Mother’s Day has always been a bittersweet holiday for me. And I know that I am not alone in this experience because I am the proud mother of six wonderful children, three of which I share with their birthmothers, and I am honored to be the grandmother of six children. I am the godmother to an incredible young man and the adoptive mother to the countless friends that my children have brought into my life over the years. I am blessed! The bitterness of this sweet life comes in my relationship as a daughter.
If the mother-daughter relationship were a social media status, it would be tagged as, “It’s complicated.” This dynamic ranges from the spectrum of a close, loving, best friend(s), confidant - to distant, can’t seem to get along, abusive, and non-existent. A medley of adjectives can be inserted in the middle, and descriptions can run on forever. My heart has mostly related to and resided with those who have lost their moms in this life. And while my mother is very much alive, our relationship died over two decades ago. The ache of this type of loss never goes away, and I trust that this echoes both ways. I have held the regret of decisions made and words spoken. This chants on a continuous loop. And the preverbal tape is triggered onto autoplay by holidays such as Mother’s Day. I have found the greatest comfort in Psalm 27:10 (KJV), “When my mother and father forsake me, thenthe Lord will take me up.”
Bible commentaries suggest that David was not referring to abandonment, but instead, physical loss as David's (author of this passage) parents may have been deceased at the time of the statement. However, physical death is not the only form of loss we experience.
Over the years, I have denied the truth of admitting and expressing this hurt. To cope, I have leaned on other familial relationships, both marital and spiritual, to fill the void; yet, nothing replaces the experience a daughter feels relating to the womb of the one who bore her into the world. In my walk with the Lord, He has shown me how this experience has colored my ability to trust. It has also greatly influenced my fear of loss when in a relationship with others. I see where I have accepted behaviors, labels, and conformed to pleasing people. In my relationship with my daughters, I have overextended, over-nurtured, enabled, and withheld correction on many occasions. These subconscious acts were not because I wanted to spoil them but because I was afraid to lose them. The weapon of choice that the enemy has used repeatedly is to tell me that I am not a good mother, that I am getting it wrong, or that my daughters will remove their love from me. Funny because I do not have this fear with my sons. Time and testament have taught me to cope with this thorn in my side, and to use the weapon of my warfare - my sword. I hear the Lord saying, "My gift of undeserved grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." So, if Christ keeps giving me His power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. (2 Corinthians 12:9Contemporary English Version)
Today, I share my story to encourage you, wherever you are on the spectrum of motherhood or however you perceive yourself as a daughter. God says He is a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). Forgiveness is the key to unlocking the prison that keeps us out of a relationship with each other. More importantly, unforgiveness prevents us from having our prayers heard. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespassers.” (Mark 11:25, NKJV) In this instance, I needed to include myself. Too often, I have forgiven the offense of others and held onto the impact and hurt within myself. Instead, we are urged to, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). In moments of accusation and fear, I am learning to cling to what God, my Father, is saying about me. He says that I am a daughter, seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. Embracing His thoughts of me has given me the ability to receive my blessings and enjoy my beautiful family.