Sunday, January 20, 2013

Healing between mother & daughter

Growing up, I had a very rough relationship with my mom.  She was ill since I was very young & I was strong-willed, and hurt...it was a potent mix to say the least.

When I was in college, she made a (directional) decision that I didn't agree with.  I regret how I handled it...in a strong-willed "know it all" immature attitude.  My mom basically wrote me off because she was so hurt.  Was I right in my stance?  YES.  Did I handle it with love, mercy & compassion? NO.

I lost my mom.

But GOD...

Right after that, I went to school with YWAM.  I knew I was going to have a lot of airplane/sit on my rear time, so I bought a project.  I found my mom's favorite poem as a cross stitch to do as a prayer project.

When I am an old woman, I shall wear PURPLE with a red hat that doesn't go & doesn't suit me...by Jenny Joseph (I did customize it a little to suit my mom)

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple  
with a red hat that doesn't go and doesn't suit me. 
And I shall spend my pension on new "favorite sweaters" 
and more shoes and say we have no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired 
and gobble up samples in shops, and press alarm bells, 
and run my stick along the public railing, 
and make up for the sanity of my youth. 
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain, 
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens, 
and learn to spit. 
You can wear terrible shirts, and grow more fat, 
and eat three pounds of sausage at a go, 
or fresh bread and pickles for a week, 
and hoard pens and pencils and notepaper, and things in boxes, 
but now we must have clothes that keep us dry, and pay our rent, 
and not swear in the street, and set a good example for the children. 
We will have friends to dinner, and read the paper, 
but maybe I ought to practice a little now, 
so people who know me are not too shocked and surprised 
when suddenly I am old and I start to wear purple.

So for plane hours, and "quiet times", I'd prayerfully stitch this poem together for her.

I had hard moments, because while on the mission field, I'd call my mom to "test the waters" - NOPE, she still wouldn't receive me. "What IS the point???" would be my thoughts; I'd want to burn the cross stitch feeling like I was doing it for nothing and God was NOT answering my prayers - but back to the cross stitch I'd go in prayer for her, me, healing, forgiveness, our relationship, & peace.

I knew if I dwelt on MY feelings, I'd be angry, hurt, and stay in a place of un-forgiveness. So I needed to be ACTIVE in working towards healing, and stay in a place of petitioning God for restoration.  It's impossible to stay angry when you're working towards, and praying for healing.  You look either one way or the other.

When I got home months later, I gave my mom a call. Without any explanation, venting, or angry blow-up, there was instant peace between us - the peace that passes all understanding.  I didn't have to agree with her to love & accept her.

I had the poem framed, and gave it to her as a Mother's Day gift.  From then to the day she suddenly died the following year, my mom & I had a beautiful time of healing & friendship between us.

Now this poem hangs in my home as a reminder that 
prayer works

And you NEVER know how long you have
with loved ones,
treat them like 
there is NO TOMORROW

It's too often that people settle for dysfunctional or estranged relationships. They just turn a blind eye, or write each other off, yet Matthew 5 is so clear:

23-24 “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

That's pretty serious!

I know it's easier to forget the person rather than deal with the rift, but forgetting about the issue breeds un-forgiveness under the surface - growing like a fungus in our hearts.
It is not possible to have good emotional health while harboring bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is poison! - Joyce Meyer
Here's the other favorite piece on my wall...
The nature of love has within itself
The power to endure the immaturity, ignorance, 
and offense of people,
And still see them in the light of their destiny and purpose.
Love will always see the divine value that each person has.
And love will always value the intimacy it has with each person regardless of their immaturity.
Lee Rollins - The Treasure Within.



The biggest lesson I learned from my experience growing up is that people do the very best they can with the tools they have.  Often people don't have all the tools they need, so their response is not the best - but we need to view them with compassion.  Isn't that what we're asking for when we make mistakes?

30 comments:

  1. Hi my name is Lynn. Due to father having to leave for the Pacific only days after asking mom to marry him during WWII and then never coming home for the next 4 1/2 years until the war was over, mom was so not ready to have me 11 month after their wedding which was a month after dad came home from the war. She had been planning this wedding for so very long! Simply put, mom saw me as a "threat to dad's love for her". Not as her only child, her daughter. Yes, growing up she shamed me and as a results I felt bad from my core. However, my mother was a gifted quilter, needlework expert and share her gifts with so many people. She love so many people, was such a good grandmother and wonderful friend. It was only me, her daughter she could not allow herself to show love to. When mom died I KNEW I was to do her eulogy. My grown daughters were concerned. How could I do that with the relationship we never had. I KNEW HE wanted me to do this. My hubby drove from Florida to NY state and each day I worked on my eulogy. I would write, pray, rewrite as I heard His voice. As we crossed the NY state line, I KNEW I had HIS final version. I should mention I do not speak in front of anyone, but I KNEW this was HIS will. Before the eulogy people shared with me how mom had loved them. As I stood up to give the eulogy I realized I did not feel empty inside because mom had not been able to love me. Instead I felt joy. Such joy and pride in my mother as a friend, a grandmother, a loving wife who took the very best care of my beloved dad in the last years of his life. The Lord truly filled me up with HIS beautiful love in all the places the little girl I was felt ugly, stupid, worthless and shamed. How Great Thou Art! You lovely post reminded me of this special time in my life. As I looked at the casket that day I felt such overwhelming love for my mother and so thankful for her because despite her lack of love for me, the Lord used that to bring me closer to Him. I will be back to read more of your postings.

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    1. WOW WOW WOW! What an amazing story of closure and healing. Oh Lynn, so much of that I can relate to, because with my mom being ill, I was a "burden" to her, so I too dealt with a LOT of abandonment too. I'm sooo moved by your story. Yes, Praise HIM for the strength & love, and forgiveness. Thank you, thank you for your testimony.

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  2. So sorry, I had tears as I typed this. Tears of joy. However, due to blurred vision as I was typing, I made several errors in not using the past tense in the first several sentences. Yikes!

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    1. I totally understand! I don't like that you're not able to go back and edit...I've done that ;)

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  3. Such a love story and haven't most of us had, at some point in time, a difficult relationship with loved ones?
    My response to the "When I'm old" poem is a poem I wrote:
    Time is Fleeting...
    http://thistlecovefarm.blogspot.com/2009/05/time-is-fleeting-wear-purple-now.html
    God's blessings on you, yours and the work of your hands and heart.

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  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your response! Yes, we all have those difficult relationships. Prayerfully God will continue to restore them so the body of Christ can keep healing & working together.

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  5. Very touching and meaningful story. Thanks for sharing. I love your: It's impossible to stay angry when you're working towards, and praying for healing.
    Exactly - we can only have one thing in positive or negative and if we do the "whatever" verse we will go for the positive.
    Blessings,
    Janis

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement! I have found when I have an angry "stirring" in my heart towards someone, I sow something positive - even if it's as simple as a dedicated prayer. Sometimes I KNOW that's all I can do; especially when the other party has put a wall up.

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  6. i am so glad you and your Mom have a healed relationship. When you pray for someone it is very hard to stay estranged from them. As a mother of a daughter I cannot imagine losing the relationship I have with her. Your story of forgiveness has touched my heart.
    Blessings to you.

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    1. I agree with you! I too have daughters, so it's difficult to imagine not having a relationship with them.

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  7. What a testimony of restoration - and the process you shared - it is so encouraging. I particularly love this: "he power to endure the immaturity, ignorance,
    and offense of people,
    And still see them in the light of their destiny and purpose" you speak to a challenge I face - thank you for sharing and encouraging!

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    1. I read that often! And sometimes I need to remind myself that there are time I'm the ignorant one...so as I show mercy, I'm asking for it too. I am sincerely praying for you & the healing of your situation.

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  8. I love how He works! My sister, who I haven't spoken to in over five years, suddenly called with a dinner invite for this Sat. He has been preparing me! Fortifying me on how to love as He does. How He led me to His Words on Monday from Job. Then today, He led me to your blog when I needed it! Thank you for being His vessel.

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    1. Wow, Deby - what a beautiful opportunity!!! Consider me a prayer partner as you go into the dinner date with your sister this Saturday. If you're interested, send me an email with the testimony.

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  9. My mom and I recently went through a similar estrangement. God really used the time to heal both of our hearts. Restoration of a new relationship will be a blessed journey.

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    1. How awesome! Thank you so much for sharing, I KNOW you'll enjoy your friendship with her.

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  10. Wonderful story. I'm so glad you were re-connected.
    Blessings,
    Gail

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    1. Thank you - I too am glad to be reconnected with our amazing community!

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  11. Hello, This was really precious. Writing and living from His heart.
    My Mom is gone but I so miss her. I am thankful for all the years we had together. I know what you wrote will help many relationships between Mothers and Daughters.
    Blessings, Roxy

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  12. I am visiting you from Womanhood with Purpose. This is beautiful. Now I feel that mine lacked some depth. But I guess we can't be heavy all the time. Thank you for sharing so deeply.
    http://www.thelostapron.com/2013/01/paris-where-to-stay.html

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    1. I like your story of the trip to paris! I have a mix of deep and not so much...I wrote one about pizza http://isaverb.blogspot.com/2012/09/pizza-night.html

      And even about our baby tortoise...lol
      http://isaverb.blogspot.com/2012/10/lessons-from-tortoise.html

      Thank you for your encouragement!

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  13. Thanks for sharing this story. I'm estranged from my mother for right now (for mine and my children's safety, because of some decisions she's made) but I am praying for healing. It's encouraging to hear that there was healing for you two. I pray for her a lot, but it's hard sometimes to keep on when I can't see any change. thank you for the encouragement today <3

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    1. Absolutely, Paula! I will come alongside you in prayer as God continues working in your mom's heart. His Word does NOT return void, so speak healing scriptures over her. As you continue to seek God's direction, He'll lead you to the timing when your heart (and hers) will be ready to restart a healthy relationship.

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  14. This is a beautiful story, and it's incredible to hear how the Holy Spirit continued to lead you toward restoration when it seemed impossible. I grew up in an abusive household, and I didn't believe when I was younger and prouder that I'd ever love my mom. I went through a serious illness for most of my 20s and started praying for healing in my family. God has brought us so close. I love my mom so much now. The pain of the past is completely gone. He is so good. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! (I found you through Thought Provoking Thursday)

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    1. That's soooo beautiful about you & your mom!!!! Only God!!!! Thank YOU for sharing your story with me.

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  15. What a beautiful lesson you both learned. Thank you for sharing with us at No Ordinary Blog Hop. I too take time to pray for a special someone who I have not seen for 10 years. We cannot speak to each other without her dragging up past hurts so I talk to God about her every day. Maybe one day??? Every blessing, Kelly.

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    1. I have NO DOUBT redemption is on it's way. God's Word does not return void - and the scripture is filled with stories of healing & redemption. He always answers prayers - we may want Him to hurry up, but when the time is perfectly His, you'll be pleasantly amazed at God's faithfulness to bring restoration.

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  16. Thank you Kristin for your testimony about you and your mother. I have made some huge mistakes and now the lines of communication are completely broken between me and my mom but I'm believing The Lord for full restoration in our relation ship even though my mom wants nothing to do with me I'm getting over "me" and working toward healing.

    Thank you again and god bless you

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    1. Oh my "anonymous" friend, I'm so with you in prayer, and understanding. I too am believing for restoration. If you'd like any further encouragement, or tips, feel free to email me at info@isaverb.com

      Blessings to you on your journey towards restoration.
      Christy

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I'm delighted to hear your own encouragement & experiences. Thank you for joining me

Christy