By Janice S Ramkissoon
A Mother’s love
Do you know the love of a mother? If you do know the love of a mother, have you taken time to reflect on that love and really show your appreciation? If you are presently blessed with the love of a mother, do give thanks today for having had the opportunity to experience a little piece of heaven on earth, through the loving, caring, nurturing nature of a mother. Then use that knowledge and understanding to stand in the gap for the many connected to you who are still asking, “Where is the love?”
Here in the UK, the month of March is the time of year we celebrate Mother’s Day while the rest of the world celebrates it in May. It is a time when I reflect on my role as a child, a mother and a godmother. It can be quite depressing when I think about my role as a child because of the lack of connection between my mother and I. However, as a mother, I try to use it as a time of reflection where I can learn from past mistakes and think about how I can avoid repeating that cycle of emotional disconnect in my own parenting.
As a child, I honor my mother for giving me life. She could have aborted me (as her body was violated) but she didn’t. She could have left me in a trash can like some of these horror stories I read about but she didn’t do that either. Instead, she carried me full-term and gave birth to me (in an era when having a child out of wedlock was frowned upon). She was the vessel used to transport me to this life. That took courage and I have the utmost respect for her, for doing that.
She then left me in the capable hands of my grandparents, knowing that would be the best environment for me to grow up in. She was a teenager when she had me (still very much a child mentally and emotionally) therefore, she would not have been matured enough to cope with the demands of parenting. She was not capable of making adult decisions. When I didn’t have the understanding of why she left me behind, all I felt was rejection. I couldn’t see the love behind her leaving me in the care of my grandparents rather than caring for me herself. I didn’t have the mental comprehension that what I saw as rejection was really a form of protection.
Now grown and able to look back with an understanding of the facts of life, I’m able to say, I respect my mother for allowing my grandparents to take care of me. She wasn’t in a position to care for me and maybe today I’d want nothing to do with her, if she had been the one who looked after me. Due to the training I received, under the care of my grandparents and the church we attended, instead of me feeling sorry for myself and feeding that root of bitterness that had sprung up in me, healing has taken place. God is using me to help my mother as well as other hurting souls. The task is arduous and often I feel very sad not having that mother-daughter connection. Nevertheless, today, I am rejoicing because of the change that is evident. Indeed there is dancing after mourning—weeping may endure for a night but joy surely comes in the morning. I am now experiencing the beauty that comes from the ashes of my past.
I am changing and so is my mother (not as fast as I would like but changing nonetheless). I am witnessing the change in my lifetime. The angels in heaven are rejoicing over one lost soul saved. My mother finally surrendered her life to Christ. She responded to the drawing of the Holy Spirit. On Sunday 3rd May 2015, during a baptismal service, she made the decision to publicly acknowledge Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour. She got baptised and began her faith journey. My soul sings, Hallelujah!
So if you know the love of God today but you have not felt the love of your mother, please stand in the gap for her. If she’s no longer alive, and you’re still angry with her, do what it takes to deal with what caused the lack of connection between you so that your heart can heal. That will include laying it all down at the foot of the cross. Ask God to forgive her for neglecting some (if not all) of her parental responsibilities and then stand in the gap by regularly interceding for other mothers. Although this article’s focus is mothers, the same applies to fathers.
Standing in the gap for mothers
There are various ways to stand in the gap. We can speak up for the voiceless among us, weakening the power of injustice. We can provide practical help for the helpless in our midst. Use whatever God has given you to stand in the gap. Today, I’m simply encouraging you to start by praying for those who are grieving the loss of their mothers (or fathers) physically or emotionally. Some are grieving because they too do not have an emotional connection with their mothers while others are grieving because of the death of their mothers. Imagine how difficult it must be for those who are experiencing the loss of both types of connection? They may have grown up without that emotional connection or they may have had a disagreement which caused a major conflict in the family and then lost their mother to the grave. In such a case, they would not have been able to address and/or resolve the issues that could have brought healing to their hearts. Many mothers who had unresolved issues with their own mothers became mothers with unhealed wounds whose children suffer the consequences. Although it is not impossible, it takes courage for the children born into such environment to break that destructive cycle.
Some mothers are grieving because the mother they love so much who once cared for them and shared memories of the past with them (and in some cases with their children) are now in a mentally or physically debilitating state.
Standing in the gap for orphans & children in care
Please, stand in the gap by praying for the many orphans today who will never receive that love from their own parents. Pray that they too will know the love of their heavenly Father, through the carers they meet daily and other leaders in their lives. Pray for adopted and fostered children who may not be feeling that connection with their foster or adopted parents. From that place of intercession the Holy Spirit will show you how to direct your prayers or in what you can do to show support in practical ways.
Dealing with regrets?
If you are a mother filled with regrets, my prayer is that you may place those regrets at the foot of the cross today. Then allow God to take the heavy burden of regret from you. It will free you from guilt, wipe the slate clean, and you can start to move forward.
Where God has opened your eyes to past mistakes, be humble and apologise to your child or children. Allow their hearts to heal and yours to be free from the pain of the past.
Enjoy the journey of mothering, whether you are a mother to young children or a mother to grown children with their own children. Your role as a mother is one of the most important here on earth. You are not just training up a son or a daughter to become responsible adults. You are training up the next generation of leaders to think about the consequences of their actions when making decisions. The health of tomorrow’s marriages rests in your care today. You are training up husbands and fathers and most certainly you are training up the wives and mothers of the next generation of leaders.
Dealing with that root of bitterness
Mistakes will be made along the way. Parenting is an on-the-job learning experience—mistakes are inevitable. However, some of those mistakes can have damaging effects to our child or children. If we’re not humble enough to accept that we were either wrong or simply didn’t know any better at the time, our children may grow up resenting us. When we recognise that our actions contributed to our child or children’s negative behaviour, then the right thing to do is to come to a place of repentance. We must own our mistakes then take the correct to resolve the issue. We must apologise to our child or children so that they can understand our human limitations and won’t continue on their journey feeling unloved or enter into parenting with unrealistic views of parenting.
Resentment is that root of bitterness that will fuel conflict and give power to injustice. If you have grown children and often wonder why they don’t treat you the way you expected to be treated, then maybe you have overlooked an area of neglect or an unresolved issue. Please take advice from my grandmother, the late Magdalene Olivia Peddie (April 1919 – Oct 1999) who’ll always remind us that there’s never smoke without fire. Such advice helps us to look beyond the surface and away from our prideful, selfish nature in trying to connect with that estranged child, gain understanding and get the opportunity to make that step towards resolution. Seek out the root cause of the issues you’re encountering and allow the Creator of all things to breathe new life into those broken relationships.
“…For the Lord comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.”
(in context Isaiah 49)
I love sharing the Good News of the gospel with others. May you be blessed by the written pieces that I share. You can contact me by emailing:[email protected]