I’m a mom, so naturally I appreciate the holiday. But my boys are generally very good at expressing a thankfulness for my mad mom/wifey skills year-round so most of me hasn’t ever felt the need for one specific day each Spring for the gushy expressions of love and appreciation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all very nice. Moms are awesome, they work hard and are often very content not to feel appreciated. If a yearly holiday is what it takes for people to stop and think about the role and presence of the moms in their lives then I’m all for it. I talked to my little sister (who’s only 13 months younger but still littler than me) the other day and she said she shed a tear over the perfect Mother’s Day card for me. We live 1100 miles away from each other so I can take a step back from a natural cynicism and be thankful for my sister and the holidays that prompt her to find the most amazing birthday, anniversary, and Mother’s Day cards. And for husbands who really do listen to a wife’s quiet desire to spend an hour or so getting a pedicure and not breaking up fights or making meals, folding laundry or teaching math.
However, my relationship with my mom is very strained, and by strained I mean virtually non-existent. I spent the last two Mother’s Days content to let is pass without a thought. I had enough anger and resentment to hold me over without a moment of regret or wavering. But last summer brought a softening of my heart, I gave the bitterness and hurt and fury to God and He made room for forgiveness. Our church went through a course that teaches people to be Peacemakers, approaching and resolving conflict biblically. This came at the perfect time and really helped to walk me through some practical steps in the active act of forgiveness. I can think about my mom and remember the good, loving, wonderful, sacrificing things she did for me and not allow the junk to pop up at every turn. That being said, I don’t know that there will ever be a closeness, a confidence, the intimate relationship between a mother and her daughter.
“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” – Romans 12:18
You see, I am positive she has her own hurts, her own anger, bitterness that devours the soul, a guardedness that doesn’t easily fall away and I have no idea if she’s been able to surrender them to a loving and caring God. I do know that something feels too broken, too damaged to ever see the kind of reconciliation a piece of my heart will always long for. But Jesus is a worker of miracles and I will follow His prompting and as He asks me to continue to take small steps of faith, I will take them. In the meantime, Mother’s Day hurts a bit.
So many of you have a sweet and wonderful relationship with your mom, remember to be extra thankful for her. A great deal of us are striving to be the kinds of mothers/fathers/families to our kids that we didn’t have. I trust there are also a number of you that share a twinge of sadness with me at this holiday, some of you are still angry, some are hurt and resentful. Know I will be praying for you. Know you have a Saviour that can fill all of the holes left by our earthly families. We serve a God that gives us hope, provides victory over pain and rage. Wraps us in peace and directs our steps. I hope you’ll take comfort in knowing that you are a cherished daughter of the Most High King!
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 8:37-39
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