I cry out to Him, You are asking me to share a lot. I am not ready to let down some of my walls. I don’t have the courage to open up to complete strangers. They will criticize me and reject me, I say to Him. But my Lord asked me, “Daughter, if you could reach just one woman and minister to her and encourage her or affirm her for My sake, would you be willing to share your scars with her? Of course, Lord. Like the words from Isaiah, “Here I am, send me.” Isaiah 6:8 So, I submit to His will and not my own.
For all those daughters out there that do not have the best relationship with their moms, this is written to help you know that you are not alone in your pain and suffering. The Lord knows all that we need in order to cling to Him and to become more like Him. He cares about your tears and what you have been through. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
So here’s my story. I was adopted at birth into a family that already had 3 biological sons of their own. (My biological parents were 26 and 29 yrs. old when they gave me up for adoption.) I grew up knowing I was adopted and I was told that I was chosen and special, yet, I did not feel like I ever fit in. For some reason I was never really close to my mom and I am not sure why. My insecurities developed at a very young age. I did not have many friends at school and those I did have later rejected me and I was left to myself each afternoon on the playground. I felt unwanted again. Because of much hurt, the anger in me quickly became a part of who I was. Kids called me, “Mean Jolene” (that still hurts to hear it to this day!) and of course that added to my pain and created even more hostility in me. I lashed out in my anger when I was just in the third grade as I was sent to the Principal’s Office for fist fighting! Of course over the years I put up more walls to protect myself and more pain became my friend, whether it was being sexually molested as a child or just feeling unwanted in my own home.
Then my teen years came. I never felt that I could please my mom or measure up to her standards, so I stopped trying and I became indifferent and I sought to receive love somewhere else. Later I had a boy who said he loved me; oh how he broke my heart, again. More scars and more walls were added along with more bad choices that left me so broken that I wanted to take my own life. Later as I got older, I lived a life where I denied the existence of God and boy, those sure were some dark years.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons (& daughters) through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6 (my paraphrase)
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Shortly after I became saved I decided to move back in with my parents so I could be the ‘light’ and be a witness to them. Unfortunately, they were not open to my new found faith. One day in particular I remember sharing with my mom how I asked Jesus to come into my heart, forgive me of my sins and be the Lord of my life.
My mom’s response:, “You have just matured, that’s all.” I was perplexed by her words. I thought maybe she did not understand what I said or she did not hear me so I repeated myself.
Her response again was, “You have just matured.” Now, I was not okay with her denying my transformation and denying what God had done in my life, so my old self of being ‘Mean-Jolene’ came alive, and I fiercely repeated myself for the third time!
Her response, “No, you have just matured, that’s all.”
In that moment I was saddened by the fact that she had discounted what I had to say and what was taking place in my life, but what she was really doing was rejecting my Savior. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” John 15:20
About a year later I was getting married to a wonderful man that God chose specifically for me. My parents did not approve of my husband-to-be, nor did they approve of my faith and the church we were getting married in, which is still the church we attend to this day. Mom and I continued to be at odds. Of course they were invited to my wedding and I hoped they would come but I informed them that in 4 weeks I would be getting married whether they attended or not. (I did not know if my dad would be walking me down the aisle until the night of the rehearsal when they happened to show up.)
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. “For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; “and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ Matthew 10:34-36
We moved forward in our relationship. She was respectful of my faith and my marriage. Within a year of my wedding, I became pregnant with my firstborn and mom and I became so close. It was wonderful and she was a fabulous grandma! I continued to pray for hers and my extended family’s salvation. A year later I became pregnant again.
Now comes the part in the movie when the music goes bad…really, really bad. I am going to leave you with a cliff-hanger. Below are some words that my mother vehemently spewed out to me one afternoon when I was 7 months pregnant. (Shortly after what was said to me I went into pre-term labor.)
Mom: “Jolene, if I ever see you spank your child again I am going to call Child Protective Services.”