The word “mother” conjures up warm and fuzzy images: hugs, smiles, meals on the table, and bedtime stories. And, of course, forever etched in our minds are Mother’s words of warning, advice, scolding and encouragement. Our mothers have largely made us what we are. “Mother is the home we come from. She is nature, soil, ocean,” said Erich Fromm. “All I am and ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother,” said Abraham Lincoln.
However, most mothers aren’t angels! “Unfortunately, in our fallen humanity, there are few perfect parents…. Many people carry wounds or voids they incurred early in life from one or both of their parents, such as unmet needs, absence, neglect, harsh words … Nevertheless, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord can go back and fill in any of those wounds with his perfect love,” say Francis and Judith MacNutt of Christian Healing Ministries.
My mother was a wonderful person, loved by many. I’m thankful for her and for the faith she passed on to me. She was my security. She sang to me, cheered me, more than once rescued me. But there were critical times when she wasn’t—or couldn’t—”be there” for me when traumatic things happened. Perhaps the wounds she carried from the neglect and abandonment she experienced as a very young child hindered her ability to deal with the emotional needs of her own little girl.
Some of my friends carry mother wounds because they have been distanced from their mother’s love by separation, bad choices, generational patterns, emotional coldness, disease, skewed priorities, and even death.
Why would we want to share the personal wounds?
Why do I share about the wounds I carried into young adulthood from early childhood—wounds of trauma, fear, shame, and unmet emotional needs? I share this only because I also experienced real healing. The Lord touched me several times during my life in powerful, targeted ways that brought change, healing, and freedom! That is the real story.
We tell enough of the hurts for the reader to “feel” the needs we had for inner healing and relational healing … so you can also “feel” the wonder and beauty and power of our God who restores our souls!
This morning I read in Luke about Jesus healing the woman with “an issue of blood,” who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She came up behind Jesus silently, unseen in the crowd, and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. But he noticed. He felt power going out of himself. He turned and questioned her. “When the woman saw she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him” in front of the gawking crowd she confessed her need and her faith. Because of her faith—and Jesus’ power—the woman was restored to health. Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace” (Luke 8).
I think the contributors to Journeys to Mother Love (both the book and the blog) are like that woman. We’d rather keep silent about the pain and shame. But we are compelled to reach out. We came trembling to Jesus, confessing our need and faith. Now we come trembling, sharing with you our experiences of the healing power of Jesus (and of mother love).
Come share the journey with us.
~ Catherine Lawton
(This post first published Nov 10, 2012.)