Empty Arms

For so many, Mother’s Day is a happy day filled with smiles, flowers, Hallmark cards, hugs, little voices saying, “I love you, Mommy,” sweet church sermons, meals someone else prepared, sometimes even a house someone else cleaned.

For others, it is a day filled with forced smiles, feelings of inadequacy, longing, despair, empty arms, lots of tears, and a completely broken heart. More times than not, this Sunday morning service is endured, rather than enjoyed.

For women dealing with infertility, this is a day that they would rather pass in their pajamas with ice cream and chick flicks.
Anything to distract them from the reality their empty arms.

If I’m being honest, I’m one of these women.
If Mother’s Day wasn’t on a Sunday, I wouldn’t leave my house. Seriously.
Everywhere we go, everything we see, everyone we come into contact with is one more reminder that we don’t have the one thing we want more than anything else in this world.

It’s a hard day.
We try to be happy for all those around us who have been blessed with children of their own. We try to be thankful for all the things that God has chosen to bless us with. We try to enjoy the gifts of all the children in our lives – nieces, nephews, friend’s kids.
We try…and we succeed, to a point.
But once that point is reached…we are left holding a broken heart.

If this isn’t something you have experienced, be grateful.
Take time to thank the Lord for those precious children. You have no idea how many people would give anything for the opportunity to have a loud, messy home where little boys and girls are making memories.
Being a mother is a privilege denied to many. We know it is all in God’s hands, but the heart still aches over empty arms.

So, if you know someone…especially if you love someone…who longs to be a mother, please, please remember that this is such a hard day for her, and be sensitive to the fact that her heart is broken. Her smile hides a multitude of tears that, thankfully, you don’t understand.
Love her.
Let her cry if she needs to.
Pray for her.
This is all she really needs.

If you are one of these women, let me remind you that you aren’t alone. Don’t let yourself believe the lie of the enemy that you are. Certainly, don’t alienate yourself from everyone in an attempt to make this lie true.
I’ve been there.
I’ve done that.
The only thing that can be gained from that course of action is additional pain.

Surround yourself with people who love you.
Try to love on those precious little gifts from God…because that’s what children are, even if they weren’t given to you.
If you need a little while to cry, cry…and don’t be ashamed.
By all means, pray. Tell God you’re hurting. He already knows, but tell Him anyway. He wants you to come to Him. He’s the only One who can truly help…and He is ready, willing, and able to do just that.
Don’t despise this time of your life. I know it’s hard. I know that a lot of days will be spent wishing and praying for it to be over. I know how much your heart can hurt…but please, don’t get bitter.
Allow this fire to do its work in your life. Submit to God’s plan and be patient. You may not see it right now, but He has a purpose for it.

One more thing: If you or someone you love have a hard time welcoming Mother’s Day, please remember the heart can still be full even when the arms are empty.

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4 thoughts on “Empty Arms

  1. I have not experienced what you wrote about. I have however, experienced the loss of a child. It was something I thought I would never have to face and when I did, my world was shattered. It was only by the grace of God that I came out if that valley. You are a precious lady and I pray the Lord would give you the desires of your heart.

    1. Jennifer, thank you so much for your kind words. I can’t imagine the pain that you have been through. It makes my heart hurt to think of what you have faced. I’m glad for a God who understands our pain! I’ll be praying for you as well!

      1. Sweet Naomi, it is very late and I should be in bed. However, while searching for something to put in our church bulletin about Mother’s day, I happened across your site. I too cannot imagine the pain of empty arms. God blessed me and Junior with three precious children who are now adults. However, after the birth of our two boys, I had a desperate longing for a baby girl. It was like an obsession. I pleaded with Junior about having another baby and he did not want any more children. We were using birth control that was 99% effective and I would never deceive him and try to get pregnant without us both agreeing. I remember going to bed many nights with a broken heart. I finally gave it to God and told him the desires of my heart. I remember the night I really got down to business and prayed for God to give me a baby girl. I would continually read the story of Hannah praying for a man child and God granting the desires of her heart and I claimed Psalms 37:4. About two months later, to the total amazement of my doctor and Junior, I found out that I was going to have another baby. Seven months later I delivered a sweet baby girl, who my husband named Jaime Rebecca. I know this in no way compares to the pain you are experiencing. However, this verse became very dear to me and I have shared it many times with my children and friends who were going through difficult times in their lives. I believe with all my heart that God will grant you the desires of your heart in His time. I will pray that God will give you patience while waiting on Him. Love you!

      2. Mrs. Becky, there was a time a few years ago when I was so upset and the hurt was almost more than I could bear. I became so focused on MY pain and MY hurt that I thought no one who already had children had any right to cry over wanting more. They should leave that for those of us who have none. I didn’t want to hear any advice they had to give or them tell me they knew how I felt. It would actually make me angry. I was that foolish and self-centered. Thankfully, The Lord has since opened my eyes to the fact that while my pain is real, it is not the only pain. I know for a fact that if He blessed me with one child today, the tears and longing for children would not be over. I have dreams of a house full, as do so many other women, and when that dream is left unfulfilled, it hurts. If God chooses never to let that particular dream come true the way I wish for it, that’s okay. I honestly believe it will come true in His perfect timing and way. He is still a God of miracles! 🙂 Love you!

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