The Mother Wound

I’m thankful if you have a “perfect” mama but I don’t and my mother knows it.

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Not only does she know she was not a “perfect” mom when I was growing up but we’ve talked about it, cried about it and yes, even laughed about it. (One time we had to take the entire backseat out of our car to look for a little extra change to pay for our Dairy Queen bill. I’m certain I wanted to speed away as fast as we could without our sundaes but my mom was determined to find a few cents. And we did!) 🙂

My mom loves me, always has and always will. And that’s all I care to focus on. Because life wasn’t easy for her growing up and she struggled through stuff that’s her own story to share. She did the best she could even as she sought healing for her own brokenness.

I love the woman my mom is. She is an overcomer, encourager and giver. She never stopped fighting for what she wanted and today she has it.

Peace.

Mother wounds are real.

I had them, you might have them and my own daughters had them. And as long as we are alive and choosing to have a transparent family, filled with grace, glory and struggle, wounds can creep back in.

Mother wounds do not have to be fatal, however, and can be perfectly healed.

They can be brought into the light with courage and grace; though it can be super painful for the mother because most moms who failed in being “perfect” can attest that in any moment of their mothering, they would have died for their children.

Not all moms can handle or are ready to hear their child’s heartfelt hurt and what caused it. Some mother wounds are deep…and confusing.

Thankfully, even the deep and confusing wounds can be healed and restored. (I know that’s harder if your mom is not currently in your life or has passed away but you can still heal because you are still here.)

My hope in sharing about mother wounds is to inspire courage…courage to…

To listen-Without defending. Without blaming. Without excuses.

To talk-To take ownership. To ask for forgiveness. To seek understanding.

And to sometimes wait…and trust God to prepare hearts for healing..for the soil to soften and for the sweet presence of Jesus to come.

It’s not easy for children to be honest about their mother wounds. Especially children who were raised to “honor father and mother.” Our mother need makes it difficult to share the hurt we felt when things were not right. And the perspective of both mother and child will be different many times. But as moms, we need to….

Listen.

The day my youngest daughter opened up to me about her mother wound was deeply painful and needed. She just started an internship in Kansas City and one of her first classes was on mother wounds. As she began to share I knew I was being invited into her pain and her perspective. I knew I was being given an opportunity to listen…not to try and fix it, not to have a pity party and not to minimize her hurt by glossing it over with “all the good.”

I listened and felt deep pain. I had hurt her; letting her down and not being the mom I could have been. I asked for her forgiveness and I thanked her for sharing. I took ownership of parenting out of fear, selfishness at times and being distracted.

She forgave me.

Another display of mercy poured out from Heaven and this time through my 18 year old courageous daughter. And it changed me again.

I bless the day my daughter not only shared her pain but offered her forgiveness. The love and laughter we share today is one of my greatest blessings in this life.

If you are a mama with a strained relationship with your child/children, I am praying for you this Mother’s Day.

There are few things more painful than having a disconnected relationship with your child. And disconnected doesn’t always mean you never see them but that when you do, you know there is wounding not yet healed. I want to encourage you as a mama to pray for both your and your child’s/children’s heart to be soft and ready for healing. As you pray look for open doors to have conversation with your child. If they show resistance, they are not ready. Keep praying and trusting in God’s timing. A frequent prayer I pray today is, “God, show me how to love my children well….” because God knows them better than we do. He sees in the depths of their thinking and perspectives…and I believe with all my heart, He will give us wisdom and insight into these areas; empowering us to be the mothers He created us to be. Sometimes that means learning how to love our children but not needing their approval.

*disclaimer* Mother guilt is different than facing the pain your child has in their heart over something they perceive as a wounding from your mothering. Guilt serves no redeeming purpose once repentance and asking for forgiveness has taken place. Once we have listened to our children and sincerely sought their forgiveness, it’s now their responsibility to take ownership of their healing. Of course we can still be a part of that by loving them well but we cannot take on the responsibility of making them “receive healing.”

At the end of the day, we will not be able to blame someone else for bitterness or wounding we remained stuck in. Even if we didn’t have a parent who listened to our hurt and express their sorrow, we have God, the Healer, who cares more about our healed heart and freedom than our parents do anyway…and that’s A LOT!

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