A Mother’s Guilt

Does it ever end? I really was a good mother, the best I knew to be but I feel I failed in so many areas, too. Don’t we all though? The ‘if only’ I had known or could do over sometimes rolls over in my mind, even though they are grown adults. I needed more time with them to do this or that, teach them things that I overlooked and so much more. Time runs out.

A mother of toddlers and as they grow, it is exhausting but the best reward in life ever. It is not an easy job being a parent. Today, I wonder how the parents are relating and dealing with what is before their own children and family, as the world seems to be spiraling down to a deep despair of ungodliness.

I remember the time when my boys were old enough and to the age of puberty and here comes Clinton having office sex with his staff attorney, being discussed on tv. I felt I was at a loss. Now all the drag and pronouns and senseless behavior. It boggles my mind.

All I know to do is realize deep down and STOP the mental fight that I was a bad mom and did not do enough. My sons are doing quite well, but I know also I failed them in many ways. We learn. They learn. We all learned. Our parents did not do everything right either, I know mine did not. They did the best they could at the time. I must forgive them. I must forgive myself. To dwell in the depths of despair is useless and causes the rabbit hole of mental anguish to deepen.

What I can do today, from this point forward and each day is to be a better mom. To be me and know that they have a path to walk and to keep my eyes on the Lord, knowing and truly believing that He has prepared a path for them. They get to choose and make decisions. I have been out of the picture for a long while now, but I will always be a landing pad for them, if needed. They know that and they know, too, that I love them.

The guilt comes to all of us parents. It is the point of stopping the guilt and acknowledging that our prayers have been heard and that the Lord knows their name and He knows exactly where they are in life. Sometimes, we want to help the Lord. Just stop and let Him show them the way and that they be open enough to recognize the way. I did my job and probably you have, too, or are in the midst. Just because they are adults, they are still our children. Our way is not their way. We let go again and again. Let God.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/verses-to-pray-over-your-children.html

Missed Words

Today, as I listened to Reba McIntyre talk about her dad and how she never heard him tell her that he loved her growing up, laughing and brushing it off, I felt sad. What was it about that generation that did not say they loved their children? I know it must have hurt her even though she understood him. All children need to hear I Love You. I try to grasp what that generation was thinking, perhaps how they were raised. Did they not hear I Love You and figured that was the right way to raise their children or were they told too much and definitely did not want to repeat the same, which I really doubt. Maybe they were never told I Love You, so they lived a life of figuring they were loved, or also doubting of their parent’s love.

Had I heard those three words growing up, it sure would have saved me a lot of time and money in counseling. While that was not the main purpose of counseling, it played a big part of my life, a missing part. I discovered that I felt unlovable and not knowing even that until the counselor helped me see the dots connected. Something was just missing. Thank God she picked up on what I said and expressed of my childhood and adulthood.

While I, too, understood, I missed that part of truly knowing. Of course, they loved me, I am their child. RIght? Then again, I was an oopsie and did they regret me more than love me, which was a thought I often had. No, they loved me. It was just not part of them to express, and I have to remember that was just the way it was for them back then. How sad though that a child has to wonder such facts that should be an important part of growth.

Some will immediately state, of course, you were loved, as you had a roof over your head, shoes on your feet and food on the table. True! Is it that hard to say I Love You though to your own flesh and blood?

One thing, I learned of never hearing I Love You was to always tell my children that I love them. They never leave or hang up the phone call without their mom saying, I Love You. In turn, they tell me that they love me, which means the world to me. Maybe I run it in the ground too much whenever we leave one another, as I have thought, but how can one not enjoy hearing those three words. If I was to leave this world or they would, I want them to never have to guess or wonder if I loved them, vice versa. My heart beats for them, more than they will ever know. The last words, no matter when, I Love You!

I am sure in my parent’s heart, it beat for me, but my heart was broken many times when growing up, playing the guessing game if I truly was loved. Sadly, growing up never hearing, I never said those words to them either. Even though, they cared for me and at the end of their lives, I cared for them. That’s love!

It is understanding but yet forgiving them and myself of what did not happen in order to go on and know deep within that they loved me, and I loved them.

Never miss the opportunity to reassure those in your life of your appreciation, pay a compliment and put a positive word in their life and the most important is, I Love You.

Forgive? Forget?

When years have passed and a lot of bitter waters flowed within a family, there comes a time to block a relationship and go the other way. One of the best moves I have ever done and actually the first time, to block a member of my own family from the hatred messages received. There was peace. To block one is very powerful and freeing. Why didn’t I do that sooner? I allowed a lot of unnecessary stress and tears before hitting the option, to block or not to block. Block.

It was their choice to cut family ties years before and pretend I was dead, actually they wished I was, no doubt. After going through years of this, I welcomed this divide.

To my surprise, I had a message awaiting me, which surprised me as I blocked her. Apparently, a new profile requesting friendship on Facebook allows this to happen but all I could say or think was, “I’m Good.” I am. I have enjoyed the peace and quiet. Whatever is said or done, that is on them. I will not allow myself to be harassed or stressed anymore. A decision to be a ‘friend’ on Facebook and then to send a message of, “Let Bygones Be Bygones” still, “I’m Good” with no reply. It’s best to leave well enough alone.

So epiphany came to mind.

Epiphany is an “Aha!” moment. As a literary device, epiphany (pronounced ih-pif–uh-nee) is the moment when a character is suddenly struck with a life-changing realization which changes the rest of the story. Often, an epiphany begins with a small, everyday occurrence or experience.

The movie, "Monster-In-Law" of a daughter-in-law (Charlie) to-be speaks to an upcoming mother-in-law on the wedding day after being so manipulative and jealous of the couple's relationship and trying to stop the wedding in however way she could. Finally saying the marriage could go forward. Charlie says, "What, am I supposed to believe that you've had some epiphany? That all of the sudden everything is going to be different?" 

Actually, a “Come to Jesus’ moment is another way to think of this epiphany when it happens after years of being gossiped and lied about for years to those I know. Hopefully, those listening to the non-stop lies and gossip, they realized just what the one speaking really is and sees them for that. I cannot concern myself with what was or is said or believed. I did for a long time, but I had to let it go.

As much as it deeply hurt, I wanted to go behind them to fight my case, as there are always two sides to a story. I could also smear their reputation just as well but it is not worth my time or energy. In time, all I could and can do is to wait and let God fight my battles. In time, those that heard all the talk will understand, as they definitely felt the need to be heard in order to feel bigger and better. Some need that drama. I don’t have to say a word or defend my position.

My place was to remain in peace within myself, process the hurt and pain as I could but in the end, to forgive. Forgiveness is for me.

You Can Forgive Someone, But That Doesn’t Mean They Need To Stay In Your Life. But forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to keep that person in your life.

In a word – absolutely! Forgiveness is the foundation that must be laid in order to journey toward healing. When we forgive someone, instant healing doesn’t come (especially when the hurt causes deep emotional wounds).

I am sure we have all dealt with situations in life that we needed forgiveness for ourselves or for others. The same holds true with unforgiveness, we may hold toward others or they may hold toward us. Not an easy situation most times but we are faced with it in life. At times, we have to even forgive ourselves and that is even hard. Sometimes we have to forgive by faith.

Do we forgive? Can we forget?

Do we not forgive? Do we not forget?

Do we forget? Do we not forgive?

Forgiveness may not happen overnight, as there will probably be a lot of emotional baggage and let’s not forget anger.

This past week, I have had to re-examine this situation in our family. There has been a lot of water under the bridge over the years. As requested, let’s let bygones be bygones. I’m good with that and we continue to go our separate ways.

I’m good and I do wish them well.