To The Under-Mothered Mother

Yesterday, she handed me her beautiful homemade card.  “I love you, Mommy,” it says.

Not too many yesterdays ago, I wondered if this day would ever be.  If those cards would ever be made… for me.  I wondered… would I have a daughter?  And if I did… would she be able to love me?  Afraid-of-the-past me.  Shakin-in-her-boots at this motherhood thing-me.  With all my flaws and failures… would I ever be the recipient of a construction-paper Mother’s Day card with bright red tulips glue-sticked every which way?

Maybe I’m not the only one.

Maybe you’ve wondered too, friend.

Maybe there was a mother.  In your heart, in your home.

Maybe she was present in body, but absent in mind and heart.

Maybe she was hurting, too.

Maybe there was a woman who showed love and gave love

But she left this earth too soon.

Or maybe she just left your home.

Or maybe she left, then came back.  Then left, then came back.

Maybe somehow this awful Lie snuck into her head and whispered: “They’d be better off without you.”

Maybe she didn’t know her true worth.

Maybe, even today, trying to extract her words from your soul hurts worse than pulling a tooth.

Because they sunk in so deep, and held on so tight, they became part of who you are.

Maybe she didn’t understand the weight of her words.

But now you are grown.  With little ones of your own.  And you understand that she is not the enemy.  The Enemy is the Lyingest Liar and all the evil Lies he tells.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Life to the full.  Yes, you believe it.  So you pray the same for her.  You pray for her and you forgive her.  You lay it down, you let it go, and you try to learn to love.

But still, sometimes, that old Fear pops up.

You hear another mother shouting at her children.  And your skin crawls.  And your heart races.  And your palms sweat.  And your head aches.

Or you look at your own little girls.  And you realize, again, how monumental this task really is.

It’s not that you want to be a perfect mom… oh, no.  Perish the thought.  But you want to be kind.  You want to be good.  You want them to feel their worth when they’re with you.  And you exhale, and you remember…

It’s ok if you feel like you’re not good enough.  There is One who is, and He’s here with you…

And He is not afraid of your weaknesses.  He is not surprised by your fears.  In fact, He loves to show up in them.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (1 Cor. 12:9).

And that ever-loving Cross He carried?

Helps us forgive.

But He doesn’t stop there.

He also helps us not to relive.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

He removes the transgressions we’ve carried

Whether we started them, or we allowed them.

He pulls them out like a weed.

He is the Rescuer, the Healer, the Life-Giver and the History-Changer.

And now about those lies.

Remember, today, if you’re hurting, missing someone, or otherwise lonely:

You are special.  You are lovely.  You are loved.  You are needed, wanted.  You belong in your family and you belong to the One who defines Fatherhood.

He takes you into His arms and into His flock like this:  “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God” (Exodus 6:7).  Taking ownership for you and taking your care into His hands.  Unconditionally, totally, perfectly.

And if you’re walking this motherhood thing feeling a little un-mothered yourself, just know that:

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11).


Stumbling closer, and faster, to Him, together,


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