If you know anything about me, if you have heard me give my testimony, if you have read my posts, there are things that have been shared that don’t put my mom in the best light. For a long time I allowed bitterness to block me from experiencing true freedom by forgiving.
I had forgiven her years ago, mostly because I was ok in my life, and I knew I could have been in a worse place. Was the stuff I went through great? No. Do I still have times of struggles from my past? yes of course, but I feel that is the case for everyone. No matter how extreme the story, or maybe not as extreme as others, the facts are, our past shapes who we are, and it is up to us to either dwell in the past, allow the bitterness to run us, or try our hardest to not allow our past to depict our future, and our interactions with those we come in contact with. Now I say all this, but it’s hard!
Like I said I had forgiven my mom, and had just come to the conclusion that she would never truly understand, or be able to understand the pain I went through, and I realized that if I wanted to move on with my life I need to accept that and forgive her to show her love despite what happened, and also to allow me to grow into a healthier person.
There is so much that her and I have been through, and most people may be shocked to know where we are now. Is it perfect? No, but I am trying. One of the changing moments, is when a few minutes before I was to share my testimony about 4 years ago, my mom said sorry, but truly sorry, and told me that she is proud of me for sharing what I have been through, despite the fact that it makes her not look so great. She has been my biggest encouragement in writing, blogging, and speaking. Even though I know it is hard for her to read, she tells me to keep doing that. Who does that?
I have been wanting to write this post for a long time, and this has been in the queue recently before I had even found out about what my mom is going through at the moment. In the future I may write stuff about my mom, that again doesn’t put her in the best light, but I will keep adding the link to this post to remind people where we are now.
In the past I have been asked to give my testimony. With that said, I used to cry at the parts of my past where I felt I was abandoned, or the things I went through. It was such a weird experience, it was this feeling of feeling like I was sharing someone else story, but then the crazy realization that I really experienced those things, but that I was safe. The story has had multiple endings depending on when I was sharing. Some were, I am not talking to my mom, my mom is now in my life because she kept her word, and so on.
I was given the opportunity to share once again a few months ago. This is the first time I shared since becoming a mom, and the most terrified I had ever been. I feel this last time was life changing for me. I spoke, I shared the nitty gritty, and I barely choked up talking about my past. Just to show how far removed I am actually from it. I was talking about how no matter what we are NOT disqualified from God’s love and being used by God. In this I started to cry when I brought up Chris, because for a lot time I tried to sabotage our relationship because I didn’t feel qualified, and if I continued that I would have missed out on living life with my best friend. I then cried a little harder when I explained that I didn’t want to be mom, because I felt I would be the worst mom. We waited 7 years to even try for a baby, and if I didn’t allow God to come into that I would have missed out on being my wonderful Arwen’s mom (I am actually tearing up now, because I can’t believe I thought that). Then one of my last statements was “you heard everything my mom had done, and she is not disqualified from God’s love.” Mom, I cried, and said how proud of you I am. I AM. I think I am better with words on “paper” but I want you to know that I see you. I see how you have changed, how you have made a better life for you, Zach, and Rick. You are getting involved in helping others, and you speak with such positivity, and I can’t express how proud of you I am. There was actually a moment in September where I wept, because I missed you. This may seem weird, but it was a crucial moment for me. Mom I love you.
I have chosen that it is easier to forgive then to hold onto bitterness. Ok, now stay with me when I talk about this because it may seem random, but every time I watch Maleficent it reminded of my mom, and where I am.
SPOILER ALERTS ~ If you haven’t seen the movie Maleficent, don’t read ahead.
During the movie, Stefan a boy with no noble rights befriended a winged fairy friend named Maleficent. They fell in love and so on. When Stefan was given the opportunity to become king, he didn’t care who he hurt, he had one goal in mind…himself. He ended up ruining the relationship with Maleficent to gain power, and to feed into his selfishness. He got what he wanted by cutting off the wings of his friend to prove he killed her like the current dying king wanted, although he actually spared her life. With this act of betrayal the once happy and loving Maleficent, allowed bitterness to rule her heart and revenge is what she sought after. If you know the story of sleeping beauty, Maleficent put a spell on King Stefan’s daughter, and letting him know on her 18th birthday Aurora would fall into a deep sleep. The king ended up sending his daughter away for her protection, and for 18 years thought of ways to take Maleficent down. He wasn’t present for his daughters life, and you see him going crazy…literally, while trying to figure out a way to kill maleficent and to be ready for her. He missed his wife’s death, and he missed his life trying to get revenge, by first allowing selfish desires to take over, and then revenge and bitterness to reign. In the meantime you see Maleficent fall in love with Aurora, despite her best efforts, and feeling absolutely sick that she caused the one she loved (Aurora) to be hurt even though she was an innocent in these events. A truly beautiful moment is when Aurora is in her deep sleep and Maleficent says ” I will not ask your forgiveness because what I had done to you is unforgivable. I was so lost in hatred and revenge.” If she hadn’t come to this realization, and because love woke Aurora up, Maleficent got to experience true forgiveness from her wrong doing, and also from herself. In real life of course there is more to work on, and barriers to cross, but hopefully you get what I mean. Sadly although Maleficent tried to extend an olive branch to King Stefan, just being tired from being angry, he didn’t take it, and lost his life.
In no way am I saying forgiveness is easy, or not a process, but I am just saying for me, when I was able to get there, it was freeing, and allowed me to experience so much. You don’t realize how much bitterness can weigh you down until you feel freed from it.
I feel for a time, I was Maleficent, I allowed bitterness to reign, but when I was able to forgive, it was freeing. In the same breath, I feel like my mom is her as well, and she has allowed herself to forgive herself.
All this to say. Mom, I want you to know I am proud of where you are. Like we have talked about, you are not who you were back then, and you are a new person. Although we are miles apart, I can see a difference in you, and I am proud of the fact that you are now finally letting the shame of the past be washed away. I am thankful you made some tough choices, and you were selfless in those choices to make sure you can give a better life to Zach. This is one HUGE way I can see a change. I love you.