It’s the worst: sitting in the pew, watching as more and more women stand in response to the pastor’s annual question. “How many of you are new mothers this year? Please stand. How many are mothers of two children? Please stand. How many mothers of three children? Please stand – and all of you stay standing. How many mothers of four children? Of five? Of six? More than six?! Oh my goodness gracious!”
That’s our pastor’s verbal salute to the mothers of the congregation.
In response, every year, the congregants give a round of applause. Flowers are handed to the mother(s) with the most children, and then all the hundreds of mothers beam and look slightly embarrassed… but remain standing. For what feels like five minutes.
I’ve noticed other women in our congregation also stand every year. They’re the ones who do their best to slip out discreetly when they realize this is a nightmare. Tears streaming, heads down, arms folded protectively across breaking hearts, they scoot up the side aisles – trying to escape the grief that will follow them out of the sanctuary and into the world.
It’s Mother’s Day. And some women still aren’t mothers.
What do you say to the God who watches silently? The God who has heard and answered the prayers of countless women – all of whom get a round of applause? Did He hear the prayers of infertile women? Yes? Then why didn’t He answer?
That is the question no minister tackles on Mother’s Day: Why, God?
No one’s willing to shatter the silence – to talk about one of the deepest, most painful secrets couples can share. And so, the stigma that compounds suffering remains intact. As does the unspoken consensus that infertility is a curse – or at least, the absence of a much-desired blessing. But, why? No one seems willing to say.
Pregnant with Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples was written to speak scripture-based, God-inspired hope into the deafening silence around infertility. The kind of hope that has the power to transform circumstances and change lives.
Clergy have not been silent in response. They have been unanimous in their praise:
“Beautifully written – full of excellent theology and pastoral compassion. I wish this resource had been available for the past 30 years.”
“An incredible resource for those working to foster environments in which lives are transformed and hope is found.”
“It invites couples on a journey of hope and healing of the kind only God can give. This is a book for struggling couples, and for those of us who love them and often don’t know what to say or do. I’m so thankful for this resource.”
“Amazing and much-needed.”
“As a psychologist, and as a pastor for 30 years in the African-American community, I have long awaited a book like this. It gives me a significant, practical, spiritual tool to serve couples who find themselves facing infertility.”
This Mother’s Day, give yourself the gift of answers to your most pressing questions. Let Pregnant with Hope help you hear the voice of the God who has heard your prayers. Once you see and understand what He is doing, in and through your infertility journey, you will find peace in the midst of uncertainty.
And one day, it will be your turn to stand when you hear, “How many of you are new mothers this year?”
P.S. Forward this blog to your pastor, or send me his/her email and I will do so on your behalf (firstname.lastname@example.org). The only way to be heard is to speak up. Happy Mother’s Day to all the future moms! XO, Susan
Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com
One response to “Infertility on Mother’s Day”
This post really spoke to me. I love the Mother’s Day service at church but also hate them, they are so bittersweet. Mother’s Day is also a hard time for me and my husband as we both lost our mother’s to cancer several years ago. I take Mother’s Day as a remembrance of our Mother’s and know my time will come to be a Mother in the future 🙂