There were years I avoided malls, calls and “family” gatherings. Mother’s Day just isn’t Mother’s Day without your mom.
I wouldn’t want to see one more card saying I love You, Mom.
I couldn’t cry tears trapped inside.
I shouldn’t have numbed my grief and loneliness with alcohol.
Mind you, this was all before social media where people flood pictures and words honoring their moms.
But what is changed?
Some might say time heals all wounds.
It has been 29 years.
Some might speculate that the anti-depressant I have been for almost three years did the trick.
Yes, it took time and some hard work in counseling. Yes, the healing process knocked me off my feet into my bed for a period of time. Facing a mountain of bitterness and forgiving your mom (and dad) who died so many years ago has a way of wrecking you.
The only name who saves is Jesus.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).
Jesus met me in my brokenness. Exposed the name of the suffering I had carried for too long. With complete and tender kindness, Jesus led my dying soul to the tomb. He laid there with me, more than His three days. Some of us require more before we get raised up from the depths.
Though you made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth, You will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more (Psalm 71:20-21).
As I look back over the last four-five years, My Lord has done such great and mighty things in the depth of my soul!
Remember when Martha got tired of waiting for Jesus to come, after her brother had died?
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:23-25).
It is interesting to me here that Martha brings up the final resurrection, referring to the Lord returning.
Yet, Jesus still identifies Himself as THE Resurrection.
In other words, look no further, my sisters and brothers.
In Jesus, whatever is dead will rise again. If we believe, He will resurrect our old bitter, broken selves. For to be resurrected, you must first be dead.
Ever so slowly I was dying under the weight of soul-pain.
Through His Word, through my faithful husband, through lots of time spent in His holy presence, through prayers from people maybe I didn’t even know, He has rescued me.
The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth (Psalm 145:18).
I can’t tell you how many times I called upon Him.
I didn’t count the hours I spent alone, lying in His arms.
I can tell you once I let that first tear roll, I thought I would never stop crying. Week upon week, I went into my counselor’s office and just cried.
If you don’t give pain a place, it makes its own.
As I became more compassionate toward myself, as I learned to give myself the grace God has already given … grace upon grace. He softened the crusty corners of my heart.
Long-held anger washed away by His living water, free for the taking.
The sad, lonely child in me had an identity crisis.
Who am I if I am no longer?
If I lay her to rest in the tomb, who rises by the power of Jesus?
I wonder if Lazarus asked the same. We could speculate his faith in Jesus sky-rocketed and that if he ever had any doubts about who he was in Christ …
When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4).
You see, we must allow our sick selves, our hot mess selves, our lost selves to die to receive full healing for the glory of His power revealed.
Oh I get it, there is a temptation to hold on to your identity defined by pain and suffering, for it is all you have known for (x) amount of time.
Covering the corpse with cloth.
Watching in awe as His power rolls the gigantic, heavy, solid stone out of your way.
On your new feet donning God-given shoes of peace, you walk. As you take the first tentative steps, you realize your thirst. It is your thirst for Christ that keeps you moving into His glorious light. The warmth of heaven’s rays shine upon your face. Every muscle in your brow and cheeks and around your mouth are relaxed. Your shoulders, though stiff, are not weighted.
Could it be you are truly free?
Free to meet Jesus at the well at midday, where all can see.
Free to walk on water to meet Jesus in the deep, even if others don’t believe.
Free to abide with Jesus, for I am welcome any and all times.
Free to worship and praise my Lord Jesus Christ, who has raised me from the dead:
Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and HIs wonderful deeds for mankind, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things (Psalm 107: 4-9).
Thank you, dear readers, for being witness to this testimony. Oud God never fails. He never leaves that one lost sheep.
This is essentially a glimpse into the first book He is leading me to write. It is a hard book to write. I just told my husband last night, I have to go through some old pictures. I will be honest … pictures of my growing up have been packed away for a long time as I tried to move on, thinking I could just forget about the pain.
We know, I know, now that was just the enemy deceiving me. The longer satan could keep me chained by a nameless suffering, and keep me convinced that I was alone in this … my identity was just of a lost, lonely child.
There is Hope. His name is Jesus. I pray this written record of healing will be what draws you to seek Him endlessly in your grief, in your sorrow, in your confusion, in your unforgiveness …
So, now when Mother’s Day rolls around, my task is to seek God in remembering good things about time with my mom. I am not there yet. I am working on it, and He is working in me 🙂
Feel free to begin a conversation here in the comments. You may also email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos in this post are from Pixabay.com.
Choose joy as you experience God today.
He is with us, our Immanuel.
Love in Christ,