Do you remember when you said you wouldn’t parent like your parents? Yeah, me too.
Like that time I got a spankin’ for dustin’ myself with the flesh colored face powder (after my bath) and Momma thought I had skipped getting in the water. Or when she would pinch my leg in church service because I was talking too much. Yikes.
Our girl has had a few near traumatic events. Unless she brings up “slip” and “dress”, I never speak those words together in her presence. This is possibly one of my most humiliating moments as a mother. Well, except the time I nearly knocked her unconscious putting her in the car seat, or when I missed the straight pins in the underarms of her little dress. Each time I picked her up to find out why she was crying…yep.
Momma-ing can be terrifying. We love this little thing so much and we realize our messups could possibly land us on a day time talk show.
Like most families, my relationship with Mom went through a few stressful times. Her actions confounded me and with self-righteousness, I dispensed grace frugally. Writing these words sting my heart because we could have handled those circumstances so much better.
May 2nd, a year ago, my sassy Momma went to live with Jesus. As I reminisce, my heart is easily filled with grace over her mistakes. You know, I hardly remember her mistakes. I mostly remember her unique, accepting, and loving personality. I am very thankful God gave me to her. She was my longest and dearest friend.
All relationships have difficult times. As I listen to women discuss their pain over broken connections, I am reminded of how important mommas are to their children.
Is your relationship with your mom complicated? If so, maybe a change of perspective would help. I’m not speaking of negating pain and hurt. I’m speaking of looking at them from a different lens.
These reminders don’t fit every momma, but they might help you see yours in a different light.
A few reminders about our mommas:
♥ She did the best she could with the resources and information she had.
♥ She didn’t have a perfect momma either.
♥ She regrets her mistakes – even the small ones.
There are so many factors that shape our response to events and circumstances in our lives. Our upbringing, personal choices, genetics, and spiritual environments form us. Just like you and I, our mommas were molded by their experiences. These factors don’t excuse bad and unhealthy behavior, but they can help us understand each other better. Here’s a bit of hard truth: We judge others by their actions. We judge ourselves by our intentions.
I discovered the benefits of this kind of change in perspective with my dad. I asked God to help me see his positive character traits instead of the running list of negative ones I had cultivated through the years. Over time, God answered those prayers. God answers all prayers that are His will. Living in peace is His will (Romans 12:18). Honoring our parents is His will (Exodus 20:12). Forgiving others is His will (Matthew 6:14; Ephesians 4:32). Having an abundant, overflowing life is His will (John 10:10).
My hope is that we can surround our tender hearts with healthy boundaries and release old hurts to Jesus, the great Recycler of pain.
How do we release the pain of our past and receive the freedom available to us? Prayer is the best place to start.
Do you struggle with the words to begin? When we are out of words, a gentle invitation to join in prayer with someone else is comforting and powerful. (Matthew 18:19)
A prayer invitation for those who have broken relationships with their parents:
Abba Father, My home life was difficult and far away from a “Leave it to Beaver” image. I ask You to be mother and father to me. Hide me under Your wings. Replace hurtful proclamations made by broken people with Your words of life and hope. Heal my painful memories. Guide me into forgiveness. Reveal the good when all I see is bad. Fill my hearts with compassion. Orchestrate divine opportunities for me to use my pain to help others.
Open my eyes to the deception of Satan, the true author of lies and heartbreak. He is the enemy of my soul. I invite You, Lord, into the messiness of my life. I release all bitterness, resentment, anger, and pride and lay it at Your feet. Hang on tight to it, Lord, when I want to pick it back up. Forgive my sins and help me be better instead of bitter.
I ask You to break every stronghold and generational sin in my family. I believe and declare our family belongs to You, Lord.
I’m a new creation. I am putting away the old and embracing the new. O Holy Spirit, empower me to rise above my circumstances and live an abundant life. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, I am free! My future is filled with hope. I ask all of this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!
Photo by Briana Tozour on Unsplash
Grace and peace to you, friend,