I have shared some about my Mother, but today I want to share my pain a little deeper and show you how with God I have been able to forgive my mother of some of the oldest pain I carry in my life.
When I was a small child, my mother left me. I don’t remember exactly at what age and I don’t remember the early childhood stories the way I do the other events. But she chose drugs over me and my father. Before that decision, she had left me in my crib all day while my father was at work so she wouldn’t have to tend to me. She would leave me in a car while she went into the bar and one time she even left me with someone. Thankfully this man knew my grandparents and after a few days called and asked if someone was coming to get me. These are all pains I remember because of being told these stories over the years.
The first pain I remember was when I was about six years old she kidnapped me. You see on the weekends I would go visit my grandmother and if my mother wanted to see me she could see me then. It was Christmas time, my mother lived with my grandfather who lived next door to my aunt and uncle. My grandmother took me to visit them for Christmas. My Mother was so excited and I remember her running down the hill to my grandmother’s car wanting me because she was so excited to show me what she had gotten me for Christmas. My grandmother allowed her to take me on in my grandfather’s house while she spoke with my aunt and uncle. But when my grandmother came to the door my Mother wouldn’t let her in and she would let me out. I remember sitting in the dining room window crying for my grandmother. My grandmother had to call the police to get me out of the house and the police would only give me back to my father with proof of custody. I remember sitting in the police car with the police officer waiting on my Dad to arrive.
Years passed and I avoided her. My grandfather passed away and my Mother moved out of state.
When she came back she begged my Dad to let her come see me. By this point, I was 14 years old and I would stay at home alone while he worked. He allowed her to spend the night at our house so she could spend the next day with me. But the next day did not go well. She threatened to kill me. You see my Mother has schizophrenia so she dreams up all types of stuff. She makes up all kinds of stories. Boy, the stories I could tell you, but this particular day she had “lost her keys” and it was my fault. She just knew I had taken them from her. My Dad called me on his lunch break like he always did and I was upset so he told me to leave the house and go to a friend’s house which I did. I am not sure exactly what happened between when I left the house and when my Dad returned from taking her back to my aunt’s house and honestly I don’t want to know. But after that day I wanted nothing to do with her.
For many years I was scared of her and I avoided her. I would see her at holiday gathers with family, but I wouldn’t even be alone in the same room with her. For five years she didn’t even know where I lived. It took a good ten years for me to not be afraid of her anymore. This is a pain that so few know that I have carried for so many years.
For the last almost eight years I have lived within five miles of her and I would drive past her road and never think about wanting to stop. Most people didn’t even know about her because I always called my Dad’s wife my Mom (and she is). I did not acknowledge my Mother to most people in my life.
In the spring something happened and my Mother became my responsibility to take care of. You see while she can live alone and kind of manage her own money, she does not drive and she has to depend on someone to help her with going anywhere she needs to go and this became my responsibility. I was very bitter about it at first. “She will have to understand it will have to be when I have time”. That was my exact statement to the person. I still carried so much hurt and bitterness when it came to my Mother. Not long after she became my responsibility she was evicted and there wasn’t anyone to help her find a new place to live. It was left on me and my husband. Her social worker ended up finding her a new place to live and we got her moved in and settled.
Through the summer and fall, something happened. God was slowly changing my heart about my Mother. Different people spoke words to me about her that touched me. People who didn’t know her but loved me spoke words to me that touched my heart in a mighty way. God brought people into her life that have been a blessing. I went from avoiding her to worrying about her when I didn’t hear from her. To looking forward to hear her voice to know that she was ok.
You see my Mother has never taken good care of herself and I always thought she would die before I was 30. Now I am 34 and I get to have a renewed relationship with her because God softened my heart and helped me to let go of my pain towards her.
This holiday season our pastor has been preaching on the Purpose of Christmas and the Power of Christmas and this morning he said:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own ways; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
My Mother turns to her own ways just as I have before in my life. However, God forgives me of my transgression and he was crushed for my iniquities and by his wounds, I am healed. I have to forgive my Mother just as God has forgiven me.
If your heart is holding on too long past years of pain I want to challenge you to give it to God. Let God heal you of your wounds. I am not saying it’s going to be easy. I am not saying it’s going to happen overnight; however, my Mother is currently in the hospital and has been since Wednesday. If I had been holding onto all that pain still I could have lost her without the opportunity to forgive her and spend some time with her. I have spent days over the last five days crying because I didn’t want her to die (something I thought I would never say). I want to have more time with her to share good times of love and laughter.
Remember God is the ultimate healer and if you will let him he will heal your pain too.