Parental relationships are such an important and also sensitive matter. I have, for the longest time not had a relationship with both my parents. I was raised by my grand mother, not known who my father was until my late teens, and had my mother as a distant ‘person’ I knew of but never really knew. My step father, who had been with my mother since I was 6, I only met at 14.
This past weekend, at the age of 28, was the first time I actually had a good weekend with my parents, being my mother and step-father. Feelings of rejections, not fitting in and just being unloved were no longer there. A journey that was long and hard, but absolutely something that can only be God.
In August of last year, I asked my mother to join me in praying for our relationship. I can’t even remember what prompted it, or what I hoped to achieve. It was a difficult conversation to have, especially explaining to her why I needed it, and being vulnerable with her about how I felt about our relationship and what impact that had on me.
You see, when I was born my mother was a child herself. She nursed me for a year and half before she left for school. I applaud my grandmother for that decision, as much as it affected me greatly, in those days being a teen mom, meant you leave school and basically have no future. But going through her own struggles, marriage breakdown and being a single mom of 5 children, my grandmother fought until she could find a school that would accept my mother. Unfortunately for baby-me that school was 5+ hours drive from our home town.
And so my mother left, finished her high school education, went to university and eventually came to Australia on a government sponsorship, studied and trained to become a physiotherapist. She flourished and I’m beyond proud of her journey. There are many other people in her circumstances who never did or could have gone that far. She has the strength to get through everything.
We never were afforded an opportunity to develop a relationship, the way I would have liked, and no doubt the way she would have liked. As I grew up, constantly felt like I was unwanted, unloved, that I had to be covered, I was undeserving of love or acceptance. As a child, it did not make sense, as a teenager my mother was the key to my life, and as an adult, I could not be loved and accepted by anyone until I felt loved and accepted by my mother. You can imagine, how these feelings manifested themselves in my life.
About 3 months after I asked my mother to do that prayer with me. I started seeing a christian based counselor. Having just moved to town just under 6 months, I hadn’t had the time to find a therapist, I have always needed one. I had struggled with suicidal thoughts, mild depression and was starting to drink a little more than normal, and I knew what that meant, it was the deep dark hole I’m so terrified of.
On our first appointment, As I concluded relaying my life story, my struggles, the addictions or as I sometimes put them, unhealthy relationships with alcohol and sex. She turned to me and said, I believe if we can work through getting rid of that orphan spirit everything will just fall off. And we have been since, working on my story, from God’s point of view. How God sees my conception, my childhood, and my relationship with my mother.
This past weekend, being Pentecostal weekend, me and the kids went to see my parents. Something that was just pulling in my spirit, don’t really know why. Being in my mother’s house, everything felt different, looked different, but it was just the same. I remember as I drove out, a friend saying to me they envy me going out of town as I will come back refreshed, and me thinking no, I never come from my mother’s house refreshed. I usually feel drained, non-existent and have a terrible headache when I’m there, I’m usually tired and want to go home, and I spend the whole time seeing all the ways I don’t fit in and just admiring her perfect family.
But this weekend, with power of the Holy Spirit, everything was new. Looking from the outside in, everything was the same, we did the same things, talked the same way we did. But on the inside, everything was different and it felt good. I was happy, I was at peace, I was home and I was surrounded by love, I was accepted and I belonged.
The interesting thing about this journey is, for a long time, I knew that I understood my mother journey, why it all had to be the way it is, but I could never understand, why then I felt how I felt, why it hurt me. But that’s a conversation for another day, today we praise God for restored relationships.