(1980s with my mom)
As women we still find it hard to grow up. We want our moms to be the moms of our childhood. To forgive, not show their hurt feelings, hold us and love us. But do we let our moms be human? Do we let them be women? This is such a challenging relationship for most, a struggle and a joy tangled together. We want our moms to not have feelings, to not ask anything of us and to think we are the best. I promise your mom does think all those things. But, she is human, she is also a women and she has emotions; they range every spectrum just as yours do. She has expectations, she gets her feelings hurt and she can't turn off her desire and need to protect you. As we grow from girls to women and we ask our moms to allow us this freedom we have to give them the freedom to grow from a mom into a woman.
As I got married I pushed away to form a new family with my husband. But, I hurt my mom in many ways and I didn't communicate well. She gracefully walked in hurt for many years. Consistently praying over our relationship, pursuing me, listening to me and waiting. Waiting for me to hear her hurt, waiting for me to see her deep love and waiting for me to know the strength of a woman that comes from a little girl who was well loved, loudly cheered for and boldly released to God.
As I became a mother I saw so many ways my mom celebrated me and sacrificed for me. I realized with embarrassment how I will never fully grow up in my mom's eyes. My mom will be one of the few that knows fully how amazing I was created and how sinful I am all at once. Despite that combination she will always be the one cheering the loudest or crying the hardest over my accomplishments and hurt.
Growth hurts. Staying the same does too. Giving up on relationship feels easy when they are difficult. When there is hurt or loss of expectation or misunderstanding. Sometimes relationships need to be finished and sometimes they need to stand still. I stood still with my mom for awhile, both of us waiting on each other in silence. When the dialogue began there were hurt feelings to wash off and tears to wade through. What came after was a clearer understanding that the relationship was not what defined us but, the women God created us to be and how we effect each other.
That truth survives far past our mother's lives or the hurt we have encountered from other women. God created His daughters to love well, fight for reconciliation and to hold up the truth that we were created as His image bearers. I'm grateful for my mother's continuing to pursue me, I am thankful for her slowly showing me that if I let her be more than my mom in my eyes, there is a wealth of knowledge and truth I can learn from.
So, on the day my only daughter turns four; during a week when I have been screamed at and pushed away. I am celebrating the relationship I had with my mother and praying for the relationship with my daughter. I am praying that it is one of deep vulnerability and value in her life. That is has truth and love at it's root and that God gives me grace to forgive the screaming and patience to love her well, to teach her and to boldly release her to God as my mom did for me.