So, maybe you recognize this from a scripture in the Bible but you’re going, “Wait, I don’t remember this talking specifically about Mothers.” Well, true. The scripture is from Matthew 5:4 that says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” It truly includes all people - ALL people who mourn. But we’re just coming off of Mother’s Day, and I’ve encountered a lot of Mother’s who are mourning. So, I wanted to talk about that today.
Some of these are Mothers who no longer have their own Mother’s here to share the day with.
Some of these are Mothers who have experienced a miscarriage…or two or more.
Some of these are Mothers who have lost their spouse and father of their children.
Some of these are Mothers who gave up their children for adoption for various reasons.
Some of them are Mothers who aborted their children.
Some of them are Mothers who had to arduously raise children on their own as single Mothers.
Some are Mothers whose children died way too early.
Some are Mothers-in-waiting: Those whose hearts long for children they have yet to conceive.
And some are Mothers who never got to be.
Blessed are those who mourn.
There are so many reasons, as you can see, for the mourning. And none bears more weight than another, because mourning is mourning. Your mourning, and the reasons for your mourning, are extremely important, because they are yours. Specifically. And it’s important.
One thing I wanted to point out is that mourning and grief are two different things. Grief is the deep sorrow that your feel at the loss of a loved one. But mourning is an expression of that grief. It’s how you dress or carry yourself. It’s also the outward release of the grief as in crying or screaming. Wailing from the gut is my personal experience of mourning. I never knew what that was until my husband died. I’d heard people talking about this wail that comes from deep, deep within you. But I didn’t know…until I knew. It’s almost primal. And I’m well acquainted with it now.
Mourning is the expression, whatever that looks like for you. And it’s necessary, because getting it out makes the difference to healing. If we bottle grief up or cram it down, it’s pain that’s not processed, acknowledged, or dealt with, and results in an explosion of some sort. What you resist persists. It’s like trying to hold a beach ball under water. Eventually it’s going to explode out of that water. Allowed mourning, the expression of grief, is what brings healing to the wounds and allows us to move forward in a healthy way.
So, again, blessed are those who mourn.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible says you are blessed if you mourn? You might even be more confused when you understand that in the original language, “blessed” actually means happy. Happy are those who mourn. Listen, I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen someone truly mourn, but I promise you, they’re NOT happy! Right?
So, why would the Bible say this? Why did Jesus say this? I can’t imagine that there’s true happiness or comfort found from the people around you. Their hugs, words, and even prayers can’t bring enough comfort to heal our broken hearts. It only truly makes sense if there is, indeed, a comfort that is far better than anything you could encounter here on earth. Psalm 73:28, one of my favorite scriptures, says, “But as for me, it is good to be near God.” When He is near, things get taken care of. He becomes the source of comfort. And His comfort is healing.
Psalm 34:18 promises that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Again, as He comes near to the brokenhearted, His nearness is our good because He brings comfort and healing to our brokenness.
Isaiah 61, verses 2 and 3 reminds us of why we can be happy in this comfort, and that is because He provides all that we need as we grieve. He dusts off the ashes of mourning and crowns our heads with beauty, anoints us with the oil of joy, and removes the heavy cloak of despair and wraps us in a garment of praise.
When we mourn, He comes near with the comfort that heals, and for this we are blessed.
So, for the Mama that I met last week that’s on her second year of fertility drugs, pokes, charts, and disappointments, you are seen and loved. Blessed are you as you mourn.
To the Mama who unexpectedly delivered a perfectly beautiful, stillborn daughter, you are seen and loved. Blessed are you as you mourn.
To the Mama who is grieving the abortion she had 30 years ago, you are seen and loved. Blessed are you as you mourn.
To the Mama who celebrated Mother’s Day without the father of their children, for whatever reason, you are seen and loved. Blessed are you as you mourn.
To the Mama who has lost a child way too soon, you are seen and loved. Blessed are you as you mourn.
To the Mother-hearts who hold space in their hearts for the children that are not yet, or never were, you are seen and loved. Blessed are you as you mourn.
He is near. The One who can bring healing like no one and nothing else can. Blessed are you who mourn.
Now, on behalf of those who are mourning, may I give you some helpful information? So many times we come across someone in our life who is hurting, and for some reason we feel like it’s our job to encourage them back into happiness or healing. Here’s the truth, though. You’re not able to encourage someone into healing. Words like, “God chose you to carry this cross because you are strong,” or “Everything happens for a reason,” are empty and shall words to the hurting. And encouragement is not when you give someone scripture so that they’ll snap out of it. As if that’s what scripture was intended to be used for. To say something like, “All things work together for good,” in the midst of someone’s deepest pain is callous and uncaring. Now I’m going to say something that you might not like, and that’s okay. I’m okay with it. If you haven’t been here, you may not know that some people, maybe not all, but some, after they’ve experienced a tragedy, are mad at God. Which, by the way, God is totally okay with and can handle. You don’t need to worry about their salvation or relationship. God’s got this. But sometimes you might be tempted to use the scripture I quoted earlier, telling them, “God is near to the brokenhearted,” which is 100% true, obviously. But the one who is mad at God in the moment doesn’t want to hear that. Now, here’s the sticky part. You may not know who is mad at God and who’s not. So how on earth do you know what to say? Well, I know I’ve mentioned these things before, but apparently it bears repeating. Your encouragement comes from just being present, being available, and being full of love. You don’t have to have all the right words to say. In fact, it would be better if you didn’t use words at all. Let your mere presence speak love. Learn to hold space for someone who’s hurting. And all that means is to be able to let them talk when they want to, scream when they need to, and stay silent when it serves them. Don’t ask a lot of questions. Especially not questions that pick at the heart. Believe me, when they’re ready to talk, when they’re ready to tell you something, and if you’ve made yourself available thus far, they will tell you about their deepest darkness, about the way they feel responsible (even if they’re not), and about the demons they wrestle with in their head...and how they’re really mad at God. I talked more about this in a bonus episode after number 10 - So You’ll Know…The Gift Of Presence, if you’d like to hear more.
So, blessed are the Mothers who mourn, for they will be comforted. It is good to mourn; to give an outlet of expression to your grief. It’s for your healing. Don’t hold it in. Don’t cram it down. Let it out. Be in it. Let it be. There’s nothing wrong with mourning, and everything right about it. Grief will always be there. The level and intensity of your mourning will just change.
My prayer for you, Mama, is that you feel the comfort of God surrounding you as you navigate through to your healing. It’s a process. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Much love to you.
Friend, if I’ve described you in today’s podcast, let me first say that I’m so sorry and my heart is with you. I, too, am one of these Mamas. If you’re having a difficult time finding your next steps forward, I’d love to be your Life Coach and help you through it.
I’ve put a link in the show notes for a free 30-minute call just so we can see if we’re a good fit to work together and show you how Life Coaching would work for you.
I pray your week is full of the nearness of God, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life podcast.