In just a few days, it will be Mother’s Day. I’m still trying to figure out where April went. Is anyone else wondering where the time goes? I’ll be heading to New York to visit with my family. I don’t always have the opportunity to be “home” for Mother’s Day, so spending Mother’s Day with mom is a special treat.
But I get to celebrate even more this weekend. Five years ago on Mother’s Day weekend, my sweet little niece was born. This Saturday, I will attend little Shadia’s birthday party! Yup! Imagine my delight when I learned my little niece would be named Shadia. To this day, that loving gesture blesses my heart. It also brings tears to my eyes … mixed with a few tears of another kind.
Perhaps you can relate. Like many holidays, Mother’s Day can stir up all kinds of emotions. Some of us have lost our mothers or may be estranged from them. Others have suffered the tragedy of having lost our children. The stories behind the losses are many and each one is tragic. Perhaps a miscarriage, or an illness or accident, maybe your child went to war and never returned. Or maybe, like me, you lost a child to abortion.
I’ll never forget the day. It seems a cruel irony that it was almost Mother’s Day was when I lost my only child to abortion. Many years passed before I embraced the healing power of God’s love and forgiveness. In 2008, on the weekend before Mother’s Day, I was at an abortion-recovery program. It was then that I found the courage to name my child.
To this today, hearing someone choose a name for a child is especially dear to my heart. When my brother told me the reason his daughter was named after me, I was even more moved. You see, just a few years before my niece Shadia was born, her older brother was conceived. When my brother learned of the pregnancy, he panicked. He was not sure he was ready to face fatherhood. By God’s grace, I had the courage to share with him my story. It helped my brother to see clearly in the midst of momentary fear and panic. Today, he is a loving father of three, overflowing with joy and devotion to his children. And while he credits me with helping him find the courage to choose life for his son, I give God all the glory and honor and praise!
Two thousand years ago, when God the Son entered the world He created, he did not arrive as a fully grown man, or even a newborn. He chose to enter the world as a fertilized egg in His mother’s womb. I cannot think of a more amazing testimony of the value God places on motherhood and preborn life, can you?
As for me, I know I will hold my daughter one day in heaven. Until then, each Mother’s Day – rather than being reminded of my regrets – I will be reminded of God’s redemption. His tender love for bringing a little piece of heaven down to earth for me to meet, face-to-face. Happy Birthday, little Shadia!
May the Lord also bless you with His tender mercies as we honor our mothers and the gift of life this Mother’s Day.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father … ” (James 1:17)
If you (or someone you know) is struggling with the memory of a child or children lost to abortion, please know you are not alone. I share my own personal story in the Bible study I wrote for post-abortion healing, Worthy of Love: A Journey of Hope and Healing After Abortion. God promises us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.“ (Romans 8:1)