A Mother's Lament

For some of you, Mother's Day will be a blessed day. I celebrate and rejoice with the women (and men) I know whose children are walking with them... especially when they are on a faith journey as well. There are some women (and again, men) who have found their children a tremendous support as they have had to journey through the stress, trauma and losses brought on by sexual betrayal.

However, I'm also aware that for many betrayed wives this Mother's Day will be a time of sadness: one in which your, and your children's, losses will be highlighted. In some cases the children are still young and co-parenting, or solo parenting, is a heavy burden. In others, there are teen and adult children who have turned away. Turned away from Mom (and maybe Dad)... possibly from God. Sometimes this is directly related to the betrayal, the relational abuses, or the dissolving of the marriage. In some cases it isn't... or at least the link is more indirect.

If this is where you find yourself this Mother's Day weekend, I would like to encourage you to take time to grieve. Maybe this is something you do by sharing with others... a supportive friend, prayer group, or a safe family member. It will likely be most effective, though, if some of it is just you and God. If you don't know how to begin the latter process, consider writing a lament to Him.

How Long O Lord?

In Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help, the authors state that "laments are well known in many ethnic groups. They are a good way to express deep emotion."

They go on to explain that a lament consists of up to seven parts:

  • Address to God (e.g., O God...)
  • Review of God's faithfulness in the past
  • A complaint
  • A request for help
  • God's response (often not stated)
  • A vow to praise/statement of trust in God

The only part which is absolutely necessary, however, is the complaint.

They also suggest taking a look at Psalm 13 and using it for inspiration as you write your own lament. In terms of the style, I would recommend just writing "free form" to begin with. In other words, get the sentiments out in whatever words feel most appropriate. Then, if you want to go back and turn it to poetry (which may or may not be set to music), then you can begin the process of working it into a particular metre.

Finally, I recommend saying it or singing it out loud. If you are into dance... dance it out. Visual arts? Create a beautiful visual expression of your words. I've always found this last step to be the most powerful moment of the process. Even if I'm just sharing my words out loud to God. However, please do consider sharing your lament with another person as well...  your coach or therapist should be a safe choice. Otherwise consider posting it here in the comments section.

A Mother's Lament

Below is the lament I wrote as part of working on this post. It's a very little sort of offering, but may it bless anyone out there who needs to know this weekend that they are not alone in their grief.

How long, O Lord? Will you forget your daughters forever?
How long will we be betrayed by those who should honour?
How many times will we be sacrificed by our very own family,
Lying in dust, clasping the threshold, unable to speak?

And You… You are all we have right now.
You… You are our portion.
Our comforter, deliverer.
He who promised to sustain.

How many pieces of our hearts must be scattered throughout the land?
Has such a thing been seen since we came out of Egypt?
Where can you find enough binding to right this horror, O my Lord,
Enough binding to make a broken heart whole once more?

And You… You are all we have right now.
You… You are our portion.
Our comforter, deliverer.
He who promised to sustain.

Yet I remember, not so long ago, I knew the rescue of the Lord.
I felt him pick me up and set me on a good rock.
He lifted my head and exalted me above my spiritual enemies
I could speak, then raise my hands, make music to Him.

Consider it, my Lord and my God.
Consider it... O my portion.
Comforter, deliverer,
Tell us what to do.

Consider it, you servants of the Lord.


This article was written by:
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Lisa Taylor

Lisa is a PSA trauma survivor, counselor and award-winning author living with her kids & recovering husband in New Zealand. She runs groups and sees international clients via Naked Truth Recovery.
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