In mere days, I will celebrate my first Mother’s Day with my little girl. It makes me happy. But it also makes me grieve. I grieve for the many mothers who may not be able to talk to their child, or be with them this weekend. The child who is in Heaven. The child who is estranged despite a mother’s efforts to reconnect. The child who is lost — like the young girls who become victims of kidnapping, and/or the underground world of sex trafficking.
I know it’s hard to know what it’s like to be in those situations if you’re like me, and have never been there. But a recent event is putting an international spotlight on the hurt that can come with being separated from your child like that.
According to ABC News reports, gunmen, using the guise of soldiers, took hundreds of girls from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria, and set the school on fire.
About 50 students escaped from the trucks carrying them, and ran for their lives or clung to low branches until the trucks passed.
But the Nigerian military has yet to find the 276 others who are still missing.
It’s been three weeks since that mass kidnapping reportedly by Boko Haram, a group that believes Western education is sinful. And reports say the group threatened to sell the girls.
Can you imagine one group’s political plight leaving you a sobbing parent with restless days and sleepless nights?
One mother wondering what would happen to her daughter’s dream of becoming a doctor.
Another questioning her ability to go on mothering.
I can’t imagine such heartbreak.
But I have to at least try –because it exists, it is very real for those mothers, and they’re counting on us for support.
Negotiations may be able to bring their daughters back, and I hope they do. But in the meantime, I will be praying for those girls while cherishing every single moment I have with mine.