I do not hate my mother. I loved her and she loved me. I just want to make that clear before you read any more of this post. Furthermore, even though this relates to the relationship with my mother, that’s really only the surface issue, as you will see. It’s the heart of the matter, wrong thoughts I’ve believed for so long, that’s important. And it’s what the Lord spoke to the heart of my matter that I believe will minister to you, as well.
On March 18, 1987, my mother died of cancer. I was only 31 at the time, with two young children – too young to be motherless. Nevertheless, it is the fact. I mourned for a few months, until the weekend I visited my father where we experienced my mother’s last days together. Though we had a close relationship beforehand, there was a special connection forged by living those last days together. Our conversation naturally centered on what we had gone through and all the details. We didn’t have to explain anything to each other, nor did we have to withhold anything because of discomfort from someone who hadn’t been right there. The conversations of that weekend completed my grief process, even my mourning. In the ensuing years, there have been a few moments I considered what it might have been like with Mom around, but not with tears or sadness.
Though I still remember the events clearly, especially as the anniversary of her death approaches, those memories come with no emotions – good or bad. I simply remember. Twenty-five years after-the-fact, I wanted to record in my journal, though I really had nothing in my heart to write. But God. It turns out He was the One stirring me to write, because He had a bigger purpose for me than simply remembering an event. Daddy wanted to apply more of His love to an area in my life I didn’t even know was there, so I could walk in greater measure of His freedom in Christ. May the Lord also minister to you through what follows.
It’s 25 years today since Mom died. There is no sadness in that statement, and hasn’t been for so many years. Yet, I have felt condemned because of my lack of sadness. After 25 years, though, I feel relieved. Like I’ve crossed some imaginary boundary between unacceptable and acceptable. As if I am free to admit my lack of emotions to others without them thinking less of me, now that it’s been a quarter of a century.
Condemnation is not from You, Lord, so help me break free completely. I see. Who have I been trying to hide my feelings from? Who are these people who would think less of me? It’s this invisible “they” the enemy has used to keep me caught up in this condemnation and guilt trap. It’s kept me from being honest with myself . . . and You, and not letting You help me through. And now I hear in my spirit, “It’s really okay.” My Lord is saying it’s okay that I am not sad about Mom, or that I really don’t even miss her, and haven’t for a long time. It’s really okay.
And with that, I walk free from something that has bound me for 25 years. The scales have come off my eyes, and I now live in freedom where I’ve known only condemnation. In those simple words, my Father has broken through with the assurance of His love. There is no condemnation for not having emotions that match what the world considers normal. Nor would there be if I were still emotional so long after Mom’s leaving. He loves me. I am His child, and I have life – and freedom – in Christ Jesus. It’s that simple. And it’s that freeing. It’s really okay!
Romans 8:1-2 NIV Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.