And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Dear Jesus, I dreaded this day for decades. I grew up in a church that celebrated Mother’s Day by everyone wearing a rose to honor their mother. If your mother was living, you’d wear a red rose; and if she had died, you wore a white rose. From age 11 on I was marked as a white rose-wearer kid, and I hated it. The last thing I wanted to be reminded of was the day mom was ripped from my young life in a car wreck. So I never wore a white rose and I stopped going to the church on that Sunday, and many others.

After I came to know you, Jesus, 7 years later, I discovered Romans 8:28 in my Bible. But I started using it like a band-aid on a cancer, so wanting to claim a magical and instant cure for the wound that ravaged my heart. It worked for a while. But like all forms of denial, it collapsed under the weight of reality. Jesus, you are a healer, not an illusionist.

However on Mother’s Day 2019, I now “marinate” in Romans 8:28 with hope, for I experience this profound promise as a journey, not as a moment—as a womb in which new life is being born, not as a panacea for pretenders or a spiritual-epidural for temporary relief.

Jesus, thank you that whatever our wound, loss, betrayal, or heartache, you are faithfully at work for our good, healing, and compassion. The wounds we carry can become the very portal through which your mercy, grace, and love flow to others. May our goal not be just to get over hard stuff, but to grow through these things.

I miss my mom more than ever, and I so look forward to being with her in heaven. But until that day, help all of us not despise our “white roses,” rest more in your love, and grow kinder towards others. So very Amen we pray, in your tender and triumphant name.