When I was younger, holidays like Mother and Father’s Day were difficult for me. All the cards read what I wished I could say in truth to my parents, but it wasn’t to be.
You see, when your parents succumb to alcoholism and their own child abuse, they often become abusers themselves. I don’t wish to dishonor my parents, but I simply didn’t have the kind of parent that I could write, You Meant Everything To Me or You Were always There For Me. Thus said, it is important to know that I loved and respected my parents, no matter what demons had a hold on their lives. I also had the extreme pleasure of seeing both of them come to ask forgiveness and accept Christ into their hearts before they died. My mother died of cancer when I was just 30, and my dad died of cancer in 2006.
In spite of the final results, the damage was done, and I spent many, many years struggling with the trauma of my childhood. That is until one day when the Lord set me free. I had struggled with severe post traumatic stress syndrome and was just about at my wits ends. I was a young mother desperately trying to make a difference in my children’s lives and not repeat the damage done to me.
Have you ever had a moment of perfect clarity? The type of clarity that can only come from devine intervention? Well, I have. Even with my swiss cheese memory, I remember the day like it was five minutes ago. I was making our oversized bed in a very undersized room. I was on the far side of the room putting the last pillow in place when the question, “Who am I?” came into my thoughts. And without a missed beat, the answer came from God. “You are Rebekah, Sarah and Micah’s mom, and you are Clint’s wife.” Now, for some of you, that might seem a little old fashioned, even stone-age thinking, but for me, it meant that I was not my parents, and that I never would be.
Also at that moment, God gave me the complete and a wholly “Him” ability to forgive my parents for each and every hurt they had caused me. Not only forgive them, but to completely love them as the Bible commands each of us. I know this was of God, because I as a human do not or never have had it within me to forgive that completely and permanently. Believe me, I have tried on other occasions and the old bitter feelings always seem to creep back in to the recesses of my mind.
I discovered that day, that although I wasn’t the perfect mom, I was on my way to becoming the mom and wife that God wanted me to be. Did I still have moments of panic? Yes, but they became fewer and fewer until they no longer ruled my life. And although I never had the opportunity to know my mom as a person, my father was still alive. In fact, I had the honor of nursing him to returned health when he had his first bought with cancer. He lived with us for six months and we developed a special bond.
But on that day, I became so thankful for my daughters; the beautiful children who made me want to be the best mom I could be. So it is why today, when I have no mother of my own to honor, that I wish to honor my girls, two of which are great mothers themselves. I love you Rebekah, Sarah and Micah – you have kept me grounded and made life worth living.
Related blog: http://dwelchel.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/for-me-and-my-house-we-choose-to-be-moms/