Yesterday was my mother’s 59th birthday! As I thought about how grateful I am to have her for another year, it also got me thinking about how far our relationship has come over the last few years and how that journey has truly blessed us to have what we do today.
You see, she and I haven’t always had a good relationship. I’d venture to say, we didn’t even like each other for a solid portion of time. When I was in my 20’s, there was about an eight month period when we didn’t see or even speak to each other. There are a lot of you who are scrunching your face at that. There are others of you who relate to it completely. I bottled up so much resentment towards my mom…I was angry at her for so many things, big and small. I was pissed at her for divorcing my father, and everything negative that happened in my life from that point, made me angry with her. Subsequently, even my own bad decisions were her fault in my warped view.
I remember getting into a fight in high school. I didn’t start it, but I threw the first punch. I was suspended for a full week. I remember my justification was, “If my father was here with us, there’s no way I’d be getting in fights. It’s your fault we’re not a family, so it’s your fault I hit her first!” At this point, it had been about ten-years since they split. They had both moved on and remarried, but my bitterness was blinding me to reason.
As I got older, I eventually figured out that I equated her love for me with her lack of love for the marriage to my dad, who created me. In other words, I was a prisoner to: ‘if you hate the one who created me…you hate me by default‘. That was logical to me and I could not let it go for a very long time. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but up until 2006, when I surrendered my life to the Lord, I was still holding on to resentment towards her. Yep…over twenty-five years of hostility. That same year, God revealed to me while I was fasting & praying, that I would need to break down the wall I had built up in my heart for her because I would need her love very soon.
Shortly thereafter, I found out my dad’s Cancer had spread to his lymph nodes.
My mom was devastated to hear the news…as was I. Although she explained to me many years before that she never hated my father, he was a good man, and a good husband, but it was a happiness and heart issue inside of herself which forced her to decide to leave the marriage; it never sank in as truth until I saw that look of sadness in her eyes that day. From that day, our relationship took a new direction.
The following year, my father lost his battle to Cancer. My mom was ever-present for me during that time and had become a rock for me to lean on. Each year since then, our bond has strengthened; our communication has increased; our mutual respect has garnered an unbreakable trust. We try to spend as much time together as we can…perhaps making up for lost time. We now have the mother-daughter relationship we both always hoped for deep inside. Not only that, but I am actually able to be proud of her in her life…watching her victories and celebrating them with her as she does the same for me. It’s such a blessing.
I just want to encourage someone today to let go of the bitterness regarding a situation, and watch God bless it in overflow. Maybe yours isn’t dealing with a parent, but perhaps with a spouse, or a friend, family member, or co-worker. Letting go of the hurt doesn’t mean your pain isn’t real or warranted…it just means you are no longer going to allow it to run your life. You have the right to be free from any and all chains that are binding you. There is LIBERTY in Christ! Accept HIM into your heart and find freedom. Ephesians 4:31 — Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
*Wednesdays With INDIGO*