Recently, I learned a little more about my entrance into the world. Dad directed a strange statement my way during the last year of his life. Uninhibited by the stroke he said, “I’m sure glad we kept you.” At first I thought he was just teasing, but soon realized he was serious. That’s when I discovered, in spite of mom’s faith, for a brief moment she considered ending my life.
My 40-year-old Mom was very upset to find out she was pregnant with me. It had been 11 years since her last pregnancy and more children were not planned. She cried for days. (I’m sure pregnancy hormones were in play.)
Am I upset to know this? If I’d learned this earlier in life, it may have been harder to process. I’ve had enough life experience to understand that faced with tough life turns, sometimes the easy way out seems appealing.
Maybe I would be devastated if I weren’t convinced God has a purpose for my life. God’s plans are bigger than my mother’s inconvenience. I am humbled to think that I needed to be born.
This little family secret puts many interactions of my childhood into perspective. Not that anything was horrible or abusive.
As a child, I didn’t understand the dynamics of my presence. But, I did get the sense sometimes I wasn’t considered a precious blessing. And to be honest, I’m sure I was a pistol.
Because I’m a mother, I understand how my mother’s life drastically changed because of me. I can understand her frustration. I appreciate her sacrifice. And you must know, she was a good mom and was there for me when I needed her.
Mother’s Day brings a whole kettle full of emotions involving my mother and my own motherhood. It probably does for you, too. Because I know you each have a story that shows the messy side of life.
For those of us who in lack of faith ended a life, it brings guilt, shame, and self-loathing. Mother’s Day reminds us of our sin.
For those of us who lost pregnancies or children, Mother’s Day reminds us of our pain and loss.
For those of us who were abused and not protected or nurtured by our mothers, it brings conflicting emotions of love and bitterness. Mother’s Day reminds us of our victimization.
For those of us who just didn’t seem to be able to connect with our Moms. Mother’s Day fills us with yearning.
There are those of us who have Naomi-Ruth type relationships with our mothers (even though Naomi was a mother-in-law….), Mother’s Day brings joy.
On the surface, Mother’s Day is always flower-filled. However, for some of us the thorns underneath are keenly felt.
Believe it or not, those thorns can influence our sex drive, because thorns of mothers and motherhood are tied up with our sexual expression in a complicated weedy bouquet. Everything outside the bedroom affects what goes on inside the bedroom.
Let Jesus uncomplicate the mess.
I’ve only lost my parents not a child. So, I won’t pretend to know that level of despair.
This may help though, “God Has Not Forgotten You.”
Romans 8:1, “There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.”
The secret to undoing self-recrimination is to allow the Holy Spirit to work powerfully in your heart to find hope. Meditate over scriptures that tell about the Holy Spirit and the freedom we have in Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to give you freedom from guilt.
Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Forgive your mama.
How do you honor your mother if she wasn’t a very good mama? As an adult, honoring is to understand that your mother is another flawed human who was influenced by her childhood. Maybe she perpetuated a horrible abuse cycle, maybe she was uninvolved in your life, maybe she didn’t know how to develop a relationship with you other than being your authoritative boss.
“Forgive them for they know not what they do,” Luke 23:34.
Sometimes our parents are so stuck in their own junk, they don’t know how to love you with their heart. They may have loved you in actions only; roof, clothing, and food. That’s what you honor and respect. They did what they were capable of.
If they brought you to know Jesus in spite of their deficiencies, then you were given the best gift of all! Honor that.
Jesus came to be a servant. He experienced ridicule. As an adult child, to honor your parent means you become a servant and may still be ridiculed. A parent’s ridicule will always sting severely. But, you develop a compassion that they know not what they do. You see through their flawed actions into their wounded heart which is so much like yours. You also put boundaries in place so you aren’t totally destroyed. Even Jesus retired from the crowds.
Celebrate What’s Good on Mother’s Day
Whatever your thorn is, lay it aside for the day. Celebrate the special women in your life. Celebrate the qualities your mother possessed that were meaningful to you. Celebrate the possibilities your future holds.
And if celebrating anything is really too painful, please immerse yourself in prayer and Christian counseling. I pray it’s only a season for you.
Today, my mom is in the forefront of my mind. Because I share my mom’s faith, one day I’ll be able to tell her that I loved her for her sacrifice in raising me, for helping me learn to laugh in hard times, and giving me so many wonderful experiences.
I was never able to hear her say, “I’m sure glad we kept you.” But, I’m going to believe dad was speaking for them both.
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