The days leading up to Mother’s Day can be hard. Even though I am no longer a barren woman, I still struggle with my own difficulties and guilt as Mother’s Day approaches. For the infertile or the mother struggling with loss, Mother’s Day is acutely difficult. It’s almost as if everything around you is reminding you of what you don’t have—what you long for but can’t have. And it can be painfully isolating.
The barren women of scripture didn’t have a national holiday to remind them of their lack, but they surely had their fill of individuals (Gen. 16:1-5, 1 Sam. 1:4-9). One person’s celebration is often the seat of another’s deep pain. The pages of scripture are filled with women who longed for wombs to bear children, who longed for children to be restored to health and wholeness, of women in deep pain over grief.