I have not only written this post for those who have lost their mother. It is also for those who have lost something vital and very special in our relationship with their mothers. These words are for those of who were expected to be the caretaker at an early age or who did not feel cared for by their mothers. It is for those who did not feel nurtured, nourished and or loved in a way that their hearts required.
So, it’s important to get one key thing straight. I did not have a horrible childhood but certainly did face some very big challenges in my upbringing. This fact gives me much empathy for those who are going through some major heart throbs this upcoming May 8th and ultimately led me to create this post for those of you who have gone through similar situations…
I was twelve when my mother’s health began to decline and my father left the family. After these breathtaking events took flight I was encouraged to conceal and not to feel. My feelings were much too complicated for everyone around me so it was best that I didn’t say a thing. From an early age it was made clear to me that my role was to plaster on a perfect face, push my mom around in her wheelchair and act as a support, not only physically but emotionally to all those around me. I was expected to be a good girl and smile for the countless nurses and doctors that would rotate through my mother’s hospital room and eventually her home at a long term care facility. I would come to visit and pretend to not be upset when the nurses gave my mom her sleep time medication in the middle of my conversation with her. I was trained to force a grin and thank the nurses when all I needed was to hold my mother’s hand but it was “the only bath time available.”
As a result of these ongoing events, my relationship with my mother became very strained. I did not understand what it meant to be the child in the relationship as I had been promoted to caregiver/onlooker/worrier status, thus making it difficult to celebrate a day like mother’s day.
Maybe you can relate.
I also remember taking very long walks in the forest by myself. Along the trail I would have to stop due to the deep emotional pain welling up in deepest confines of my chest. I couldn’t help but pause, fall to my knees and weep for the fact that I would never have a mother to walk through the forest with me or wrap her arms around me like all the other moms did.
Maybe you can relate.
Please don’t place my intentions wrongly. I did not write this post to gripe about my experience or garner sympathy from those around me but instead to draw awareness and attention to the broken hearts that will exist on this day. For those of you who have an excellent relationship with your mother I want you to remember something vital: mother’s day is not a happy day for everyone. It is important to keep an eye open for those who may be going through a difficult time and to invite them in to your circle, invite them to dinner, have a chat with them over ice cream or something of the sort.
Trust me, if someone had done this for me as a child I would have felt so validated and so much better about my situation.
So here I am now, 12 years later, wanting to validate your experience with your mother and let you know that you are not alone in your pain.
Please know that if you have lost your mother and or have a challenging relationship with her, you are not alone and there is hope. This mother’s day, I encourage you to recall the painful moments of the past, validate them then press deeply into the love that God has waiting for you. I urge you to sit down with His word and read Psalms and the New Testament. Both sections of the Bible are also a great comfort to me whenever I am hurting. Here are some I urge you to start with:
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. … Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:4-6
On that note, I will leave you with a couple thoughts:
- You are not alone in your pain or in your journey. There is a God who watches over you. He has been with you each moment. Even when parents or guardians were not there walking the journey alongside you He has always been there to keep watch over you.
- Regardless of circumstances, you are so precious to Him. Ask Him to fill your heart this mother’s day. Choose to dwell on the fact that He wants to heal your deepest wounds and bring you into a flourishing life with Him.
Remember to bask in His love when the world around you appears to be so incredibly unlovely… you won’t regret it.