My friend was in tears on her first Mother’s Day, but not in the happy way you would expect. She had listened to mom after mom at church talk about the breakfast their husband and kids had made, the cards they received. Some even showed off new jewelry. These well-meaning ladies couldn’t see the hurt in my friend’s eyes behind her smile.

She hadn’t received as much as a “Happy Mother’s Day” from her husband. Whether he truly forgot the day, I don’t know. They were at a rough patch in their marriage. My young friend had been awake most of the night with their baby, and she was physically exhausted and emotionally weary. This was not the Mother’s Day she had dreamed of.

As moms, we tend to put a lot of hope and expectations into Mother’s Day. This is our day. The one day of the year someone might notice all we do—all the tiny ways we suffer in silence (okay, sometimes we suffer less silently), all the dirty laundry, chauffeur services, endless nights with sick kids, and endless hours on our knees in prayer for our families.

But sometimes, life gets in the way, or the ones we love let us down. Maybe your husband forgot the day altogether. Or maybe you’re a single mom with no one to help the kids make a handprinted card or serve you breakfast in bed. Maybe you’re just in a tough season of parenting right now. You’re wondering if you’ll ever see any fruit produce from this garden you’ve been tending for years.

Maybe you’re just tired. Although it’s an amazing blessing and honor, motherhood is harder than you expected. Trust me, I’ve been there, too.

So what does this mean? Does Mother’s Day no longer feel like your day? Instead of celebrating the joys of motherhood, do you just want to give up?

No, this day was made for you—the tired and weary warrior mom who faithfully trudges on even when no one seems to notice. Just for you, let me share a few reminders on Mother’s Day.

1. You are making an impact.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Those prayers you say with your little one before bedtime are helping to lay a foundation of faith. All those miles to and from soccer practice are doing more than wearing out the tires on your minivan. They’re teaching your child commitment and diligence.

Most of motherhood will be made up of what seem like “little” things—the rides, the meals, the laundry, the hugs, the laughter in between it all. But that what makes the biggest impact. So don’t give up, Mom. Don’t grow weary with the “little” things. They matter, and in due time, you will see the harvest.

2. You are not alone.

In Isaiah 43:1-5, God talks of His people in words every woman longs to hear: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine … Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you … ”

Despite being surrounded by people, moms still tend to feel lonely quite a bit. Understandably so, as we seem to be taking care of everyone else’s needs from sun up to sun down. We can completely forget to take care ourselves, and sometimes we even feel like we’ve forgotten who we are. But He hasn’t. Those same words He spoke to Israel, God is saying to you … you are His, you are precious and honored, loved. And He is with you.

3. You are exactly the mom they need.

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).

Long before you actually had children, even before you rocked a baby doll and pretended to be a mommy, God knew the children He would place in your life. He could see what kind of mom you would be. Our God is not a random god. His works have purpose and meaning, and even before He made you a mother, He shaped you for motherhood. This motherhood.

You don’t have to be a perfect mom, just be their mom. And trust the One whose hand has guided it all.

Here’s one last reminder for you on Mother’s Day.

4. It’s okay to feel a little let down, but don’t dwell on it.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Crushed in spirit. I’ve felt that a time or two as a mom. When my preschooler told me I was mean and he wanted a new mommy. The year my husband forgot my birthday. The days I feel I’ve gotten everything wrong, or even the days I feel I have gotten most of it right, but someone points out my failures.

It’s crushing. But we weren’t meant to stay downtrodden.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t take a moment to process your feelings, maybe even sulk a little. The problem comes when we get stuck in our negative feelings. When we believe the lie that we really are a sum of our own failures. Psalm 34 goes on to say, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (verse 19).

Feeling forgotten

I didn’t have any incredibly wise words for my friend when she recalled to me that painful Mother’s Day. Giving her hand a little squeeze, I told her I’d been there.  I don’t know a single mom who doesn’t know what it’s like to feel a little forgotten, unappreciated. I simply reminded her that I could see what an amazing mom she was, and I hoped she could see that too.

Thankfully, it was just a rough season for my friend; she has since received her fair share of handprinted cards and macaroni necklaces. But for those of you still hurting on Mother’s Day, I’ll leave you with one more verse I hope you take to heart—“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Oh, and just in case no one has told you—Happy Mother’s Day. You’re a great mom.

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