothing can separate us from His great love.  And before we were born, all of us, in our own mother’s womb…he knew us then…and he knows us know.

Wherever you are on the mom spectrum, a mom with more children than you ever thought you’d have, or a mom-to-be still waiting…or if you’re in grief or you know someone that’s missing a mom…or maybe your heart is just heavy for all the orphans and/or hurting moms around the world that are lost, alone and afraid…

You are loved.  And it’s the kind of love that enabled the One who loves you to lay down his life for you.  YOU.  And that kind of love never leaves you or forsakes you, but holds you and guides you daily…hour by hour…minute by minute.  And I can’t explain it at all, but joy is possible in the middle of hurt and pain, for every single mom, missing or hurting or alone or sad.  And I pray today, that that Joy is yours…

The Mom Spectrum
by Marcy Lytle
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