Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Heal Broken Motherhood

Six women walk together along the road, silent in their thoughts. Each one is lonely, suffering, and yet comforted by the others. They are sisters, although they come from different homes, and they hold hands as they walk. Occasionally, a tear will slip down a lowered cheek and a grip will tighten in encouragement. Beautiful sisters. When one stumbles, the others keep her strong and straight. They support her until her heart can bear its own weight.

Unique. Loving. Suffering. Lonely in their own ways but united in the gift of their femininity and the call of motherhood; physical and spiritual. They are pouring themselves out to nurture the world and to  bring humanity closer to the heart of Christ, like Blessed Mother, one heroic step at a time...

The first woman is infertile. The harshness of that word grates at her soul and her arms ache to hold a life that springs forth from her womb. It is a longing that cannot be satisfied even as she lives life fully, using her unburdened arms to serve the needs of the world; an ache that persists even during happy times. The world is impatient and insensitive. The cross is hidden within her heart and she bravely smiles and loves. I am a woman seeking my motherhood. Sweet Jesus, where are my children?

The second woman is fertile and has born children. She is confused by the paradox of joy and suffering in her motherhood. She loves her babies and yet stumbles under the weight of the beloved little ones. The world does not see the pain of her failures and weariness. It sneers at her messy life and mocks the mystery of spousal love. The cross is hidden within her heart and she bravely smiles and loves. I am ill-equipped, Lord. How can I go on?

The third woman is a spiritual mother, a consecrated religious. She has given her motherhood and spousal love to God and has countless spiritual children. He is her beloved and she gladly offers her life for him, but the heart sometimes yearns for the loving touches of flesh. The world does not understand such sacrifice and strikes at the wound. The cross is hidden within her heart and she bravely smiles and loves. You are enough, Lord... why do I still yearn?

The fourth woman has embraced the children of others. Adopted them to be her own. She knows both the longing for love and the heaviness of sacred treasure in her arms; a heart mama who gives her body to sacrificial love. The world sees a romance while she builds a kingdom with her blood, sweat, and tears. The cross is hidden within her heart and she bravely smiles and loves. My own. Not my own. Father, how can I replace what they have lost?

The fifth woman has lost her children. Her womb was full but now is empty and she breathes through the aching like a woman perpetually in labor... and the world expects her to silence her cries of agony. She serves others heroically and gladly even while the loneliness pierces her heart. The cross is hidden within her heart and she bravely smiles and loves. Why are my arms empty, Lord?

The sixth woman has lost her child to abortion. She regrets giving over her motherhood to the hands of liars and grieves deeper than eyes can see. She has children at home but is missing one. The pain is staggering and silent but it is not her desire to forget her own... and so she embraces it, loves passionately, and stumbles on. The world rejects her grief. The cross is hidden within her heart and she bravely smiles and loves. Dear Lord, when will my soul be at rest?

If the women walk alone, they risk sinking into their pain and losing sight of joy and eternal things and the dignity of their nature. God beckons and loves and blesses... but the heart has a tendency to turn in on itself. The eyes are easily blinded by pain. A woman so easily crumples to the ground and despairs. But what if she is walking side by side with her sisters? Her path is different but parallel, and she will not be left behind.

We are sisters. We belong together. If I cannot see your cross, I trust that it is still there... or that it is coming to you someday. Our Lord does not withhold the cross from any of His beloved because he wishes us to share in His Easter. Do not despair, my friends. You are not alone. And your Easter is coming.

As millions gather across the nation today to march for the dignity of all life, I pray that the treasure of motherhood will be restored to the heart of the nation. Do not be deceived by the hollow call to be Superwoman - it is a worldly lie designed to tear you down - but be refreshed in your title of Beloved.

You are called to love with everything you have. Get up and walk. Again and again. That is all He asks. It is the path to your healing and the beginning of freedom. He is Grace. He is Mercy. He will not let us fall farther than His grasp. He treasures the gift of our womanhood and made us to thrive. We are beautiful and gifted, not because we have struggled for it, because He has willed it. Just open the door, let Him in, and trust that His dream for your life is perfect.

Your motherhood is not about what you have missed, lost, or broken... it is about the pouring out of your love; pouring out what is beautiful and nourishing to a parched and lonely world. Pour it out, ladies. Pour it out! That is the gift of our femininity. And that is how we can be healed of our own brokenness and ultimately, change the world.


  1. Thank you so much for writing this. It's beautiful!

  2. Beautiful, Melody. It was perfect timing for me to read this.

  3. Written so beautifully, Melody!
    'Our Lord does not withhold the cross from any of His beloved because he wishes us to share in His Easter.' Indeed.

  4. Thank you HUGE for writing this. It's amazing and incredible, and hugely helpful. A strong reminder to keep my eyes on the bigger picture, and to lean on others in the meantime.

    (Christine, thank you so much for linking me to this)

  5. This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Thank you, Melody.

  6. Beautiful, we ARE all sisters! What a lovely image.

  7. I have been thinking about this a lot we all have our own crosses to bear and we do not necessarily know what our neighbor's struggles are. As my children get older and realize that life is not always black and white, but filled with a lot of grey areas, we have had discussion about WHY women feel that abortion may be their only option. It has been on my heart during prayer time that this be a year we come together in support of pregnant women. If every woman felt supported and loved, can you imagine how the number of abortions would plummet?

    This was beautifully written. You have a gift - thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    1. I think about that a lot, too. Ieven married pregnant women struggle. I vividly recall a coworker struggling with the news of baby number 4. She and her husband were considering abortion to control their family size and there was nothing high risk about them. But the culture is hostile and abandons us so often when we most need help.

  8. Thank you for this.

    ~ Country Girl's Daybook, recently posted: #whywemarch

  9. This was very powerful, Melody. Stories of bonding and gaining indvidual strength through that connection is always so very inspirational. Great post :)

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this. It's what I needed to hear. It's been so hard with my two year old and my two month old. Everyday I feel like I'm failing them, my husband and God. I really so think what you wrote, "I am ill equipped. God how can I go on?" But this reminds me of what's true; not my thoughts and emotions but God's love, grace and mercy. Amen! I am done with living in fear and I a ready to get up and keep moving. He's given us everything we need and His Holy Spirit. I'm ready to cling to that truth and begin moving forward instead of standing still. Even through the exhaustion from a lack of sleep. Thank you!


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