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Hope When Mother’s Day is Hard

April 23, 2015

Last year, I received many heartbreaking comments from women who were really struggling with Mother’s Day. Just the mention of the holiday stirred up deep hurt over infertility, adoption, and singleness. That’s why I asked my friend Holley Gerth to guest post today. She understands that deep hurt from her own journey with infertility, and I just love how she can shine a light into what can be a really dark place. Here’s Holley…

The single pink line on the pregnancy test mocked me from the bathroom counter. “You’ll never be a mother,” it seemed to whisper.

I sighed and dropped it into the trash—along with the hope it represented. Then I sat down on the edge of my bed and placed my head in my hands. “God,” I whispered, “Why does this have to be so hard?”

That scenario repeated itself for years in my life.

And then my heart began to slowly, unexpectedly heal as God changed my perspective on motherhood. A turning point came as I read the third chapter of Genesis one morning. In it Eve is called “the mother of all living.” In that moment God seemed to whisper this truth to my heart: All women are mothers. Because all women bring life to the world in some way.

We encourage. We feed bellies and hearts. We nurture dreams. We create beauty. We birth books. And, yes, some of us also have physical children. But that’s not the only way to bring life into this world—it’s one of many.

I am not barren,” I began to tell myself, “I am blessed.

I realized I brought life into the world through my words. I was a mother. Embracing that truth gave me new hope and helped fill the hollow space in my heart.

Years later I sat in my living room watching a documentary on kids who age out of the foster system. The narrator explained when these children turn eighteen they’re often simply told, “You’re on your own.” The story touched me deeply and when people asked if we’d considered adoption I started answering, “If I adopt, I’ll choose a twenty-year old.”

One time when I gave the response above a friend of mine asked, “Have you heard of Saving Grace?” It turned out a transitional living home for foster girls aging out of the system was being started right there in my town. I connected with the founder, Becky Shaffer, and when I told her my dream she didn’t look at me like I was crazy.

Although our lives were busy, Becky and I stayed in touch. The week of my thirty-sixth birthday she invited me to attend a banquet celebrating the accomplishments of the girls living at Saving Grace. God had impressed on my heart that my word for the next year of my life was to be love. And the night of the banquet I met my daughter: Lovelle.

How old was she? Twenty, of course.

Over the last year and a half we’ve become a family. She calls me “Mom” and my husband “Dad.” It turns out she’s a writer, speaker and dreamer too—which neither of us knew when we first connected. Those gifts were buried under years of abuse, surviving and even being homeless. But now they’re blooming like a sunflower. She married a wonderful guy in January so we now have a “son” too.

Do I know why I went through years of infertility or why Lovelle spent so much time without a family? No … and I won’t in this life. But I do know this: God is a relentless Redeemer. He took all the hurt we experienced and transformed it into joy we never expected.

God was not ignoring us. He was not overlooking our hearts. He was not holding out on us while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to bring us to His very best.

Mother’s Day can be painful. Perhaps like me you’re in the middle of infertility. Or you might be pursuing an adoption that’s more difficult than you foresaw. Maybe you’re single and wondering if having the family you dream of is even possible. Wherever you are today, I want to whisper this to you … God is with you and He is for you. He will not leave the true desires of your heart unfulfilled; the answers just may look different than you planned.

All those single pink lines on pregnancy tests turned out to be lines in a love story. And I wouldn’t alter God’s ending for anything.

Lovelle & Holley

(Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author, encourager and life coach. She’d love to have coffee with you. Until then, you can find her here or subscribe to her free devotionals. You can read Lovelle’s blog here.)

 

If you can relate to Holley’s post today, you’ll love her books! Today we’re giving away 5 bundles of What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days, and a necklace from the Proverbs 31 Ministries Faith collection.

Read the book for encouragement. Wear the necklace as a reminder that we can trust and believe in our faithful God.

HGbookandnecklace

To be entered to win, leave a comment below with how this post encouraged you.

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308 Comments
  1. Lisa

    Thank you for this! It’s always encouraging to hear other stories of God’s faithfulness. Not being a mom and wife in the church (but having the strongest desire to become those things) is one of the hardest things to cope with as it is constantly praised and valued.

    Reply
  2. Lori

    Although we were finally blessed with our son, I remember those painful years of trying and how hard Mother’s Day was. I can’t wait to share this with my DSIL who is traveling her own infertility path.

    Reply
  3. Sharon O

    This is going to be a hard mothers day because my own mom passed away last June. So this is the first with no mother, no card, no flowers to be bought, no call. We had a broken relationship for a long time but in her older ‘senior’ years she had parkinson’s and dementia and it was a bitter sweet time to be with her.
    I am also an advocate for giving the foster kids hope. Many are ‘thrown’ away in the system and it is sad to see how they ‘need’ to get through their lives. With little guidance from anyone. The little kids are cute, the big kids ‘not so lovely’ as they bring other ‘issues along’ with them. Glad you opened your heart and home.

    Reply
  4. Sharon O

    This is going to be a hard mothers day because my own mom passed away last June. So this is the first with no mother, no card, no flowers to be bought, no call. We had a broken relationship for a long time but in her older ‘senior’ years she had parkinson’s and dementia and it was a bitter sweet time to be with her.
    I am also an advocate for giving the foster kids hope. Many are ‘thrown’ away in the system and it is sad to see how they ‘need’ to get through their lives. With little guidance from anyone. The little kids are cute, the big kids ‘not so lovely’ as they bring other ‘issues along’ with them. Glad you opened your heart and home.

    Reply
  5. Monica

    Thank you for your encouraging words to so many. Your posts often encourage me! I didn’t have a child until I was 37 so I spent many years with Mother’s Day pricking my heart too. Then today my 13 year old said, Mom snuggling with you always makes me feel better. aww. I never thought I would hear those words so many years ago. Thank you again for sharing how God worked in your life.

    Reply
  6. Mona

    What a beautiful reminder of how God uses all of our hurts and broken places.

    Reply
  7. Wendy

    This made me smile. I am 44 years old and still long for a child I will probably never have naturally. I struggle through this alone most of the time (tired of getting the same responses from “well meaning” people). God is so good though. He does comfort me and He allows me to cry and question without causing me to feel as if I have been abandoned or I am out of line. This is a sweet testimony. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. Katherine Jones

    One of the loveliest stories I’ve read about redemption of infertility. For many years, I too walked that road. God redeemed my own situation in a different way, but for me, this story has its own singular beauty. Thank you for sharing it.

    Reply
  9. Melissa Barnes

    I do have a child and it took me over a year to love her, I took good care of her but because I disliked her father, I felt I could not love her. Selfish, yes. But she has her own way now. She will be 4 on May 4th! I love being her mother and this post showed me, we all struggle. Happy Mother’s day, ladies! God bless each of you!

    Reply
  10. Kaleif Olson

    “All women are mothers. Because all women bring life to the world in some way. ”
    Wow what a powerful message. My “ah-ha” moment was just reaffirmed; it really does take a village.

    Reply
  11. Susan Rupert

    In reading this I have never had a problem with having children however, this could relate to so many things when we strugle with ourselves it is so easy to forget that no matter what HE never leaves our side. I tend to forget it’s not in my time it’s in his time and no matter what or the hurt he will always be there to pick us up, dust us off and shine a light for us to see. He Loves Us no matter what.

    Reply
  12. Tracie Britt

    Thank you so much for having Holly be your guest blogger today….Our daughter was due with our first granddaughter in January. At a routine doctor’s appointment on Jan 7th they could not find Hadean’s heartbeat. Hadean was born asleep that evening. I cannot even put into words the hurt in my heart or how watching it tear my poor daughter’s heart into pieces has done to our family. The only peace I have had is knowing God’s plan is perfect and Hadean is with Jesus and she will never ever feel this kind of pain. Reading Holly’s story and reading our encouraging words everyday Lysa are such a blessing. God Bless you all! Tracie Britt

    Reply
  13. Tiffany Stephens

    I love it when God brings our hurt full circle into something beautiful. It’s a great reminder to look for those things He’s already brought full circle in my life.

    Reply
  14. Kathleen

    What a beautiful story!! I had no troubles becoming a mom, but was adopted myself! I would encourage all to open your hearts to the possibility of adoption. There are so many out there who were not a lucky as myself. Bless you and continue to share your inspirational story!! #WalkinFaith

    Reply
  15. Twylene

    “All those single pink lines on pregnancy tests turned out to be lines in a love story. And I wouldn’t alter God’s ending for anything.” Brings a lump to my throat…I so resonate with this. God has brought four beautiful children to us through the foster system. I wouldn’t have met them if God would have given me what I wanted. My “second best” was God’s best and it’s a beautiful thing! I would love to read this book.

    Reply
  16. Stephanie H

    Thank you for your beautiful words! This helps me so much in understanding dear friends and a niece who are struggling through similar situations. I am so humbled to hear your ‘verbalization’ of your journey. I am thankful that this can help me have a glimpse into their journey and hopefully some understanding of ways I can be supportive and encouraging. I am walking a different journey and appreciate you sharing how He has worked in your life! God bless you abundantly.

    Reply
  17. stephanie bahm

    Thanks so much for your open heart to all things “Mom”

    Reply
  18. Lynette

    The article that Holley Gerth gave today reminded me of my son and daught-in-law. After 6 years of marriage and no biological children of their own. They have not shared the details of their infertility with my husband and myself, but we know it must be hard. During this time they did adopt a precious baby girl and are planning for another adoption (but funds are tight and they are praying about other avenues of adoption) Thank you Holley for sharing your story. May God bless you.

    Reply
  19. Marcia Brown

    Mother’s Day was always very difficult for me too. I just found an email recently where I had asked for prayer from one of my dear friends. I had just survived another childless Mother’s Day and went to work to the announcement that the girl who sat behind me was pregnant. I spent alot of time in the bathroom sobbing that day. I didn’t know it at the time, but God was working on something else in our lives before He felt we were ready to be parents. 3 months later, after years and years of trying, I finally saw those 2 pink likes I prayed and prayed for. I received the call confirming the good news while at a Woman of Faith Conference. My little girl is 8 now and hearing her call me mama is something I just don’t get over!

    Reply
  20. Janice S

    I love the title of the book. I also love that we can give life to something.

    I am fortunate to have my mother live close by and my mother-in-law next door as I approach the season of empty nest. I do know that we are facing mortality of our parents and those will be some of the “hard parts” that I know I will be facing.

    Reply
  21. Carolyn Rogers

    Hi Holley,
    Thanks for your devo AND for posting your daughter’s blog. I read several of her postings and they’re great! Specifically, I could really relate to her experiences and what she got out of them made sense and caused me to pause. Ok, so I cried at the dog post (not to approach God with expectations because I some heavy responsibilities right now and it spoke to me). Please let her know that I really got a lot out of her messages and wish her all the best – she should most definitely continue writing!

    Reply
  22. Mary Lou

    “God is a Relentless Redeemer.” I needed that reminder today and it greatly encouraged my heart. God does NOT give up no matter if things are hard or even “impossible”.

    Reply
  23. Karen M

    I needed this so much today! I have been needing to hear that God is with me and for me! Thank you!!

    Reply
  24. Tammy Calvin

    Loved your uplifting message, Lysa, and thank you! While Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate, it can absolutely bring pain for some of us and I so appreciate your encouraging words.

    Reply
  25. carolyn clifton

    This post was a beautiful reminder that God always meets us at the place of our need. Thank you –

    Reply
  26. Patti Chriestenson

    Such a great article. Encouraged to share this with people I know – who’ll understand this story! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  27. Tina

    Your testimony offers such hope for those struggling –in many ways. It also shines a beautiful light on God and who He is. The author of Love. And families. He is working here at my church and in my life. We are responding to His obvious call to start a Foster Care Ministry. Don’t have a clue yet what that looks like, but I’m anxiously waiting to see what He’s doing. Your story helped me see that it’s worth the wait.

    Reply
  28. nancys1128

    “God was not ignoring us. He was not overlooking our hearts. He was not holding out on us while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to bring us to His very best.” Holley Gerth
    I love this paragraph! While I’ve not endured what Holley has, this paragraph struck me as so very applicable to any situation in which we feel ignored and overlooked by God.

    Reply
  29. Janice Bittner

    I have no biological children of my own. For I short time I had 2 step-daughters, until my marriage to their father fell apart. I still want children, even though I am in my 50’s. My dream is to have a big house with lots of bedrooms, so that I can be a foster mother to however many children God blesses me with. And hopefully that will lead to adopting several of them. God makes us mothers in so many different ways. We just need to find our niche.

    Reply
  30. Beth

    I was very encouraged by this quote: “He will never leave the true desire of your heart unfulfilled; the answers just may look different than you planned.”

    Reply
  31. Tristina

    What an amazing story.

    Reply
  32. Amanda R.

    This quote: God was not ignoring ME. He was not overlooking MY heart. He was not holding out on ME while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to bring ME to His very best.

    Mercy.

    Reply
  33. Amanda

    Mother’s day is hard…while I knew my birth mother we had a rough relationship. After years of threatening to give me away, she finally did when I was 11, when I went to live in a children’s home. Now she has died & I am in my late 40s & regret that I never considered children because I just thought I couldn’t be good enough to prevent another heartbroken child. Mother’s Day leaves me feeling less than…

    Reply
  34. Julie Jones

    I love this story of redemption and am so pleased God has not allowed your nurturing, life-giving gifts to go unused and that He has blessed you with children.
    One of my three sons died 3 years ago and there are many days that are difficult for me if I focus on what I have lost rather than the blessings I have had and will have again. I had the blessing of my son for almost 25 years and will one day be reunited with him in heaven.

    Reply
  35. Karen

    What a beautifully written reminder of God weaving plans for us that we don’t expect and how His dreams for us are always BIG.

    Reply
  36. Liz

    It is good to be reminded that the things GOD has planned for us are so much greater (and oftentimes different) than what we think will make us happy! He is good and what He does is good. Oh, that we would trust Him more! :o)

    Reply
  37. Barbara

    I was in my 20’s and had a complete hysterectonomy. We could not afford to adopt.
    Every year on Mother’s Day or the day before if we are out somewhere somebody always tells me Happy Mother’s Day. I always say to them I am not a mother. Then we will be somewhere and someone will say well we all have grandchildren. No we don’t. If you don’t have any children you don’t have grandchildren. When will people understand how hurtful it is to tell someone Happy Mother’s Day when the person wanted children and couldn’t have them. Bless my husband’s sweet heart he has made Mother’s Day to me Wife Day.

    Reply
  38. Brenda Martin

    I love how she didn’t allow her pain to turn into bitterness. By not doing so, she was able to help a young woman realize her dreams. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning! I have that testimony as well because my husband and I struggled to start a family. Our God is so faithful!

    Reply
  39. Teresa Rinker

    At work today I had the opportunity to listen to, cry with, speak to and pray with a young woman who is burying her 2 year old daughter on Saturday, her only child, who was tragically run over by the daddy as he backed out of the driveway. As I rawly (is that a word) made my way back to my desk, I saw Holly’s post about the pain of motherhood…I would love a copy of this precious treasure called a book. Thank you

    Reply
  40. Rebecca Andersen

    This is a beautifully written post and perfectly captures where I am today! We have struggled to get pregnant for over 6 years. Over the past 4 years, we attempted numerous fertility treatments as well as surgeries (for my husband) so we could get pregnant. Not a single time were we able to get pregnant. We finally “gave up” on the infertility treatments back in September and rather than asking God for children, we began to praise Him for what He has given us: beautiful and numerous children among friends and church family that we are able to interact with. We also began to discuss the possibilities of adoption or fostering.

    In the meantime, God was working. To our surprise, we found on Good Friday that God had allowed us to get pregnant without any of the treatments or human interventions! We were about 4-5 weeks along. It was a true miracle that only God could have orchestrated. It was such an amazing time and we felt so honored that God allowed us both to experience being pregnant for the first time. We both cried for joy and thanked God constantly the following days. Unfortunately, this was short lived. A week after receiving the news, I began to bleed and cramp. I had what seemed like a miscarriage over the weekend. And the following week, my lab results and ultrasound confirmed it. Our child was gone.

    This past Sunday, our pastor announced that on Mother’s Day we would be doing baby dedications during service. I turned to my husband with tears in my eyes and said, “I don’t think I can attend church on Mother’s Day.” We continue to grieve the loss but we do trust that God will provide, whether it is our own, through adoption, or some other means that only He knows. We trust and love Him and thank Him for those rare opportunities and experiences that only He can provide. What a privilege it was to experience the excitement and what a honor it is to experience the loss that so many other parents have felt through a miscarriage. I know that God will use these experiences for His glory and our good in the future. And like you said, Holley, it will be transformed into something we never expected.

    I apologize that this is so long. There is so much more to tell and so many more God moments during this journey. Thank you for reading.

    Reply
    • Kristin Smith

      Rebecca – I am so very sorry. Please know that I am praying for you.

      Reply
  41. Jeanette Zwart

    What an encouragement to know that God brings dear people into our lives for us to ‘mother’
    In 1969 I went to Ghana as a single missionary and Bible translator. From day one in the village, I met John Kipo who would teach me the language as a schoolboy and later became my translation helper and co-translator. John was an orphan and a gift from the Lord to me. We stuck together through many hard times. He never called me ‘mum, but he was and behaved like a son to me and we cared deeply for one another. After 9 years of sickness, John went to be with the Lord in 2010.
    I was deeply moved when I was named among those he left behind as his “adopted mother”. His 3 children are my grandchildren and we are close. They love the Lord and now I even have 2 lovely great-grandchildren. How blessed I am. Thank you Lord.

    Reply
  42. Liz C

    As I read this tears starting flowing for a friend who is having infertility issues. I would be so honored to win this and pass it along to her so it will bless her! I am forwarding this blog to her as soon as I hit post! What perfect timing God has!

    Reply
  43. Jen F

    I, too, struggled with infertility and God blessed me with 2 incredible kids. I love how His story is played out differently in each of our lives, yet the through line is always God’s faithfulness and love.

    Reply
  44. Christie M

    I just finished reading this blog with my jaw dropped in my hands…God continues to amaze me at the lengths He’ll go to speak to us…and to let us know He’s speaking to us. I struggled with the pain and loss of infertility for years before the acceptance came. I finally realized, as it was stated in this article, that I can be a “mom” in so many other ways; ways I have dreamed of before I ever knew that I couldn’t get pregnant. I’m at peace with it now…and I’m anxiously awaiting what God has next for my/our lives. My husband and I are in the midst of becoming foster parents, with hope to adopt. But the amazing thing is, is that when at all possible, we get to work with and mentor the birth moms and Dad’s too. We can share the hope and restoration there is in Christ with them!
    Mothers Day used to be a holiday that I dreaded…I would keep to myself and would definitely stay off of Facebook that day…but not anymore. Today, I celebrate it with other people…and just pray that I am the best “mom” I can be, whenever and whatever that look like. God’s plan is perfect…and perfectly planned…we just have to be open to seeing it. I’m so grateful I got to that point. Happy Mother’s Day to all. 🙂

    Reply
  45. Kristin Smith

    I know Holley and love her so. She is such a beautiful encourager and brought life into mine when I needed it most! It is a joy to see how God has blessed their family and I am excited to see where God takes Lovelle as well!

    Reply
  46. Tonia

    God is so awesome if we turn our problem into our solution God can work miracles. This post made me cry I lost my daughter to a world of drugs and destruction but I trust God to work a miracle in her life.

    Reply
  47. Jenni DeWitt

    Thank you for this reminder that God’s plans for us are long-term, not just the short-term plans I’ve imagined for myself.

    Reply
  48. Christie

    Last year’s Mother’s Day was tough. We’d miscarried a baby at 12.5 weeks plus it was my first without my beloved grandmother. I sat at church that Sunday and sobbed.
    This year, while I still grieve those losses, I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant and can’t wait to meet our son!
    I’d love to share this book wih a friend.

    Reply
  49. Melanie Moyer

    This weekend I am heading into our women’s retreat and I know there will be women there that are hurting in so many different ways. Reading this post today provided me with the encouragement I need to lift up and encourage these women who may be struggling. It’s a great reminder that our God is a redeemer and has great plans for each of us.

    Reply
  50. Karaleen

    Love any kind of heart encouragement! Ironic how so many of your post seem to be just what my heart needs that day!!

    Reply
  51. Ruby Ellsworth

    This story touch my heart. God do work in ways we don’t always understand. I raised my daughter as a single mom. I never expected to be single all my life, I had my daughter just before I turned 31 and she has been a blessing all her life. I always wanted a big family but that didn’t seem to be happening so when my daughter was 12 I started fostering I had many children come to my home on a temporary basis. at 62 I am still fostering and have two girls 12 and 13 that have been with me for 9 years. I am their mom and I love them dearly. I tell them they are the children of my heart. God will fulfill us in ways we could never dream. God Bless. Ruby

    Reply
    • Nico Smith

      My husband, Ron Smith andI can’t have kids naturally. Nevertheless, God has entrusted us to have pets as our children. Instead of having human kids, our reptiles are our very own children, whom we love a lot.
      Wherever I roam, I nurture others by encouraging them in times of need—no matter what they may be going through. Since many of those I encourage are older than me, I really don’t think of myself as a mother. I just show my love and kindness wherever I venture throughout each day.
      “Last year, I received many heartbreaking comments from women who were really struggling with Mother’s Day. Just the mention of the holiday stirred up deep hurt over infertility, adoption, and singleness. That’s why I asked my friend Holley Gerth to guest post today. She understands that deep hurt from her own journey with infertility, and I just love how she can shine a light into what can be a really dark place. Here’s Holley…”~Lysa TerKeurst
      Wow! Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for me, too. It’s not because my husband, Ron Smith and I can’t have kids…it’s mainly because neither one of us has been able to spend the day with our moms since we last lived under their roof. This holiday wasn’t spent with them since we basically wee living in the house with our families, sharing in special happenings with our families always. Since we’ve been out on our own, living in the supportive living environment—at the Mary Bryant Home for the Blind & Visually Impaired in Springfield, Illinois for a few years; now at Eden Supportive Living Champaign here in Champaign, Illinois, we haven’t—and probably won’t get to go visit our moms. (The only thing close was when we visited my husband’s mom for Christmas last year for only a few days.
      “The single pink line on the pregnancy test mocked me from the bathroom counter. “You’ll never be a mother,” it seemed to whisper.

      I sighed and dropped it into the trash—along with the hope it represented. Then I sat down on the edge of my bed and placed my head in my hands. “God,” I whispered, “Why does this have to be so hard?”

      That scenario repeated itself for years in my life.

      And then my heart began to slowly, unexpectedly heal as God changed my perspective on motherhood. A turning point came as I read the third chapter of Genesis one morning. In it Eve is called “the mother of all living.” In that moment God seemed to whisper this truth to my heart: All women are mothers. Because all women bring life to the world in some way.

      We encourage. We feed bellies and hearts. We nurture dreams. We create beauty. We birth books. And, yes, some of us also have physical children. But that’s not the only way to bring life into this world—it’s one of many.

      “I am not barren,” I began to tell myself, “I am blessed.”

      I realized I brought life into the world through my words. I was a mother. Embracing that truth gave me new hope and helped fill the hollow space in my heart.

      Years later I sat in my living room watching a documentary on kids who age out of the foster system. The narrator explained when these children turn eighteen they’re often simply told, “You’re on your own.” The story touched me deeply and when people asked if we’d considered adoption I started answering, “If I adopt, I’ll choose a twenty-year old.”

      One time when I gave the response above a friend of mine asked, “Have you heard of Saving Grace?” It turned out a transitional living home for foster girls aging out of the system was being started right there in my town. I connected with the founder, Becky Shaffer, and when I told her my dream she didn’t look at me like I was crazy.

      Although our lives were busy, Becky and I stayed in touch. The week of my thirty-sixth birthday she invited me to attend a banquet celebrating the accomplishments of the girls living at Saving Grace. God had impressed on my heart that my word for the next year of my life was to be love. And the night of the banquet I met my daughter: Lovelle.

      How old was she? Twenty, of course.

      Over the last year and a half we’ve become a family. She calls me “Mom” and my husband “Dad.” It turns out she’s a writer, speaker and dreamer too—which neither of us knew when we first connected. Those gifts were buried under years of abuse, surviving and even being homeless. But now they’re blooming like a sunflower. She married a wonderful guy in January so we now have a “son” too.

      Do I know why I went through years of infertility or why Lovelle spent so much time without a family? No … and I won’t in this life. But I do know this: God is a relentless Redeemer. He took all the hurt we experienced and transformed it into joy we never expected.

      God was not ignoring us. He was not overlooking our hearts. He was not holding out on us while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to bring us to His very best.

      Mother’s Day can be painful. Perhaps like me you’re in the middle of infertility. Or you might be pursuing an adoption that’s more difficult than you foresaw. Maybe you’re single and wondering if having the family you dream of is even possible. Wherever you are today, I want to whisper this to you … God is with you and He is for you. He will not leave the true desires of your heart unfulfilled; the answers just may look different than you planned.

      All those single pink lines on pregnancy tests turned out to be lines in a love story. And I wouldn’t alter God’s ending for anything.”~Holley Gerth
      Incredible! What a wonderful way of looking at where our dreams may be! God’s god reasons for why the various dreams we may have aren’t going to come true as we’d like; however, He replaces them with what He already has planned for our lives to live out the life He has for us.
      “Many of us tend to think, “Everything I have is the Lord’s, except for my eating and exercise habits. Those are mine.” But when we are the Lord’s, our body has to be surrendered to Him just like everything else. Caring for our body isn’t something we can do successfully independent of God.”~Stormie Omartian
      Amen! Everything we do isn’t something we can fully do completely on our own. We simply need God to cary us through whatever obstacles and challenges that lifemay throw in our direction.

      Reply
    • Anna Weekley

      I to struggle with Mother’s day because I have a mother who does’t claim me as her daughter. For 57 years I have tried to do my best to get her to love me it never happen. I wanted so much to get married and start my own family but it never happen. The years have passed me by, leaving me very alone- no spouse to love or share my life with-no children to watch grow or hold and love. and now I am still single and alone. I have been dianosed with Parkinson disease, type2 diabetes and the begining of COPD. I have been praying for many years for a soul mate but it was never happen. I sit in church every Mother’s Day and cry inside because I have never celebrate this special day with my own mother because she hates me and because I never got to experence this wonderful thing call motherhood. My heart is so empty and so full of pain and heartache. Why didn’t God answer myprayers?

      Reply
  52. Dawn

    “God is a relentless Redeemer.”
    Beautiful!

    Reply
  53. Melinda

    What a precious post!

    Reply
  54. Barbie Johnston

    I too struggled with Infertility for many years. I worked with children from the time I was 12 years old. God spoke to me that I had in fact “mothered” many children when serving in my many years of children’s ministry. God did bless us with a beautiful girl through adoption and she is now 24 years old and has been such a joy in our lives. I have a heart for the younger women I see coming up now who need mentoring and with a spiritual emphasis. God Bless all of our Mothers ……..

    Reply
  55. Kara Hyden

    This was a nice article to read. I’m not looking forward to Mother’s Day in a few weeks because it’s yet another Mother’s Day I don’t have any children to sit with me and/or say cute things on a video during the service. When Holley said, “He will not leave the true desires of your heart unfulfilled; the answers just may look different than you planned.” it does remind me that God is faithful all the time and in every way. I just have to keep reminding myself that sometimes. Thank you Lysa for sharing the post.

    Reply
  56. Sarah Philpott

    This blessed my soul. After two miscarriages I started writing a book about the topic. Over thirty women bravely shared with me their stories. Now I run a Loved Baby Christian Support group on facebook so that women can support and encourage each other through the darkness of pregnancy loss. Many are already dreading Mother’s Day. Thank you for this encouragement. Thank you for giving this topic a place of importance. Thank you for showing love through Christ!

    Reply
  57. Joy Pedrow

    I am a huge fan of Holley. I love her transparency, vulnerability, and truth. This message needs to be shared more often, and especially now since mother’s day is quickly approaching. I’m still single, but I have friends who have gone through the struggle of infertility. I would love to give this book to one of them.

    Reply
  58. Julia

    I always am amazed and encouraged by stories like this! We traveled the hard road of infertility for years and did not have the money to address the issues appropriately. God did allow us to be parents in His way, but I have never felt satisfied that I turned that issue over to him. I have deep regret that I couldn’t have been a woman of deeper faith like Holley. But I am encouraged that I can be healed of this one day and embrace the gifts that God has given me.

    Reply
  59. Suzanne R.

    Heartwarming post

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  60. Tatem A.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I had never looked at motherhood that way before. I have struggled for 10+ years with unexplained infertility. I once had a Profit tell me I would have 5 or 6 children.. I am still waiting expectantly for that but in the meantime I have a beautiful 14 year old step-daughter and a beautiful 10 month old God-daughter that I love as if I had given birth to them. I was very encouraged by your story. The love of God can overcome any and all hurt.

    Reply
  61. Amy Donnelly

    Mother’s Day will be painful for me but for different reasons. I was married for 12 years and we dealt with infertility but ended up with three beautiful boys (9 and 5 year old twins) and we also lost one ( I still say that was my girl). So, I know how infertility affects lives. I am divorced now (please don’t judge).
    After my divorce, I was reunited with a past love (who turned out to be the love of my life) and almost a year ago I lost him to a tragic car accident. This will be my first Mother’s Day without him.
    This blog spoke to me because the part about “God is a relentless redeemer. He took all the hurt we experienced and transformed it into joy we never expected.” I know he is not ignoring me….I KNOW this in my heart but some days it is very difficult to believe it. Many days of asking, “why me?” I have come to the point where I’ve accepted what has happened but it’s not any easier. I still wake up each day without him but the thing is….I get to wake up each day. I’m still here for my kids. I’m still here to be grateful to God for all the little things He has done for me and for the big things like the little time I had with my love. I’m still here to see all the beautiful things life has to offer….sunrises, sunsets, beaches, but most of all I get to see my wonderful little rays of sunshine grow up and hear them say they love me and that I’m the best mom in the world! To be honest, it doesn’t get much better than that!!!
    I feel for all those dealing with infertility….my heart aches for you all because I’ve been there. Don’t ever give up hope….with God on your side, there is always hope.

    I’d love this book because I still have many hard days ahead of me knowing that everyday for the rest of my life I will still wake up and he won’t be here. There will always be a part of my soul that’s missing. A little encouragement never hurt anyone!

    Reply
  62. Kathy C

    I am 57 and have never had any children. And yes, Mother’s Day can difficult if I focus on me but when I focus on the grace of God and what He allowed me to do for my nephews, nieces, and my friends children; I realize that I do have children, and lots of them. I have been up countless nights with sick ‘babies’, held them as the cried over broken hearts, held their hands through childbirth, because mom lived out of state and could not make it time, answered the phone in the middle of night to hear, I just need to know that you love me, held them in my arms as we cried over lost loved ones. I may not given birth to any of “my kids” but I sure have put in the blood, sweat, tears and worries as if I did. So on Mother’s Day, I offer thanks to God for the mom He blessed me with and I thank Him for allowing me to step into to fill the “mom” role for so many.

    Reply
    • Deb

      God bless you, Kathy. You ARE a mother! Maybe not biologically, but in the true meaning of the word, you are. Thank you for being there for so many who have needed you. 🙂

      Reply
  63. Amanda H

    I am walking the pink line journey…
    Thankful for this new truth that I am a mother in unexpected ways– as an aunt, friend, teacher.
    Thankful this article crossed my path.

    Reply
  64. Lina

    I always think Holley is amazing and encouraging! I cannot relate to this actual story except that God (as always) answered both dreams for her and Lovelle. I have been blessed with two wonderful daughters who were born to me in not the most wonderful of relationships but God has turned that around too. The man who is now my husband raised these girls along side me and now we all have a good relationship. There was even a surprise grandson along the way. God is still working, healing, and making us better each day….. Thanks for your story.

    Reply
  65. Patricia Smith

    This article was a reminder that I need to trust the Lord that he has a vision for me and he knows best for me. Thank you for sending me this reminder.

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  66. Stephanie

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. There were many years I struggled with infertility and a miscarriage left me heartbroken each Mother’s Day. Only now looking back do I see any rhyme or reason to what happened. I am now the mother to a rambunctious little boy, and whatever the path that brought us here, I’m thankful.

    Reply
  67. Anne Marie Ray

    I appreciate this post so much. I have one daughter & it’s been a very difficult journey – but that’s another long story. I have adopted a 17 year old young girl – 4 years ago as her mother(an addict) kicked her out & yet the 17 year old desperately needed a Mom, encouragement & guidance. We both have been extremely blessed – and she came to know Jesus as her Lord & Savior through my daughter & I.

    But I am particularly appreciative of this post because I teach Bible Study to women prisoners and I have been struggling with how to handle Mother’s Day. God is working through me to help these women to know Jesus as their Lord & Savior & to grow in their faith, to read & understand His Word & to heal from the emotional struggles and hurts they have had. I have been praying about how to help them with Mother’s Day as many are mothers, but some are not. And many of their relationships are broken and painful. I think I can use this post to offer encouragement no matter where they are at.

    Blessings to all!
    Anne Marie

    Reply
  68. Robin

    Mother’s Day can be hard for many people. In addition to those struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss, I think of those mothers who have buried a child; those who have recently lost a mother; or those who never knew their own mother.
    On Mother’s Day, I always remind my husband and daughter that I would not be a mother without them, so they are the ones that deserve a thank you.

    Reply
  69. Ally

    “God was not ignoring us. He was not overlooking our hearts. He was not holding out on us while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to bring us to His very best.” This really spoke to me… thank you for that reminder! I’m in the valley, and have been for over a year… I’m waiting on God’s rescue and restoration. Hebrews 6:19 is my strength… holding onto hope.

    Reply
  70. Cheryl Wieczorek

    I am now at peace being a woman that never had children and desperately wanted them. But then along comes Mothers Day each year to give the enemy another chance to whisper that you are not worthy. You have a choice to follow and trust God’s plan or grow bitter and sad with each passing day of your life. He has so richly blessed me in so many ways, how could I possibly question His ultimate love and goodness. Although I must say it is the one Sunday that I choose to worship in the hills by myself.
    Thank you Lysa and Holly for addressing this issue for I know it will touch so many hearts.
    Cheryl

    Reply
  71. Jennifer H.

    Thank you Holley for sharing how God transformed your hurt.

    Mother’s Day is always hard for me because I was abandoned by my birth mother when I was 6. She has never pursued a relationship with me. I dealt with years of rejection till I met my mother in law. She showed me what unconditional love was and led me to follow Christ. She passed away 4 years ago and each year it’s so hard to pass the mother card isle.

    I am grateful how God has circumcised my heart to show me how I am viewed in His eyes and loved deeply but would be lying if I said I didn’t have hard days.

    Thank you again for sharing this beautiful story about you and your daughter.

    Reply
  72. Lisa

    Thank you for the reminder of God’s plan for each of our lives. I walked the road of infertility for many years and remember the pain of of Mother’s Day. I now have two beautiful boys through adoption. I am thankful now for the journey that I walked and am ever grateful that this was God’s plan all along. Every moment of pain was worth it compared to the joy God has brought into our lives!! Not only can I use my story to encourage others but walking on this journey has brought me closer to God. Praise The Lord for His plan for us!!!

    Reply
  73. Sarah

    Thanks for this post! As a single woman, I almost deleted without reading because, well, I’m not a mother. I appreciate Holley’s perspective, though, because I am a godmother and a high school teacher, so I do a lot of ‘mothering’ just it’s other people’s children. I am also glad to be able to, perhaps, comfort some friends who see mother’s day as a reminder of how much they aren’t where they’d like to be. 🙂

    Reply
  74. Abby Breuklander

    Thank you so much for sharing, I really needed this!! As a single girl who was blindsided by the guy who I thought I was supposed to marry 5 months ago, my dreams of getting married and being a mom one day have come to a screeching halt. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know the One who holds it in His hands, and I can be a loving, supportive “mom” to everyone around me right now!

    Reply
  75. Samantha

    As an adult adoptee this post post touched my heart.

    Reply
  76. Rita Manea

    Awesome story. My daughter recently had major surgery to remove a huge ovarian cyst, which leaves her, in a way, unable to ever have a child. She is already 40 and no possibility of a date in sight, at least from what I can see, but it really was traumatic for her to have even this chance removed, and she was a person that was always dreaming.. if I had a boy I would call him… etc. Holley’s story is just what she needs to hear. We can bring life even single, even old. God is very creative, actually He is the creator. Forgot about that.

    Reply
  77. Sandy

    Adoption has been put on my heart in the past few months. My son recently was baptized, so I’m not sure if that was my adoption or if there is more. I’m still praying for God to lead me to the right direction on adoption.
    My sister in law and brother in law are trying to have a baby of their own. They adopted a baby almost 3yrs ago, but she would still like to have her own baby. They also foster 2 little girls periodically.

    Reply
  78. Sarita Sisco

    Even though I have been a single mom for 14 of my son’s 19 years of life, it reminds me God’s plan is so much more than ours. My son has a very loving father in Christ our Father.

    Reply
  79. Wendy

    I’m going through a desert time and it feels as though God has forgotten me. I know intellectually that He hasn’t, but it sometimes feels that way. Emotions are unpredictable things. But God is not. He is always faithful. He is always there. I don’t know why these things are happening, but I know that God isn’t surprised by them. I know He has a plan for me. Waiting to see it come to light is hard. I’m encouraged that you met your daughter finally, after all the years of waiting, of praying, of crying out to Him and feeling forgotten. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Reply
  80. kathy

    Your beautiful post touched my heart. I struggled with infertility for years – tests, procedures, treatments, counseling, etc. There was a lot heartache and each friend/coworker’s baby shower was unbearable. Thank you for a different perspective. I would do it all again. My children are my world.

    Reply
  81. Amber Paulsen

    Thanks for sharing this Lysa and Holley. It really spoke to my heart and I got teary eyed. I’ve never been pregnant, although growing up I wanted to be like my mom and have 4 kids. Last year when I was 39, people began asking me quite a bit more if I’m ever going to have kids. My husband and I had been married 7 years. I just tell people the truth, we leave it up to God and we think He will bless us with kids someday. Yet maybe because I was nearing 40, I really wondered if I should ask God instead of just saying “if it’s your will, bless us with a child”. I was afraid if I asked and He said “no” my heart would hurt so bad. In the past, we had prayed about adoption and He clearly said “no”. Trying to make a long story shorter… I finally asked God on my knees in tears. He was so nice to me. He didn’t say “yes” and He didn’t say “no”. The next day in my God time I heard “Would you be willing to give up having a child if you could reach more people for My Kingdom?”. I said “yes” but I did weep. I love that His answer was one that gave me a choice. He is so good to our hearts. Your book looks awesome, Holley!

    Reply
  82. yvonne

    Thank you, Holley, for identifying with the pain of us who struggled with the shame and burden of infertility. The month of May always stings and I often wanted to skip church especially when they ask the moms to stand up and I feel like wanting the ground to swallow me when I remain seated…it does not help that a friend of mine has four active, unruly kids and she thinks that she has the perfect life! Thank you for the reminder that we “mother” in different ways. My husband and I nurture the youth in our church and love them with our friendship and prayers. There is also a verse in Psalms wherein a barren womann will someday rejoice with a quiver full of children! Thank you for being so real and for sharing these words of hope and encouragement! You are a kindred spirit!

    Reply
  83. Bridget Lynch

    This is an absolutely beautiful reflection of God’s work in and through the lives of those who put their trust in Him. He is the Almighty God, Creator of all things, God of Love. His Spirit resides in us and He never leaves us or forsakes us. Thank you for this, I am sharing with all my friends and every media I follow!

    Reply
  84. Linnie

    Even though I didn’t suffer with infertility this spoke to me on waiting on God’s timing to bring me to the place where He wants me to be. Be encouraged that He hears my crys and is working all things for my good! Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us!

    Reply
  85. Suzie Doyle

    Lysa and Holley, as always you know how to touch women’s hearts know matter what season that may be. I’m single (@36, I feel somewhat on the shelf!). For various reasons I’m scared of what I want the most, to be married and have a family. But tonight Holley has managed to flip “motherhood” on its head. The perfect line – all woman give birth in some way. I used to be a paediatric nurse, but due to ill health that career was cut short. However in my “my life is pointless moments”, I am reminded of the children and families that I did care for and that I did make a difference too. Thank You Lysa and Holley for difference you make to women’s hearts all over the world.

    Reply
  86. SHIRLEY SCHUY

    I have had a mother and am a mother so can’t really relate but I have had many issues with both side of the mother/daughter things and life for each of us can be a struggle.
    I really appreciate how God blessed Holley in a very special way, He does continue to work in amazing fashions for all of us. Holley is blessed with her older daughter and now has the grandbabies to look forward to, and that will be another blessing for her in her times transition. blessings to both of you

    Reply
  87. Richelle

    “God was not ignoring us. He was not overlooking our hearts. He was not holding out on us while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to bring us to His very best.”
    Trying so hard to believe this, but today it’s extra hard. This will be my second Mother’s Day while struggling with infertility. And wow is it hard!

    Reply
  88. Sue E

    I love the idea of adopting an 18-21 year old! Young adults need all the love and support they can get as they move into their lives. God bless your loving, strong & caring heart.

    Reply
  89. denise wall

    The verse God is with you and He is for you and Love is what prompted me to comment today. My husband and I went through the loss of our first daughter Abby in 1999. She was born still and is at home with Jesus. We have seen over and over God’s faithfulness and have learned that all things will come together for His purpose. The word ‘love” is also a word that He has put on my heart.

    Reply
  90. mongupp

    Mother’s day is difficult for me as I lost my mother. I don’t understand God’s plan in her dying at age 66. I know I don’t need to though. He knows.

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  91. Rebecca

    This was a beautiful message. Thank you! I’m wondering if you have any encouragement for women who have lost their children in adulthood or who have been estranged from their adult children? Mother’s Day (and really every holiday where you are supposed to be with your family) are extremely difficult for this friend. I would love to encourage her.

    Reply
  92. Marissa McNeese

    This is my story too. I did get pregnant three times, but lost all of them. Those three babies in heaven make me a mother. But some people do not understand that and Mother’s day is always hard. I also create life thru the skits and plays I write and perform for God.

    Reply
  93. Lottie Mills

    I, myself, have children. But, I have a very special “secret pal” that has not been able to have any children. She is a superwoman! Her husband has cancer, and she works overtime, with a smile, to make ends meet. I can see in her eyes while at work, that her heart is really breaking on the inside when people talk about their children. She is such a loving, giving person and has so much to offer a child…….if she only had one. I plan on sharing this message with her and hope this can help her in some way.

    Reply
  94. Barbie Fitts

    Hope When Mother’s Day is Hard – reading this post brought several things to mind, one, my best friend lost her son last Father’s day by taking his own life, I passed this post on to her. Two, my husband and I do not have children – but, we have been blessed with many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephes and great-great nieces and nephew. Each one of these children have touched our lives in some way and with God’s help, we have touched their’s. Helping them in anyway we can, mostly by loving them and being here for them. I really loved this post – like it say’s – “God is a relentless Redeemer”. “God is with you and He is for you. He will not leave the true desires of your heart unfulfilled; the answers just may look different than you planned”. Thank you for an uplifting post.

    Reply
  95. wendy m

    “God was not ignoring us. He was not overlooking our hearts. He was not holding out on us while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to being us his very best. ” These words jumped out at me. It is as though you could see the hurt deep inside of me. I have longed for a family of my own and struggle with my faith and hope for my future. Your words are inspiring to me tho-I am encouraged how God met the desires of your heart and those of Lovelle. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your story.

    Reply
  96. Barbara

    I too waited for years (12) for God to answer my plea to be a Mother. After much prayer and wondering I finally realized that I needed to give my desire to God and His timing. Shortly thereafter we received a phone call asking us if we were interested in adopting a baby due in two weeks. Two years later came a second call, and we were to be parents again. Our two girls are now grown and we couldn’t have been more blessed. God is so good and His timing is always perfect.

    Reply
  97. Nancy Griggs

    Mother’s day has always been hard for me. My husband and I adopted three children, but they have never recognized me at mother’s day. It’s doubly hard because my birthday is also around that same time. Because my son is on Facebook, he knows it’s my birthday and He might message me. I would really like to get a card.

    Reply
  98. Joy Meyer

    Your beautiful words touched my heart. I know some women who are struggling with infertility and I’m going to share this with them in hopes that it will bring some hope to their hearts. Thank you!

    Reply
  99. Krysta

    I am so encouraged by stories like this. I have long wanted to look into adopting an older child, because they need families too. I love how God worked this out for you and it gives me hope that it may also work out for me to impact a life this way too!

    Reply
  100. Connie Cameron

    I’m in my late 50’s now, but I suffered with infertility issues for many years before being blessed with 2 biological children. They are grown and gone now – as in several hours away each. I will soon be alone. My husband (their dad) has terminal cancer. I sometimes struggle with the loneliness I will soon be facing. This post gave me encouragement and planted a seed in my heart to minister and mentor young women, who still need a mother figure in their life. Thank you for this post!

    Reply
  101. Michelle W

    I have found myself anxious for this Mothers Day. Not for myself but for a friend and her sister. The nephew of my friend will forever be 5 having courageously battled cancer since age 2 and taking his last breath nearly 2 weeks ago. I am praying for them daily and praying they feel loved and cherished this Mothers Day and every day.

    Reply
  102. Adrienne Zastrow

    Thank you so very much for your words of encouragement. I myself have two biological children and would love to adopt from the foster care system. However this is where my husband and I differ, he says we’re done unless a friend or family member needs us to raise their child(ren). This post gives me hope. It’s amazing that my plans never seem to be the same as God’s amazing and prefect plan for our lives. Sometimes is just my being willing to do something for him I thought I could never do. Other times it’s the winding and twisting path that leads us to his perfect place for us. I will always respect my husband’s wishes,yet this post shows me my journey may not be over for fostering. As my children age and grow, I “foster parent” their friends from school, kids in my youth group class and well you never know who may need us! GOD bless!

    Reply
  103. Melissa

    As another Mother’s Day approaches, I too feel the weight of childlessness. I’d like to say that each passing year it gets easier but that would be a lie. Most days I’m okay and have learned to see the many blessings I’ve been given in my 20 year marriage but then something will remind me of my childless arms and the hurt is so strong it literally takes my breath away. You are absolutely right about our God being a relentless Redeemer. I needed to hear that today more than I can ever express.

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  104. Sherrie

    I noticed that you didn’t mentioned grieving mother’s. I lost my only two children 5 years ago 9 days apart and I have been on my journey through grief since the moment my sons heart stopped in my arms. He was 21 and my daughter 18 died 9 days later. I have wanted to write and speak since my journey began so I can help other mother’s. Well I met you in Mandeville,La this week and I am participating in your book study Whe Women Walk In Faith and I believe my calling is to write and speak and I am praying it will be with Proverbs 31. Grieving is a needed topic because their are so many mother’s that are suffering and are searching for God. They feel lost and punished. I want to help lead them back to the Lord and back to a life worth living. God bless you for your wonderful work.

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  105. Heather

    Grateful for you ladies who encourage us through your words. Clinging to the hope of being remembered by our relentless Redeemer.

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  106. Regina

    I was married 17 years to my first husband and had four miscarriages. I lost those babies until I go home and also lost that husband to another woman. I am remarried going on four years now and I am 44 years old and childless. My heart breaks whenever I get to listen to a young child speak to me. They are so sweet and innocent.

    Reply
  107. Nicole K

    I have never heard the infertility/loss journey put quite like this post. It truly touched me. I would love to read her book and will look up her blog information to be further blessed. Thank you. I will be praying I can share this with someone in the coming weeks.

    Reply
  108. Theresa

    I can relate to this, but in a different way when it comes to Mothers Day! I was pregnant & all excited to be pregnant over Mothers Day!,but just a week passed by & I went into early labor at 32 weeks gestation they tried to stop the labor, but it was to late & I delivered a boy my son was born & was fighting to stay alive, they whisk him away to the other side of the room with me laying on the delivery table & started working on him as they were losing him, but 12 minutes was all he lived. So on Mothers Day I am not all excited as I think about my precious son that I was not able to raise & all the things I missed out on with him & all the love I have for him & just how much to this day almost 29 years later I miss him so much. That day was a day that changed so much of our plans for our lives. We had one son that was 13 months old already, but that does not take away the horrible pain you suffer when you loss a child. But we had planned to have a family of 3 or 4 children, but after losing our son we could not bring ourselves to ever try to have another child again because 1st it was so horrible that they were considering locking me up somewhere to get help because I could not deal with this & 2nd our son was born with a genetic disease that could happen again to any other children we had. There was no way we were going to put a child through the torture that our son was put through & we knew that we could not handle another loss like that again. But I was never mad at God I was so thankful to him for taking my son before he suffered any more then he already had. Because this disease is a horrible one & most children born with it never survive it & we knew we would have done everything humanly possible to keep him alive & what kind of life would he have had? Even though we never had any more children & that was a very hard decision for us to make we were blessed to have one healthy son & we were also blessed to have a lot of nieces & nephews that we got to just about raise. So had things not gone that way those nieces & nephews would not have had a decent place to go & there is no telling where they would have ended up. So God placed us here for them. But I also have taken that experience & joined many groups today for woman that lose their babies to try to help them through what they are going through by letting them know that how they feel is alright & that by looking at me after all these years you can survive the lose & just maybe I can give them ways that helped me to get to where I am today. Besides they also help me. This post was really beautiful as it covered so many other areas not just infertility. God Bless You!

    Reply
  109. Rose

    I losr my mom at age 66 on May 1, 1989. That Mother’s Day was full of grief. Our son was killed in auto crash age 22, in 2003. So yes Mother’s Day can be less than joyful for many reasons. Through the tough times pressing in to Jesus and praying Scripture has grown me. Father is so loving and faithful. Your blog is so encouraging and real. Your ministry is far reaching. Bless you dear ones. Let’s pray for each other and wrestle with God.

    Reply
  110. Ashley

    I’ve been reading in Job and this post reminded me so much of Job’s story. I keep telling myself that even when I don’t know what God is up to, he is up to something! And he works for my good!

    Reply
  111. Alex Andrews

    I am a 28 year old single girl and oh how the thoughts of having the family I desire flood my mind and heart. I find myself thinking of having the family I desire is in the plan God has for me. I often think to myself, will God ever send me someone to marry and start a family, I’m not getting any younger, this is never going to happen, this is taking to long. Thoughts like that flood my mind often, especially around a holiday. I read your post and I really love what you said about being single. “Maybe you’re single and wondering if having the family you dream of is even possible. Wherever you are today, I want to whisper this to you … God is with you and He is for you. He will not leave the true desires of your heart unfulfilled; the answers just may look different than you planned.” This is really an encouragement to me. Your words have given me a new perspective that God’s answers for the true desires for my heart may look different than what I think they should look like.

    Reply
  112. Jeanette Beck

    Mother’s Day is going to be hard for me this year. I lost my mother January 27, 2014. I had been her friend and caregiver for 51 years. I miss her so much. It has left a big void in my life but I pray everyday that God will help me through this.
    I have some of your books and love them all.
    Jeanette

    Reply
  113. Connie

    There are thousands others with deep, dark pain that lurks in their soul and hearts of the longings that were never fulfilled – the desire to simply be a Mom. On Mother’s Day, I don’t begrudge the joy of those who celebrate and revel in the love of their children. In fact, I rejoice with them. I rejoice and enjoy the “bonus kids and grandkids” of my own, whom I love with all my heart. I’m not forgetting that though I never had a child, I was a child, and did have a wonderful and loving mother. I have a friend whose own mother told her she wished she had had an abortion. Many of my friends have husbands who do not love them. Several have children who have brought great pain and disappointment to them or they never even see them.

    But Mother’s Day brings to mind all the feelings, the “bitterness of soul” and disappointments of somehow being incomplete … being different … somehow a second-class woman. Like Hannah in First Samuel, I wept many tears. How well I can remember the pain of yearning, hoping, grieving. Month after month, year after year, and losing hope that it would ever happen for me, as I listened over and over again to others relating to me their great news and watched them raise families. And the emotions on Sunday, and then Monday morning continued to rise and fall within my heart and I know they will once again be pushed down inside. Those emotions don’t really rise up as often as they used to. Years ago, I accepted that it would never be, and so I am able to rejoice with others in the excitement of their pregnancies and their experiences of birthing babies and raising children.

    How could I ever describe it to you? Only one who has been there and desired it so deeply could ever understand. Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, didn’t understand. He said to her, “”Why are you crying, Hannah?” . . . “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” (I’m thankful to say my own DH is sympathetic to my feelings.)

    The feeling isn’t even one of loss – because how can you lose something you never had? But there is grief. Somewhere I remember reading this is “unrecognized loss.”

    I won’t go on and on. My life is too blessed as it is. For whatever reason, there is a reason. There is a purpose for everything under heaven, and I understand all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose. So the purpose of these few paragraphs are to try … I said try … to get this off my chest and go on with my day – my life, which I will most certainly do. Life is too wonderful to wallow in self-pity for more than a few hours or a day. I remember a line from Anne of Green Gables that has stuck with me. “To be in despair is to turn your back on God.” I refuse to despair. Life is too good.

    God has been far too good to me for me to wallow – and I know He understands this brief lament. But God also knows every unexpressed thought and every unexpressed desire. He knows. He is Good. He has richly blessed me with His love, and with a husband who loves me, whose children loved and accepted me from the beginning, and their children know me as their Nonnie.

    This post wasn’t written for sympathy, and it wasn’t written to counsel anyone. Everybody is different. Everybody has different feelings, depths of grief. But if I could offer any word of encouragement, it would be to say, don’t give up trusting God that He knows and understands what you feel. Explore prayerfully the avenues you can to bring your dream to pass, but don’t let it become your god, define who you are, or become your obsession. Help somebody else. Be a loving daughter, sister, aunt, friend. Volunteer to help somebody else. Some people thought it was crazy that a woman with no children wanted to lead a Brownie troop, work in Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, or babysit for others. Believe me, you will be appreciated, and you will find joy in giving!

    You keep track of all my sorrows.
    You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in Your book.
    (Psalm 56:8 NLT)’

    It is comforting to know that our tears don’t go unnoticed, but life is better when we find that His grace is sufficient.

    Reply
  114. Lisa Gowen

    WOW, I do not think it is a coincidence: today a good friend of mine forwarded an encouragement that Holly had posted regarding enouragement. I think God is trying to tell/teach me something very important.

    Reply
  115. Glenda

    While I am a mother of two, I love that Hollis focused on God fulfilling the desires of our hearts in ways that are far greater then we can imagine. Also, that he is always working even when we don’t think he is. He gives us abundant life when we trust the desires of our hearts to him. Amazing!!

    Reply
  116. Amber livermore

    It’s amazing to see beauty come from ashes.
    I often marvel in seeing God’s divine timing in things, even though it’s hard through the struggle, He truely has a greater plan than I could ever imagine.
    Thanks for this amazing read today!

    Reply
  117. Faye Lynch

    When Mother’s Day is painful was beautiful. We were married almost 4 years before our first child was born, I know that is very little time compared to many who suffer with infertility, but was a long time for me, when I worked in a health department clinic and saw teenage girls, unmarried, pregnant everyday! God in His time blessed me with three full term children, and one miscarried baby who is in heaven waiting for me. This year I know at Mother’s Day, it will be difficult for my youngest daughter, who after 51/2 years of marriage, her husband left her and their 3 year old little boy last July, because he wasn’t happy. She struggles over her hurts and being a single mother, but her faith is in God. I know this is all in God’s hands and He is faithful and will continue to lead her, but please when you get a moment lift her in prayer. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  118. Kelly Grago

    What a fantastic post. So wonderful He brought you a daughter and a son. His ways are not our ways. I love how He prepared your heart in advance to receive your beautiful family.

    Reply
  119. Susan

    I am feeling sad at the thought of mothers day as my mama died only a week before Mother Day 2 years ago. I miss her and wish I had one more with her. But I focus that energy on making sure my kids have a good mothers day with me, and we spend time together. They don’t have a dad in their life so I’m mom and dad. I intend to make sure they know how special they are to me AND to God! Thank You! I would love to read more inspirational materials.
    Susan

    Reply
  120. Kim

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I too, struggled with infertility for many years. I could relate to so many of the feelings you expressed in your post. The hardest year for me was when my sister and my sister-in-law both became pregnant out of wedlock. Neither of them were happy about becoming pregnant. I felt like God was withholding the greatest gift from me, while other people that didn’t even deserve a baby were getting pregnant. I don’t wish this struggle on anyone, but I know the work God did in my life through this has forever changed me. He is faithful and He does give good gifts to his children. After ten years, God gave my husband I boy/girl twins. They are truly double the blessing. I would love to read the book you shared. Blessings, Kim

    Reply
  121. Sharron

    This was exactly what I needed to read tonight. It was such an encouragement to me as we wait to see what God has for our family. It has been a long wait and we struggle at times as we wait for His direction.

    Reply
  122. Amber

    I can’t relate to the infertility but I can relate to it being a very hard Mother’s Day coming up. This will be my first Mother’s Day without my mom and am not doing so good. But I have the hope that she is with the lord and I know that God has me that God has been carrying me ever since. My world got turned upside down. I know that these last few months I have not been walking alone he has been by my side. I pray for everyone else this Mother’s Day who is heart broken that God just wraps his loving hands around you.

    Reply
  123. Trina Ruckman

    Wow, Lysa, Thank you so much. I know someone who wants to have a baby very much. She even put on her facebook page yesterday that she would like to start a support group that would meet maybe once a week to have someone to talk to who is going through the same kinds of things that she is. She has a heart for others who are going through the same or similar circumstances. I think she would love this book and I would be glad to pass it on to her. I really enjoyed the author’s perspective. Thank you again, Trina Ruckman. P.S. I love Made To Crave!!!!!!

    Reply
  124. Stephanie C.

    I loved how this post talked about how God has a plan for us all and how He works in such mysterious yet wonderful ways.

    Reply
  125. Vicki White

    I am encouraged reading the words you gave and very interested in the book and necklace. God has given you a special insight
    Thanks Vicki

    Reply
  126. Becky M

    I actually have two children of my own. But, my sister struggled with infertility for years. I love the idea that we can be mothers because we bring life to world in so many different ways, not just by having children. My sister now has three children, but each one was a long, hard medical process. How I wish I would have had these words to encourage her through those years!

    Reply
  127. Erica

    How beautiful! I haven’t struggled with infertility, but it’s always been on my heart to adopt, and this has opened my eyes to the idea of these precious girls and boys who are growing out of the system.

    Reply
  128. Kerrie

    I am encouraged by Holley’s affirmation that God is with us, for us and is intimately aware of our desires. I am encouraged to trust in Him. The challenges of motherhood are beyond my understanding at times yet I know there is a purpose for the struggles which will be revealed. Holley gives me hope when she says that God’s answers may be different than what we expect.

    Reply
  129. Kelly H

    Just… Wow.
    I’m sure my own raw post regarding the pain of hope deferred was one of those you mentioned. I feel like a childless mother, especially around Mothers Day, and any “kid holiday” or “family” focused event at church or in the community. At 45 with no kiddos and having never married, t’s similar to the ache that occurs around Valentines Day and when my parent’s or grandparents annerversary rolls around…. And at every wedding or baby shower I attend… Even the bitter sweet of getting Christmas cards that of are photos of couples and families (how normal this is, yet how equally odd it would feel to send all of them a photo of … Just Me.) As much as I adore my mama, and as much as I truly want to share in the joy of honoring her and all my friends and family members… And mothers everywhere… Mothers Day has become more painful each year. It is grief inducing at worst, and empty at best. This week, as I flipped the calendar to make an early May appointment, that deflated feeling blindsided me yet again.
    Holly’s post was so needed, and I’m so grateful you did not wait until the week of Mothers Day to share it with us. That shows me you realize this isn’t just about a day on a calendar…
    It’s a soul ache that never goes away. It’s just that some seasons call more attention to the pain.
    Best,
    Kelly <

    Reply
  130. Leann

    I so needed to hear this message… Thank you.

    Reply
  131. Donna Dodson

    Mother’s Day for me, is one of many mixed emotions. I love being with my children, but as an adoptee, I long to know if my mother thinks of me and what I would give to at least be able to speak with her on Mother’s Day.

    Reply
  132. Sandy Temple

    What a beautiful story and encouraging reminder that my own beautiful story is still His work I progress!

    Reply
  133. Latrelle

    What a sweet & refreshing way to view things. I would love to read your book for my “hard” days,

    Reply
  134. Shannon Ketchum

    This means a lot to me because I have suffered through infertility for 10 years. I recently just found out that my sister is expecting her second child, when I haven’t even had my first. So this has been an extremely hard month for me. Thanks for sharing how we are all mothers.

    Reply
  135. Ann

    What a touching blog post that plucked at my heart strings. And what an amazing daughter she now has in Lovelle! God is amazing. But the journey can so often be a roller coaster. I have been blessed with a healthy son, who is now 4. I praise God for him daily, yet still desperately would like for my son to have a sibling and for our family to have another child. However, we have also faced a series of recent heartbreaking events, having 3 miscarriages in a row in just 12 months. I’ve had lots of single pink lines, and I’ve also had the double pink lines of joy… followed by subsequent despair. Hope and joy is what I pray for more of, as well as God the comforter to help squash the fear in my heart that it will happen again. Thank you Holley for the encouragement, and for being brave to share your story! I would love to read your book!
    ABC
    p.s. Lovelle has a GREAT blog! Please publish some of her posts on Proverbs 31…

    Reply
  136. Anna

    What beauty for ashes your words testify. While reading I prayed for a sweet girl that needs that same healing. She knows The Lord but her circumstances seem bigger than His love. I would pass that bundle of encouragement and necklace to her.

    Reply
  137. Deb

    Thanks so much for sharing your unique story. There are so many women who are hurting from living with infertility, but I agree with you that being a “mother” might not look exactly like you had planned. Loving, but childless aunts helped raise my mother, whose own mother was an alcoholic. We are so thankful they were there to stand in the gap for her. There are so many ways we can use our gifts to help others – adoption and foster children are great options, but our schools and churches are full of people who need “families.” I pray that women will trust that God has not forgotten them and look for opportunities that might not fit what they had envisioned.

    Reply
  138. Broken-

    It would be nice if you could also address the mothers who will not be spending the day with their adult children because of estrangements- because their children are no longer walking with the Lord, but have decided to live a life of sin in the world. It’s hard, for mother’s like me, who’s grown children have become angry, and no longer allow you to see your precious, young grandchildren. much less them. I dread the coming of this day, because I will be spending it alone. I know that your ministry is aimed for new/young/ mom’s of teens, but there are those of us who need to be encouraged by the Proverbs 31 ministries team, who’ve tried to raise their children according to God’s word/plan, but are now divorced, or even married still, but their kids won’t come around, because it’s a reminder of the sin in their lives; or, who use the grandchildren as a pawn, and break your heart by denying you access to them, after you’ve babysat them from day one, or been actively involved in their lives from early on. I know you can’t personally address this, because you haven’t been there yet, but there are many of us, struggling with the pain of being mothers- even grandmothers- yet not being either any longer.

    Reply
  139. Kristin

    What a beautiful story. I will be sharing this with a friend who has just been through a rough roller coaster ride at this point in her life. God bless!

    Reply
  140. Marie

    WOW, thank you. I am past the child bearing age during which I remained barren. I feel left out as I do not have children nor as most my age grand children now. I cannot talk about it as it just hurts. God has slowly taken the pain of no children but now I feel the pain of no grandchildren. My second husband left to an new wife who gave him a child. She invites me over for holidays to play with their son. Uh sorry I just cannot do that. I teach and folks tell me you are a mother to them. YES, I am an overly protective mother hen when they are at school, but none of them go home with me to teach how to sew, garden, about God or tell stories of when I was a kid or repeat those stories Grandma told. I have no one to pass down the family girl painting to from the early mid 1800’s. Thank you for telling me that just because they did not come from my belly I am not a mother. I might actually be able to go to church on Mother’s day without crying and running out. I would like to know more about the Saving Grace program and if it is in my city. I would love to “adopt” an adult child to cherish as my own.

    Reply
  141. Kristin S

    What a timely message. Our God is always on time, I shouldn’t be surprised. I had questioned today, will this ever happen for us? Why is it taking forever, it seems. It’s just not the right time. God has a plan. He’s always on time…not my time. Thanks for sharing this today.

    Reply
  142. Teresa R

    thank you for this message of hope. I lost my daughter, 32, Oct 2011. Maybe God is leading me to check out a place like Saving Grace. The book would help and the necklace would be a reminder

    Reply
  143. Michelle

    I’m in the middle of my infertility journey now and Ive battle with feeling broken and like a failure. Thank you for you encouraging words they brought life to me.

    Reply
  144. Rachel S.

    I am a mom but we all have things that make us feel inadequate. Supporting each other and uplifting each other is what we need.

    Reply
  145. Erinn

    My friend shared this post with me because she knows that Mother’s Day is really hard for me, deeply painful. I have such deeply profound yearnings to have children – little pieces of me and little pieces of my husband knit together within my body. But this desire has gone unmet for many years, hindered by dark, long shadows from my past. Not even knowing what barriers, like infertility, may still lie ahead once the past itself has finally been redeemed. And my heart and soul ache with this longing. And I weep as each year passes and I grow ever older and watch hope pass me by. This post, though …… I found so much hope and possibility and life in the words, “All women are mothers. Because all women create life in some way.” These words created such a picture for me, calling to mind the ways that I have been creative and the ways that I myself have felt alive and that from these things I have been able to contribute to the life-giving experience of others. I also really needed the reminder that His best for me – and for the child He may one day (hopefully) have in mind for me and my husband may not be the way my limited sight imagines. And there is a freedom in resting in the idea of His best for me. And then, there’s the most impactful, lasting encouragement found in this post: He is a Relentless Redeemer. Ahhh, now *there* is balm for the broken and weary soul, a deep and abiding hope. Thank you for sharing your tender story. For sharing hope.

    Reply
  146. Judy C

    Although I have children they have both recently moved out. One now lives approximately 12 hours away, so this message spoke to me too. I feel like I’m not ready to give up having younger kids. I am trying to find other ways to do that – like helping out with my church’s vacation Bible school.

    Reply
  147. Angela

    I am a stay-at-home mom to 3 children. I go back & forth from week to week feeling like I’m drowning or I’m getting it together. I often wonder where my thankfulness went since we miscarried our first baby. Life with kids ages 6, 4, & 2 is so hard. I’m taking away from this post that God has an end result all planned out for me; I just need to trust Him & try to brush off the little frustrations in the meantime. I might just enjoy the journey that way…

    Reply
  148. Julie

    Holly’s notorious negative pregnancy results were a constant in my quest to be a mother. I would cry out to God ” why?” My husband and I adopted a beautiful baby girl
    And was blessed again at the young age of 36 with another daughter, a pregnancy!! Mother’s Day is very special to me as are my beautiful daughters. God more than answered my “why?” As He graciously does for all of us

    Reply
  149. Joy Paulson

    I love this article. It encouraged my heart even though I have three children. Foster care is a good place to start for anyone and it give women hope with ideas.

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  150. Monica

    I understand Holly, I am in her shoes, I love the way she said women bring life to the world in some way, I will try to think in those terms rather than feeling sad about not having children.

    Reply
  151. trina goodwin

    so glad you shared the story of holly gerth with her experience with trying to have a child. so blessed that god had a plan for her it shows how we have to be patient and god knows his planning, so glad that she shared stories of older children still struggling to be adopted even in there twenties, so glad lovelle was blessed with great loving parentswhom chosen her to be there daughter at her age. so glad they are all doing well, god bless.

    Reply
  152. Katie

    What a beautiful story. I know many friends who are going through infertility and it breaks my heart for them. I love that she adopted a young girl after she ‘aged out’. It’s so amazing to see how God worked in their lives

    Reply
  153. Nanci Zehner

    This gives me hope. Like Holley, I never had children and spent years feeling less than and cheated out of something “everyone else had.” I was hurt and angry at God. Then, I too, came to understand that God has a plan for my life and while it didn’t include children of my own, I could still share my love and nurturing wherever possible. I’m going to check to see if Saving Grace is in this area because I’ve said the exact same thing — I’d adopt a 20-year-old! So funny! Maybe that door will open for me too. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
  154. Jessica

    This reading helped me with the l
    “I’m a blessing not a burrdon.” It helped remind me my burrdons don’t make me a burrdon, and in the end they’re all blessings.

    Reply
  155. Lisa Sung

    What a good testimony. God’s timing and plans are better than ours. It is hard to wait but in the end, the waiting for God’s plan is worth it.

    Reply
  156. Jane McClunan

    I really empathize with this type of parent /child relationship”creation”.
    I have had many adult children become my own while my own are already living abroad and I missed them terribly
    Excellent article and I want to receive more information about other mothers experiences
    Regards
    Jane

    Reply
  157. Becky Brooks

    I don’t have a mom, never did. Didn’t know my birth mom till I was 32, and my adoptive mo was abusive and still, to this day (I’m almost 40) tells me and others she hates me and is sorry she adopted me bc I’m not like her. No, I’m not. I believe in God. I’m a Christian. I do what is right for my famiy, not whats right for her. My birth mom died 2 yrs ago. I know the sting of rejection from both. Now I have 2 kids, teens, who hate me bc I tryto protect them and give tem a Godly foundation. My mom saud, the other day, I don’t have family who lives and supports me. She’s right, I don’t. But I have God who is far greater, and He has given me the greatest Christian friends in the world.

    Reply
  158. Sharon

    I needed this – God sent me to this blog post. I’ve been hurting for years dealing with infertility in the back of my mind and heart. With the loss of both of my parents, I’ve had to put this hurt “in the corner” to deal with later. If I don’t win, I would still be interested in reading this book and her blog. I’m in need of some healing that only the Lord can provide!! Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.

    Reply
  159. Amy R

    I was diagnosed with infertility at the age of 25- I completely understood about those mocking pink lines, as I’ve had several of my own. I am now 38, and I am the step mother to 3 children. It has been a long and arduous road! I will say though, that Mother’s day is still hard- so many pastor’s focus on the “gift” of giving birth- completely leaving out those of us who never will. I also never get to spend Mother’s day with my children- they spend that day with their mother.
    I do appreciate this post- so much faith and such a positive outlook on a situation that can cause a bitter heart.

    Reply
  160. Tricia C

    Holley, you always encourage me! While my situation is very different my mothers days have been hard the past two years. We lost our 13 year old daughter in 2013. While I know she is with Jesus, this mamma heart still misses her with my entire being. Grief is such an odd emotion. No handbook, no timeline and it visits at different times. We also have a 10 year old daughter that fills our lives with joy and I am proud to be their mom. I hold onto the promises that one day I will see my sweet girl again!! WhY a glorious day that will be!

    Reply
  161. Lezlie Carter

    This article spoke to my heart assuring me of the truth that my value doesn’t come from having children. I’m often asked how old my kids are and I don’t have any. It hurts so much depending on the day. I love my students so much and have been a teacher for 20 years, loving and inspiring them to follow God’s call upon their lives. I am also single, never married, which in today’s society brings shame it seems. I choose to wait upon The Lord and honestly don’t understand His ways; but I know He loves me. Trusting God is not easy, but I choose to walk by faith…laying all my dreams down at his feet.

    Reply
    • Kelly H

      Right there with you Lezlie
      Hugs

      (See my comment above …
      Posted yesterday)

      Reply
  162. Vavena Wildhaber

    As a fatherless daughter (now raising 5 sons) that spent years in the system, your journey makes my heart smile… would love to hear more. Continued blessings to you and yours.

    Reply
  163. Debbie

    Thank you for your message of healing and wisdom. He IS our relentless redeemer and you have reminded me once again that God will bring His plans for our best!! Sometimes that is so hard to see through the hurt but so thankful we can trust HIM!

    Reply
  164. Tracy

    I love that God’s plans are best, and he has my back. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

    Reply
  165. Jana

    Thank you so much. I am 31 and married. I have an almost 15 year old stepson, whom we do not get to see much (Long, long story). I pray so much on if I am suppose to have a child of my own. I often feel sad and somewhat angry on the day that pink line occurs or my monthly begins. I never thought about it this way I know His ways and thought are higher than mine. I know He has a plan for me life. This was so encouraging. I have such a huge heart for kids. Please pray for me. Pray that I will have a loving and patient heart.

    Reply
  166. Amanda

    Thanks for writing this. We’ve struggled with infertility for the last two years, and it’s hard to wait on God’s plan. But he’s definitely with us.

    Reply
  167. Jan Newby

    What a wonderful blessing this article was, I deal with our ladies ministry in our church and deal with many who go through the same struggles and questions.

    Reply
  168. Stephanie

    Truly inspiring! Bless you for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  169. Stephanie L.

    Yesterday I wrote a blog post/journal entry talking about what dark days feel like. Those feelings of guilt, shame, and self loathing that can come and break me down in the middle of this infertility journey we’re on. I told a friend last night that I’m not sure I trust God anymore. Years of this hurting and feeling like all we are getting is escalating awful with no reprieve is wearing me down. I really needed this Hope today. Thank you!

    Reply
  170. Jessica L.

    This post really reached a deep fear in my with a loving touch only God can provide. I have desired all of my life to be a mother, and am now married and hope to start a family soon. My husband and I have not started trying yet, and I have no proof of infertility, but somehow deep in my heart has always been a struggle with the fear that my life long desire of being a mother may never happen. When I read this post the truth spoke louder then my fears and even caused me to struggle with who I am right now. I don’t have children now, but what am I doing now with my life to be “mother” to the world around me? Who am I nurturing and giving to? I don’t want to be so focused on my fear, and my future desire that I miss out on fulfilling who I am NOW in the life God has put me in.
    So thank you!!!!

    Reply
  171. Beth Iwasz

    This devotional left me feeling hope for all who long to be mothers. What a wonderful way to state it. We are all mothers, in one way or another. Thank you for sharing your story and God’s plan. It’s hard when we’re in the midst of struggles to see God’s plan, but it is a beautiful one indeed.

    Reply
  172. Sandra schmidt

    Thanks for encouraging all women everywhere to be patient and hopeful while they wait for God’s timing to unfold.

    Reply
  173. April Seay

    Thank you so much for being real! We struggled with infertility for many years. The end result was a hysterectomy for several problems that in all actuality were worsened by the hormones I needed while trying to conceive. I had a total of 5 surgeries during our infertility journey. When we received the phone call that in-vitro fertilization had failed, I literally shook my fist at God. I had never felt completely abandoned but in that moment I questioned everything I knew about a loving God. My dear husband held me as I beat his chest and screamed/yelled/cried at God. Many years of love, prayers, and tears healed my broken heart. We moved to a new town and met precious friends we now call our family. I now have two “sons” that call me their second momma and love me like no one else can. I have two nieces that have a special place in my heart that no one else can fill. Mother’s Day is still the hardest day of the year for me & I still struggle with going to church that day (the dreaded all mothers stand and be recognized moment). There are honestly still days I question why God allowed us to go through in-vitro that He knew would fail, why He never allowed adoption to be an option, and why I’m not called to be a “mother”. This post reminds me though that I am a mother. I have the freedom to love my 2 boys and 2 girls in a very special way. Thank you so much for helping me see that!!

    Reply
  174. april

    I have 4 Beautiful Children & my heart aches for women who want to have children but for whatever reason cannot. I really like this story & the reminder that all women have the power to give life with our words & many other ways. We all mother in some way & that is unique & beautiful! Also the part that spoke about God’s best for us & how he didn’t forget but we must wait for his perfect timing in all things really helped me this a.m!

    Reply
  175. Linda from Wisconsin

    These thoughts are truly written from her heart.

    Another group of mothers who find Mother’s Day an extremely difficult day are the mothers who have had a child who has been called home to be with the Lord much sooner than we as moms had planned. Losing a child to death is also heartbreaking. Only through God’s love, support, and healing are we able to have the empty spot in our lives and hearts made whole again. I Praise the Lord and thank him daily for giving my a precious son who was part of our lives four years, The Lord has used me to minister to other moms whose children have died. Please pray for these moms as they face another Mother’s Day missing their child.

    Reply
  176. Loretta

    But I do know this: God is a relentless Redeemer. He took all the hurt we experienced and transformed it into joy we never expected. amen!
    At 47 I married a man with 3 grown daughters. The bonus daughters we say. God had many ways of forming families and making us mothers. Only we humans often get stuck in the thinking that one path is better than another.

    Reply
    • Kelly H

      Thanks for posting at 45 & never married i still long for a Husband to do life with, but I think missing out on being a mama has been a far greater grief. For years I thought I’d received a promise that I’d marry a man with small children, who needed me as a mama. Now my friends are beginning to enjoy time w their grand-babies, and it’s as if I’m grieving what time has taken and simultaneously beginning to fear the possibility of missing out on grandkids as well. Hard to keep my head up some days.

      Reply
  177. Ginger McDugle

    I adopted 2 boys…1 as an infant from Honduras and the other as a 12 year old from foster care. the older one is married now and has given me my 1st grandchild. They younger one still struggles with the pains he grew up with in a disfunctional family and in foster care. I am empty-nesting now and miss my boys! 1 month before my younger son moved across state last year my mom died (the Tuesday before Mother’s Day last year). I am at a loss right now trying to find God’s purpose for me at this time in my life as I struggle with the loneliness that comes with children growing up and the loss of my mom & best friend. Holly’s article was encouraging for me to look for others in my church who may need me. Thank you!

    Reply
  178. Julie

    Loved this reminder of how others can have a tough time on Mother’s Day…including myself! God has been so faithful to me and am blessed beyond measure. This Mother’s Day I will try to think of someone else 😉

    Reply
  179. Cassandra

    This was so encouraging to me today as I look toward Mother’s Day in the next couple weeks. I’ve gone through 4 now hoping to finally be a mom by the next one and this year I know that will never be after years of infertility and treatments. Well,it will never be a baby borne of my womb but this article was such a beautiful reminder that though my arms are empty, my mother’s heart is full and open for what that looks like in my story. And that is something to celebrate.

    Reply
  180. Judy

    I know how painful infertility can be. We went through it for eight years – all the testing, all the miscarriages, all the disappointments, while watching people around us have children – some of whom didn’t even want them. We started the adoption process and were set to pay our first payment when God blessed us with a full term pregnancy, and a beautiful baby boy. A year and a half later we were blessed with another baby boy, our “bonus” baby as we called him. This is still a very tender spot in my heart for those who are traveling this path. I have someone who is there right now and it breaks my heart at they go through this, because I know the pain. Even though God doesn’t always grant our wish of a biological child, He has a plan for all of us and HIS plan is always perfect.

    Reply
  181. Crystal

    I have never thought of motherhood from that perspective before. What wonderful wisdom. My husband and I did not struggle with infertility, but our first baby was premature and died after six days. That was a difficult time and we were very concerned as to whether or not I would be able to carry a baby to full term in the future. The Lord did bless us with two healthy girls and we have had numerous opportunities to minister to others about our experiences. We do have two precious nephews who were adopted and can’t imagine life without them. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Reply
  182. Lee Ann

    After many years of trying to get pregnant, and 4 miscarriages, I had given up all hope of ever being a mother. I cried to God and told Him I did not understand why this was happening to me. God answered me and helped me realize that God had brought children into my life. God blessed me with the ability to work in childcare for 20 years. I had many children in my life that I cared for and was a “mother” for them. God truly blessed me, it took me a long time to realize that. Now I am the Administrative Assistant at our church and there are several children there that I help by being there for them and listening when they need someone to listen. God truly did not leave the desires of my heart unfulfilled. God blessed me with an abundance of children to love.

    Reply
  183. Rachel

    i will definitely be pondering what she said, “what am I bringing life to”. It’s always better to focus on the positives and not the negatives in life and this is one of those ways of focusing on what I can do and do have instead of what I don’t have.

    Reply
  184. Natasha Metzler

    Love this. Love Holley’s story, Lovelle’s story, and God’s beautiful matchless redemption. I have seen Him work these same wonders in my own life and I love that He is willing to redeem the broken pieces of every life.

    Reply
  185. Kim Leech

    For years I struggled with infertility and suffered 2 miscarriages. I thought I was being punished because of an abortion I had in my teens. I was finally blessed with 2 healthy daughters and we are now beginning a new chapter after I had the courage to leave an emotionally & verbally abusive marriage. I was adopted when I was 16 days old, so both of Holley’s stories are very close to my heart. God bottles every tear and doesn’t let our pain go unnoticed.

    Reply
  186. Natasha

    I know how it is difficult being single and without a child you carried for 9 months. But, I do know about hope and strength. My sister gave birth to my sweet 4 1/2 year old niece and the minute I held Ava, I was in love. Ava calls me Mama Tasha and those sweet words speak of the love we have for one another. God is so good! Now, a new niece is on the way! More love to give! 🙂

    Reply
  187. Jenny

    Holley’s post brought tears to my eyes because it hits so close to home. It’s so easy to get bogged down in what I don’t have, especially when it comes to having a baby. To see so many have them so carelessly and easily and then be denied month after month. I know God has a plan for our family and this post both provided the affirmation that I needed and hope for what lies ahead. Thank You!

    Reply
  188. Lauren Jolly

    This post was beautifully written and a wonderful reminder of His never ending faithfulness, despite our sight. I’d love to win the bundle and gift it to my little sister who is 33, single and who dreams of being a mom but really struggles with trusting God cares for this dream of hers!

    Reply
  189. Arlene

    Love that Holley’s faith led her in a different direction. Many people assume if they don’t get the answer they want from a prayer that God ‘didn’t answer.’ Maybe He answered “no” or “not now” or “wait a while” OR “not this, but that.” Maybe we pray for what we want, but we get what we need. Holley inspired me with her patience and resilience and willingness to see the dream differently.

    Reply
  190. Tiffany

    Everything about this post and the opportunity to read it today was exactly how God planned it for me. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that “I am blessed.” I appreciate your eloquent words spoken in truth and love that I bring life into the world, too. I am currently working on a research project about foster care youth in community college and so this post, again, was just so timely and encouraging. Thank you.

    Reply
  191. Patty

    Thank you for always inspiring. You’re truly blessing many heart’s ♥ through your gift of encouragement. I am one that has been touched and inspired by your words.
    Thank you ☺
    Patty

    Reply
  192. Disha Moreau

    What a timely devotion for me. I have been battling infertility for about 3 years. This week has been rough. Tomorrow is my birthday and I was hoping for some answers to this issue. Being an elementary teacher fills the gap of motherhood. My students showered me with cards, gifts and songs.
    Thankful that JESUS fills all the gaps in my life!

    Reply
  193. Pam

    I need to be reminded that my desires don’t look exactly like I think they should. God fulfills the desires of my heart in His way and in His time.

    Reply
  194. Louise

    I have a daughter, but in the past 6 years or so,we have not been very close. Just because you have children, you can still feel alone. Reading this helped me even though I have given birth and I AM a mother. I know that God is working

    Reply
  195. Shannon

    My husband and I were married 11 years before we were able to adopt our daughter. She is now 20. Looking back, it is so easy to see how perfect God’s timing was. Our experience was a faith lesson that gives
    us peace and hope for the future.

    Reply
  196. Karel

    I have walked the path of years of infertility and 4 miscarriages… in the end God did bless us with 3 boys but there is a piece of my heart that is very tender to those who are walking this path. I have not forgotten those very real deep feelings and sadness. Now I walk the path of losing my own mom so it will be a hard mother’s day. Although we lost her a few years ago to Alzheimer’s disease we lost her just recently physically as she went home to her eternal home as is whole once again in the presence of her Lord and Savior. There are many facets of motherhood we each carry. This journey of life is not easy. Praise God His mercies are new every morning.

    Reply
  197. Erica Cowell

    So needed to hear this today, struggling with seeing all the happy pregnant ladies, and new little ones. And just needed to remember He has plans for me still.

    Reply
  198. Lorraine

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful message from your heart. I have been inspired by your words and I am so thankful for this message that was exactly what I needed to hear today. My road through infertility has been a rough one, but I can feel the peace settle in as I have become better able to trust in the Lord and His plan for my life

    Reply
  199. Deb

    Thank you so much for these words, they touched my heart. I needed to hear the message that all women are mothers, that we all give life.

    Reply
  200. Mystye SchoenekAse

    this post is a reminder that we have to remain faithful in God and be patient. He will provide what we need at the right time.

    Reply
  201. Susan

    I can’t even come up with the words to express just how much this touched my heart. I have been battling infertility for several years now and it just keeps getting harder and harder. We have recently started a new route of treatment for us, but things aren’t working out the way we planned. But, I know that God has a greater plan and I am just trying to hold on tight to that truth!

    Reply
  202. Kristen turnipseed

    My husband and I have been ttc for going on 2 and a half years and it has been a very hard road. We are only 24 and do have a 4 year old daughter of our own but it does not take the desire for more children from our hearts. This post gives me hope that Gods plan is always better than mine and that us going through all of this will not be in vain. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
  203. Maria

    while it’s hard to wait and feel like the dream of a child of my own may never be a reality, I’m holding on to faith that God’s timing, blessings and his way are best. I needed the echo that he doesn’t leave our desires unfulfilled and that his answers may look different than we planned. There are days that it is very hard to walk the road of infertility with no explanation as to why. Yet I can either dwell on what I don’t have and be sad. Or I can enjoy the blessings of my nieces and other children in my life.

    Reply
  204. cynthia

    I was an infertility patient for MANY years. We finally had three babies girls in a year. Our daughters are grown, and we are now raising our grandson. Life doesn’t always turn out like you think it will, but God is always good. I still dream of adopting and fostering children. When our custody case if finalized with our grandson, we will look at that closer. Such a wonderful and encouraging story.

    Reply
  205. Christina

    My husband and I recently lost our 3rd child (stillborn) and I’ve been dreading Mother’s Day this year even though I have two other beautiful children. I still want to celebrate Mother’s Day, but had imagined it being a greater time of celebration, as we would have had a newborn daughter! I have seen some things emerge over the past 4 weeks that have given me hope that God hasn’t forsaken us either. He has been w/us through everything and has a greater plan that I cannot imagine right now. After reading this post, I think I will celebrate Mother’s Day w/a new perspective as well! I will celebrate what God has blessed me with so far and also what blessings are to come!

    Reply
  206. erin m

    I love the idea that all women are mothers because we all bring life to the world. What a wonderful perspective, and a wonderful story.

    Reply
  207. Brigitte Kooima

    Wow! What a beautiful perspective! I have so many hearts I want to share this with. Thank you for allowing God to turn your pain into beauty instead of bitterness. Blessings!

    Reply
  208. Hannah

    It is difficult as I’ve had to move in with my parents as I go through a divorce after five years of marriage struggling with infertility.

    Reply
  209. Cheryl

    I wish I could be satisfied with these thoughts, but unfortunately for me they are hollow. The only thing I ever wanted to be, since age 5, was a mother. But I’m about to turn 50 and am still single, still hurting, still feeling the shame and stigma society unknowingly projects on the childless nearly every day. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”… but hope denied outright crushes the heart cruelly. I only wish it were a matter of “waiting” on “God’s timing.” The wait is over for me, and I am stunned by the awfulness of that fact!

    Reply
  210. zong

    Thank you for the encouragement. Just what I needed to hear today. May the lord continue to bless you and all that you do.

    Reply
  211. renda

    This came at the perfect time. Married and in my late twenties and trying to find healing going into our 7th year of infertility. Would love to read more!!

    Reply
  212. Regina

    I’ve been 46 for only a few days and all I’ve ever wanted in life is to make a difference in this world. Im still waiting to see how God might bring that about. But your story encourages me that God isn’t done YET! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  213. Audrey

    Although I am not struggling with fertility, this story & her loving words filled me with a sense of peace & hope to face my current struggles. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  214. Cassandra

    Wow, thank you.
    “We are all mothers.”
    With a failed adoption placement in January where we left the hospital with no baby in our arms and heartbroken I see this Mothers Day being difficult in a different way than previous years. The being so close to beginning our family and having this path “blocked” as well.
    My heart was encouraged by your post as a reminder on days where the hurt creeps in. He knows His plan for our lives it just might look differently than we imagined.
    I choose to trust my unknown future to a known God…even on the days when all I can do is come to Him with tears instead of words.

    Reply
  215. JJ

    Thank you Lysa for being sensitive to this issue. Thank you Holly for the encouraging post. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted children and wanted to be a mom. Within my journey, I got lost. So so lost. I became pregnant in a terrible situation. No job, an affair, ashamed to my core. I terminated the pregnancy. The depth of regret and guilt that I have felt since that day…..sigh, at least I can breathe today. One week after that day, God spoke to me. The self reliance in me had finally been broken. This was five years ago. Since that time I have dedicated myself to getting to know the character of Jesus, and what I have found, is that His love endures forever and nothing can separate me from the love of God. Romans 8: 38-39. I have spent the last five years working diligently on believing, way deep down, just what you said. That God is not ignoring me or my love, His plan and timing is just different than my own. The first Moms day was hard, they have gotten easier as time goes by and the more I lean into Christ and listen for His words. Your whisper of encouragement I will save. You and Lysa’s acknowledgement of a painful day brings tears of gratefulness to my soul. Because my situation is so taboo, much of the grief has been hidden and shared only with those who knew. Thank you for your forum and thank you for the uplifting reminder that I can still give the love of a mother, the form just may be different. I am going to read the chapter in Genesis. I pray that this post does not ignite hurtful or judgement comments. I’ve never written in public forum about this. But I do know this, I am healing and forgiven, by His stripes. May God bless all of us with challenges on Mother’s Day.

    Reply
  216. Nicki

    Wow! This post is so inspiring. I was single and childless for many years. During that time, I focused on my students, but I hoped for a family of my own. I am now married to a great man, and we are blessed with an energetic 6-year old boy. I learned that God’s plan is greater than anything we could ever hope for.

    Reply
  217. Bonnie Schreiber

    For my family and friends who have lost their children.

    Reply
  218. erika

    “We are all mothers” – in some way. Thanks so much!!! Need to return to the dreams He has planted and walk with Him until they are birthed!!

    Reply
  219. Tona

    This was a very encouraging post. It is always a blessing to read when a person situation with infertility didn’t turn out the way they might have planned or expected but it turned out exactly the way the Lord predestined. Its all about all things working for good for those who are called to His purpose. We are not barren we are blessed. We do bring forth life in that we do.

    Reply
  220. Anne B

    Mother’s day is always hard for me because my Mom’s memorial service was Mother’s Day afternoon. Always brings back such sad memories for me, although I have 2 kids and 9 grandkids. I have several friends dealing with infertility and reading this has helped me to see that they need extra hugs that day. Thanks for the reminders.

    Reply
    • gloria shelton

      I have a lady that goes to church with me and after sixteen yrs of the death of her son, she is still very angry at I would love for to see that the anger will not help her heal or her family I am glad she still in church but she needs to try and steep over that stone I understand very well when something like that happens life will never be normal again.

      Reply
  221. Karen Wooldridge

    On Mother’s Day I miss my children and grandchildren who live far away. I am very grateful that God blessed us with our son and daughter. I pray for 3 specific families who have been unable to have children.

    Reply
  222. Margaret

    This post was very encouraging to me as I know many who have struggled with infertility, miscarriage, adoption, etc. and a few who are waiting to be married and moms. Thank you for your words.

    Reply
  223. Pat

    Thank you for your heartfelt story about Hope on Mother’s Day.
    It is a gift that I have shared with my youngest daughter Olivia, who has had years of disappointment regarding infertility.
    There are those moments on this journey when we question God’s hand in this heartache, when as a Mother myself I seem to fall short of how to reach out to my daughter, to give her any comfort in this walk.
    Your story is a Blessing not only to me but especially to Olivia.
    Thank you
    God Bless
    Pat

    Reply
  224. Kayla Daniel

    This blog was sent to me at the perfect time by my dear friend. As my husband and I continue to walk through inferitily The Lord has brought my heart so far in the area of trusting him but yesterday after doctor appointments , blood work, finding out three more friends are expecting this week and people all around me telling their birthing stories or going to baby showers I lost site of the gospel yesterday and was a tears. As I read this this morning I am once again encouraged that The Lord has not forgotten about me and that he is just writing a greater love. Story! Thank you for sharing!!!

    Reply
  225. Kirstin

    Love this post – brought tears to my eyes. We have adopted and we are fulfilled but the road was long and the journey had many incredibly painful times. It’s a blessing to see someone shining light and offering hope. The Lord has allowed us the privilege of helping others through that painful time so they can know they are not alone. We felt so alone and want so much for other couples not to have to feel that way.

    Reply
  226. Rose Mary Mullane

    This was a very interesting story. Although I was the opposite when it came to getting pregnant. I gave my first daughter up for adoption so she could have a better life than I as a single person would have been able
    to give her. That was October 17, 1974.
    I went on to marry and have a son, daughter, granddaughter and grandson.
    My daughter and son-in-law went through two miscarriages and genetic testing before they had my two grandchildren. I often think that God took back the two girls they miscarried to keep them from having to go through so much suffering on earth. I love how God changed your heart and put this young lady into your life to help her. God does amazing things in our lives for his purpose that we don’t always understand. I’m glad to have him in my life every day. Amen

    Reply
  227. Deb Davis

    Your story is similar to mine, in the beginning. We wanted to be parents so bad and we had infertility problems, too. Over the years, God changed our hearts and we decided to adopt a baby. It’s not easy to find newborns to adopt. We found an adoption agency through the United Methodist Foundation. At that time they helped approximately 12 babies per year find adoptive parents. God worked a miracle and we became parents to a baby boy in October 1986, exactly one year after we had been approved. It was a very positive experience and we have a loving son who now has a baby boy. We are Grandparents! 🙂

    Reply
  228. Janice

    Thank you.

    Reply
  229. Natalie

    I am not seeing how sharing this post was meant to be encouraging. Pandering, yes. The only reason I’m not oozing with anger after reading it is that the author is in the middle of infertility like I am. There is nothing blessed about being “barren”.

    Reply
  230. PlainJane

    I lived through several years of infertility, a successful adoption, gave birth to a couple of wonderful kids, and am currently living through an adoption that has gone bad. I never expected to be hated, lied to and maligned by a child I adopted.

    Reply
  231. Kara

    There are numerous women in my life that struggle with the difficult & oh so challenging (on many levels) journey of infertility!! They are my dear friends, and in the one that tugs at my heart the most- my sister in law. She has stayed the course & has been doing everything in her power the last 4 plus years to become pregnant. Please pray for her, my brother in law & their hearts that have been tossed around in this journey! I ask you pray that they feel Gods love for them & that they may know Gods heart for them to grow a family is as strong, if not stronger then theirs. His way isn’t the way we pictured in the past, but I KNOW he has a plan better then any of us could imagine!!!

    Reply
  232. kaelya

    I read this post and will be sending it to my sister; who has struggled with infertility and felt lost for many years because of it. My heart breaks for her but also swells with hope for what God has for her future.

    Reply
  233. katie

    What a beautifully written note right to my heart! Hugs to all the women who have experienced the struggles of infertility. I love what Holley says… “All women are mothers. Because all women bring life to the world in some way.”

    Reply
  234. Teresa

    As a divorced/single childless woman, yes, this day is hard. But I have to remember the good things I am — daughter, sister, aunt, pet lover, friend, taxpayer, employee, child of God.

    Some women seem to have to remind me of what I’m not and I find that mean spirited.

    Reply
  235. Erin

    This post was much needed. “God was not ignoring us. He was not overlooking our hearts. He was not holding out on us while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to bring us to His very best.” This spoke to me as we have struggled with infertility but know God’s plan for us and our family is adoption. I am looking forward to His very best for us!

    Reply
  236. Jennifer

    Thank you for posting this message. Sometimes the unexpected word when we think we don’t need it, is exactly what we do need! I needed this!

    Reply
  237. Jennifer

    Mothers Day is always hard because my mom passed away 5 years ago and I haven’t been able to have my two boys for the past 5 years as well on Mothers Day. I’m thankful that my stepdaughter whom calls me mom is with me. After reading your story, I’m not sure if maybe that’s Gods way of comforting me. Thank you for your post it really touched my heart.

    Reply
  238. Debi

    Mother’s Day ! My mother was 16 and pregnant forced to marry the man that got her pregnant He was 6 years older They started “dating” when my mother was12 He was 18 Against my grandmother they continued to be “together” They were married in March 1960 and a beautiful 8.6 lb brown eyed girl was born in November 1960 For 32 years I was lied to about when they were married and I was born I discovered the truth when my fathers mother died and I came across the announcement of their wedding in March and a separate announcement of my birth in November I sat there in her living room doing the simple math over and over This completely explained why my mother always treated me like she resented me She did because of me she didn’t finish high school or go to a prom or any of the other teenage things I got to do Because of the resentments we have had a rollercoaster relationship Now we no longer talk to each other I’ve tried to have a “normal” mother daughter relationship even when I didn’t understand what I had done to her but she never wanted to do things with me She truely acted like she didn’t like me and she would tolerate me when she needed to (like on holidays) The sad thing is we live 10 minutes from each other But the best thing of all is that I have a Father and he loves me very much His name is God Both my parents have orphaned me but I am fearfully and wonderfully made My Father is a Father to the orphans Its sad for my mother to not be celebrating mothers day with her only child This is her choice When asking my parents about my birth I’m just told I should be thankful I wasn’t aborted! Just wondering if abortion was legal then if I would be here!

    Reply
  239. Lauren

    This post is just what I needed to hear!! I have been on my infertility journey for a short 1.5 years now; although, it has seemed so much longer than that. At my age, I find out of so many friends and family members who get pregnant each month with barely a thought in that direction. I have really been needing to hear from someone who understands my struggle. What beautiful words!!! Thank you, Holley for being so transparent and using your story to encourage women like me. Thank you, Lysa for letting The Lord prompt you to share this. God Bless!!

    Reply
  240. Victoria Whyte

    Such a beautiful encouraging post, giving a different perspective on motherhood.
    On the 31st December ’97 our second child Leah was born, after a season of secondary infertility. It was one of the happiest days of my life. On her 15th birthday, the 31st December 2012 Leah had a blood test that changed everything- she was subsequently diagnosed with a rare blood cancer.
    By the 31st December 2014 Leah was in Intensive Care with Respiratory Failure due to side effects of her treatment. Sixteen days later she went to be with her Heavenly Father.

    Reply
  241. Margi Wolff

    This post was beautiful and thought provoking. It made me think of a precious and sweet young lady who I just had the privilege of praying with last night. Her mother was brutally murdered when she was young, and now in her thirties, she still longs for a husband and children of her own. I would love to win to bless her with these incredible gifts. Thank you for blessing the hurting. It is His heart and must be ours as well.

    Reply
  242. D. Wisdom

    Thanks so much for your uplifting words. I know so many who would be encouraged by them.

    Reply
  243. Tracie

    Happily married 19 years and counting. Sometimes being an Auntie did not feel like enough. Who knows what tomorrow might bring. Thank you for your story.

    Reply
  244. Adrienne

    These are words I really needed today. Especially ” God is a relentless Redeemer. He took all the hurt we experienced and transformed it into joy we never expected.” I am going to write those out on card stock so I can see them all the time! This May 10th is the first Mother’s Day since I have been divorced. I share 50/50 custody, which is excruciating. I never imagined in a million years that I would lose my kids for half of their precious childhoods.

    Reply
  245. Meredith Thompson

    This is just what I needed to read today…I have been silently dreading this upcoming Mother’s Day knowing that it will once again be a reminder of not being a mother and at the same time such a wonderful time of rejoicing, for those that are.
    The part that touched me to the core and made me weep, was the part about being able to give life to others, even if it’s not yet from our own womb! This comes as such a hopeful, encouraging, and life giving, word to me! Thank you for being transparent and sharing…it’s such a dark time for so many and my heart aches thinking of all those that are battling these ‘whys.’
    I’ve been encouraged to seek out those that need the life that Jesus has poured into my heart, poured out upon them!
    We have a key role in the midst of these battles we face! Thank you for sharing-what a blessing!!

    Reply
  246. Elizabeth

    Mother’s Day is very painful to me because just about every lady around me is a mom, except for me and I always feel like the fact the my husband of 4 years and I do not yet have a baby yet (not by choice) and certain family members trey us like we are disabled or something just because we don’t have kids like everyone else. They know how much both of us love children and have always dreamed of being parents. Why would they treat us like that!? Holly’s article really encouraged me and I would love to read more of her work.

    Reply
  247. Jennifer Hall

    Thank you for sharing this! After surgery, invitro and 2 failed aadoptions, I believe God has led us to be foster parents. A year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. Realizing that my path was just different than most, released so much pain and heartache.

    Reply
  248. Lauren

    This message inspired me to be able to encourage a friend this coming Mother’s Day. She has been struggling with infertility and although she is trusting God, she is feeling pretty defeated. I would love to be able to give her this gift bundle to encourage her and her husband through this very difficult time for them.

    Reply
  249. Margaret P.

    My mother passed away on 1/28/15. Recently, I’ve been thinking about Mother’s Day and how that day is going to be very difficult for me. Also, my mother’s birthday is just a few days after Mother’s Day. This post encourages me, in particular this sentence: “God is with you and He is for you.” This is exactly what I need to think about in order to get through the month of May. Thank you, Holley, for being an encouragement to us all. 🙂

    Reply
  250. Cheryl

    Thank you Holly. Your story really spoke to my heart. My “Ma” went to be with Jesus 20 years ago. I had became a Christian only 3 years before she passed, and during our time spent together durning get illness, I was able to share Jesus with her. She was baptized in her hospital bed (she had to be sprinkled) and the Pastor said that she just seemed to want more and more water sprinkled…. It was truly amazing and I will always remember the confirmation Jesus gave me as He lifted her up and took her home. I felt a complete peace and unexplainable joy. I went through infertility for years but did have one child at 30. He is now 28 and giving me my first grandchild this June! God is good!

    Reply
  251. Teresa

    This post so touched me for more than one reason. I am a mother of 2 adopted children. We adopted them both as newborns. They are now adults and now i even have a granddaughter! I am 54 and am past the age for having children but have always felt a void for never having borne children., yet my husband and I raised our 2 children from infancy. I recently read something that said women are sacred vessels because we carry llife within us. I thought I couldn’t be a sacred vessel because I have never carried life within me. I so needed to read this.

    Reply
  252. Ashlee Petrilli

    Wow! So encouraging! Mother’s Day hurts me (and Father’s Day hurt my husband) since our daughter was born still-born. I’m happy for friends and strangers who have babies and are moms, but it still hurts too. I feel so excited and ready to teach and train a child in the way of the Lord, that I often joke about adopting an older child because I don’t want to wait the years they’re young to start teaching. But now I know that I’m not as crazy as people think I am! It’s definitely time to adjust my prayers and better listen to God on this. Thank you for your post!

    Reply
  253. Carol

    Honestly my first thought was ‘this is not comforting’ because I am so far away from being able to accept the hand I have been given and I can’t possibly imagine myself saying that I am ‘blessed’ after experiencing the death of my baby during full term childbirth 4 months ago. But I do love that you were able to come to a place of acceptance and that your hurts have been redeemed. I am going to hold on to the following quote as I try to trust God to help me through my deepest grief. “God was not ignoring us. He was not overlooking our hearts. He was not holding out on us while giving everyone else what was good. Instead He was working the entire time to bring us to His very best.”

    Reply
  254. Melanie

    I’m amazed at how God transformed your heart to be prepared for His best. I remember my dad saying, “You might not be a mother”, and my melting into his arms sobbing that “Yes, I would”. I didn’t know how then, but the desire of my heart was children. We’ve been so incredibly blessed and have 3 children who I treasure to tears. It was a painful season, both physically as they are IVF babies, financially, and most significantly emotionally and spiritually. This season drew me close to my Abba. And he directed me to learn from Hannah and Elizabeth. God bless you women who so desperately want to have children. I’m tearfully praying for you as I write.

    Reply
  255. Tina Woods

    Thank you for your words today. I spent 15 years in infertility. I have 7 children in Heaven and one living daughter, 6 1/2 yrs old. She is the love of my life, a blessing and ministry. I have been with my husband for 25 years. He’s a wonderful Godly man. Just this week, I met a 15 yr old girl in my small group, I teach for 10th grade girls. She’s been in the foster system for 5 yrs after coming from Haiti after the Earthquake in 2010. I would love to minister to her. I cannot imagine her pain but yet she’s full of joy…. Somewhat like myself during infertility. So she heartbroken not having a mother as I was heartbroken not having a child… Ironic? No, Gods perfect puzzle pieces connecting…then were able to see the big picture. He’s so good to me and his plan has always been bigger and better than I could ever have dreamed.

    Reply
  256. Shelley

    My Best Friend was never able to conceive. My Husband and I got pregnant with our first, after trying for two months. My Best Friend got pregnant a couple years later, but had a miscarriage. Five years later, we had another child. Though she was happy for us, my heart broke for her. I wanted her to have a child of her own. God had other plans for her and filled her life of that void. She became a Mother (to two Step Daughters) and a Nana to two granddaughters. God filled her heart in a way she never imagined. My Best Friend feels so Blessed to be a Mom and her world is more full than she Ever imagined. Watching her with her Step Daughters and Grandchildren, made me realize, this was God’s plan for her all along ❤️

    Reply
  257. Lissa

    Oh how I can relate to this! I spent years just looking for “the right guy.” Then it took several years of waiting for him to be ready to be a father. Then we went through years of infertility, six miscarriages, and several failed adoptions while we watched other families around us grow. I spent a lot of time being angry and frustrated. In 2005 we went to Venezuela thinking we were adopting a sibling pair. When we got to the orphanage we were told those boys weren’t “next.” They offered us to take a 10-year-old boy and separate him from his sister! I was horrified! We left the country devastated. After we landed in Miami and began our long drive home, peace I had never experienced before, came over me. Not being particularly “religious,” I didn’t understand That I was experiencing the Holy Spirit. However, I found myself explaining to my husband, “we may not understand why things happened this way now, but we will eventually know and be oh so grateful.” Six months later I was pregnant with our wonderful daughter! Since her birth we have adopted another child and had two more!! Our life is truly blessed. I know now that our Lord had a plan for us. We are exactly where we are supposed to be! And I ur experience has allowed us to be encouragement and a shoulder for others experiencing infertility and loss. Praise the Lord!

    Reply
  258. Sarah

    I dealt with the inability to get pregnant for years. We finally had a son last year and now looking back I know God, as always, knew what was best and making us wait for a baby. I am also a teacher and I think that I definitely think of students as my kids and hope and pray for them as if they were my own.

    Reply
  259. Carol Foose

    Mother’s Day is not a “Hallmark Day” for all mothers. For me it is a day to get through. There empty arms, but also hurting hearts.
    I was blessed with 7 pregnancies in 10 years that resulted in 6 live, beautiful babies and 1 miscarriage. Each child was prayed for before they were only a thought and each was welcomed into the world.
    A broken marriage resulted in broken lives. One of my children is deceased and of the remaining 5 only one has stayed in touch. All cards and letters I continue to send are never responded to or acknowledged. In addition to the joys and pains of childbirth, loss of a child, there is the pain of separation.
    I have 8 grandchildren and recently learned 2 great grandchildren. Some I have seen, some I may never see or know. All live in a different state than I do.
    Church on Mother’s Day is a difficult day, that I would rather avoid. It is a painful reminder that I will always be a mother, even if I am not acknowledged by my own. I rejoice for the families that are together and hurt for those who are not.
    My children are always in my thoughts and prayers. God is a God of miracles. Maybe there will come a day.

    Reply
  260. Carol Foose

    Holly’s post is a blessing and inspiration. She has made something good out of something hard.

    Reply
  261. Cynthia

    This is “my story” also. Painful Mother’s Days, making up excuses to miss baby showers & too many tears when another month passed us by. God too healed my hurt as my husband and I met, fell in love with & adopted our amazing 11 year old daughter after 12 years of being childless. Since the system called her unadoptable, we decided to call her OURS! We did not understand all of the “why’s” but now we understand at least one “why not!” The answer was that God wanted us to raise one of HIS own!

    Reply
  262. Tatiana Soares

    Hi, Lisa! I’m Tatiana. That girl that welcome you this morning at Elevation Church. I was totally excited to see you there. I was in training to be volunteer and that time we were having the volunteer experience to greet people and I had the best experience to meet you. I’m brazilian married with American. I came from Brazil 4 years ago. Well, just to let you know how you bless me in many ways through bible study, blog…and really fortify my faith. What a gift to meet you today, because I know today new things are coming to me life in serve people at church. Much love, Tati 🙂

    Reply
  263. Rhonda

    As a mother of two beautiful daughters, I never struggled with infertility myself. But, now that my daughters are young marrieds who both struggle with infertility issues, my heart hurts for their hurts. I can already feel the ache within me for them as another Mother’s Day approaches. Your story was very encouraging to me because it served as a reminder that God was always up to something in your life. He knew you would be a mother, and chose you for Lovelle! I continue to remind my daughters that I know God has chosen them to be mothers, too. He is working in their lives and changing their perspectives. One day soon, I pray I will meet my beautiful grandchildren! Oh, what a day it will be!

    Reply
  264. Gabrielle Su

    Wow. I had never even thought something like that was possible. What an amazing story. Reminds me to remember it’s God’s plan and not mine. I have someone close to me who may never be able to have her own biological children, but now I have hope that God may have a different, wonderful plan for her. Thank you.

    Reply
  265. Jenny

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! For your sensitivity to this topic and the hearts of us who wrestle with the reality of our hopes deferred and heart-sickness over this loss of life that never was…

    My journey with infertility has brought me to a crisis of faith. And finally, after years of grief and anger and wrestling with God, the ugliness of infertility has deepened my faith as God has helped me to abandon my dreams in order to reach out for His.

    Thank you, Holley, for sharing the hope that God turns hurt to joy and that He is working to bring His best.

    Reply
  266. Kim Embler

    My mother passed suddenly 5 days before my marriage and Mother’s Day 29 years ago. She never got to see any of her five grandchildren. We had a terrible argument the day before. I know she is in a better place but I have many regrets.

    Reply
  267. Trina Underwood-Bailey

    The post about The author’s journey to Motherhood really touched a tender spot in my spirit. I too had issues not only becoming a mother, but had such sexual dysfunction that my dreams of being a mother of four was impossible.
    After seeing many doctors for the body and the mind, they all concluded that I was mentally and physically incapable of consummating my marriage, and my womb was too scarred to conceive.
    Along with friends from my Bible Study group, I kept praying and trusting God to heal me.
    Four painful years later, I conceived my son, but sex was still excruciating.
    The Lord led me to a Christian physician who was able to get to the roots of my physical issue. Not only was I a mother, but now I was a wife too in EVERY sense of the Word.
    Praise Him!!!

    Reply
    • Anna Radchenko

      Trina… I’m curious to learn more about your story and how it could relate to my own. Please contact me. Thank you!

      Reply
  268. Erin b

    This reminds me of how Jesus adopts us…regardless of age, situation or circumstance. And then He creates beauty from ashes. What a mighty God we serve!

    Reply
  269. Tami Fancher

    Mother’s Day is hard for me too. I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, whom I love with all of my heart, but I also have a step-daughter, who has never accepted me as her mother, and in her teenage years has pushed me completely out of her life. These are hard times for me, and although I know that God has a plan, and He certainly can redeem our family, sometimes I feel hopeless and depressed about how hard things are. Thanks for your words of encouragement! I definitely needed to read this today!

    Reply
    • wanda,calhoun

      Bless your heart. Your post was heart warming , than heart breaking. I pray that your step daughter realizes what she is missing. Take care of yourself please.

      Reply
  270. Holly Irwin

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post! Your words spoke to my soul! I will be sure to share this with others.
    Blessings to you,
    Holly

    Reply
  271. Trisha

    Thank you so much for sharing a testimony of hope & God’s great provision. I needed the reminder that God can do more than we can ask or imagine! As an adoptee with insecurities and a mother (with adopted children) who see-saws between joy and defeat, today’s blog post helped me take my eyes off myself and back on our Redeemer.

    Reply
  272. Paula

    As a mother of two, Mothers day has a sweet sting. I enjoy a beautiful close relationship with my daughter and a painful non existent relationship with my son. My heart sings and cries everyday. God has a plan for my family as well. A lesson for me to learn and a story to share, however I must hold tight – both hands and with all my heart.
    Thank you for sharing your story. It is always encouraging to be reminded of God’s amazing methods.

    Reply
    • Melanie

      Paula,
      You are not alone. Although I don’t know the circumstances of your relationship with your son, I am in the same boat with one of mine. When the father of my children and my only husband, a deacon in our church, etc. etc. left us after 18 years of marriage, he filed for custody of 1 of our 3 children. That’s the son who I’m totally estranged from. Mothers Day is hard for me too despite the closeness I share with my other two. It’s a strange bittersweetness. Though I would not wish this on anyone else, it also comforts me to know that I am not alone in these feelings.
      Sincerely,
      Melanie

      Reply
    • vicki

      Mother’s Day will be very hard for me this year. I am a single mom of a 19 year old son and have recently been dealing with issues I never thought I would have. I am trying to get him off drugs and taking him to counseling to see that what is missing in his life cannot be filled with drugs. I am worried about where he will even be by Mother’s Day. It huts to be a mother in this situation and I’m looking for some hope that God is listening to my prayers and will heal this situation.

      Reply
  273. Cyndi

    i do not personally know anyone actively struggling with infertility. However, I was so inspired by the story that we all are “mothers”. Also., I recently met someone involved in transition from foster care to “real life”. Very touching about Lovelle

    Reply
  274. Paula

    Wow!! Thanks for this lovely encouraging words I read it in tears because this is me. I been married for twelve years and my husband and I been trying since.. Thanks very much this mean so much to.

    Reply
  275. Mary Moore

    Every Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) my husband and I are reminded of all the years of trying and being disappointed. Both of our mothers died at age 54. We tried adoption and it fell through after 4 months-she wanted to keep the baby. And I could say in my heart then she should, but I imagined it to be along the lines of a miscarriage since we had been preparing to “have” a baby. I once told my Pastor that Mother’s Day (and Father’s day) were the worst days for many people. Parents have been losing sons and daughters in war since time began. That day is another reminder for them. I can gratefully say that my Pastor took what I told him to heart and now he celebrates the nursery workers, childless or not, and the Children’s church workers all the way up to those who mentor the teens and pray for the children in the church daily. I have to admit it still stings, but as you said, now we sort of celebrate womanhood and how it plays out in many lives we don’t even know instead of just giving birth. We love to celebrate with the new young mothers and the oldest mothers there, but we have “adopted” so many of the kids/teen in our church, that we, too, believe those were the children we were meant to touch the lives of. Thanks for your article!

    Reply
  276. Stephanie

    I often fell like I have failed “Parenting 101”, and at age 55, shouldn’t be reduced to tears when my son sasses me, or talks back to me.
    These lessons will help me know that I am a good mom.

    Reply
  277. Michelle Winchcombe

    I didn’t relate in the mother aspects if this blog, but somthing I often feel let down when things don’t turn out as easy or in the way that I hoped. After reading this I was encouraged to think that God has His plan so everything will be ok!

    Reply
  278. Kate

    What a beautiful truth, God will fulfill the desires of your heart.
    Thank you

    Reply
  279. LULU

    Advice for a mom whose 14 year old daughter wants only to dress like a boy and says that she is bi sexual. I am shaken and fear ful.

    Reply
  280. Carly Diefenderfer

    Wow. I just told myself last night I am a horrible mama. I have a 4 week old and I’m exhausted. Beyond exhausted. She eats every two hours. So no sleep for this mama. I mess up and forget when I last fed her and feel like oh my gosh I will never be a good mom! Thank you for the encouragement. It came at the perfect time.

    Reply
  281. Kyleiann

    Wow, God led me to this post and brought me to tears. I am struggling with the fact that I can’t have another baby. I had a high risk pregnancy with my one beautiful boy. He was in the NICU for a couple weeks for breathing issues. It was the most trying time for me and my husband.

    He is such a blessing. Healthy and busy. I always envisioned a couple kids but because of my history and our time in the NICU, I was advised against another pregnancy. This came with lots of grief. This post reminds me that I may be a physical mom to one boy but mothering extends beyond that.

    Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder of my blessings. I’ve been having a lot of hard mommy days in addition to this.

    Reply
  282. April Anstey

    What a beautiful story – God sure does know best!

    Reply
  283. Becs

    Such a practical reminder to trust the Lord and not to give up hope!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  284. Ginger M.

    Very nice!

    Reply
  285. Noor

    I’m a psychiatrist specializing in women’s reproductive health and treat a lot of women in a lot of emotional pain due to their infertility. This is a great story that every woman needs to hear! Thank you.

    Reply
  286. danette

    Mother’s Day is a difficult time. I was never able to keep my own children through full term pregnancy. I married a man with three children and love them dearly. I am so thankful for the years they lived with us and for grandchildren who consider me their OMA. There is still that deep prick in my heart though. I count on God wiping away all of these hurts one day.

    Reply
  287. Becky

    Although I haven’t experienced infertility, I have a dear, sweet friend in the midst of this trial now. Holley’s story touches my heart and allows me a glimpse of the struggle my friend is going through. Thank you for sharing your heart and God’s blessing!

    Reply
  288. Paige E

    I had to go get my journal and take some notes here. I so needed the reminder today that God is not ignoring me. He is for me. I have to trust He is still working when I can’t see and don’t understand. When even the “right” thing seems unattainable. His answers may look different than my plans but they are working toward His very best. I’m hanging on tightly to your promises, Father. Even when my emotions don’t feel your presence. I choose to obey. Give me faith!

    Reply
  289. happyy mothers day

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your website is very
    useful. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  290. Karen

    Thanks for sharing your story. Oh how my heart ached and I cried. My husband and I got pregnant when we were first married but I lost it. Iv not been pregnant since, even with fertility treatment and will never be. Your story has encouraged me in that there are many ways to be a mother and I shall strive to open my heart and arms to the many possibilities that lay ahead. Thank you XXX

    Reply
  291. Anna Radchenko

    So inspiring, Holley. Thank you. I’m not sure if I’m truly at the point where I can just be “okay” with not getting pregnant or having children… some days, weeks, months are harder than others, but God is growing me and teaching me through it all. Thank you for sharing what God has taught you and placed on your heart. Your adoption story is beautiful.

    Reply
  292. Betsy- Hope During Infertility

    Thank you so much for sharing these encouraging words. This is my 5th Mother’s Day since trying to start our family and it’s hard.

    Reply
  293. RoseMary

    I do have children, but Mother’s Day HURTS.
    I usually only get a text or a Facebook Happy Mother’s Day, or Happy Birthday.
    I would never think of doing that to MY MOM. Those are so impersonal those are what to tell people you barely know. I called my mom every sunday when I was no longer living at home. She would send care packages for no reason. Unless, I call, write or Facebook or text, I don’t hear from my kids. Where did i go wrong.

    Reply
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