In the process of preparing my testimony to give at Christian Women’s Clubs, I remembered I was simply returning to an activity I did many years ago. The main part of my story has always been the illness of our second-born daughter. However, when I gave my testimony before, I did not share the part about my unhappy childhood. The relationship of a daughter to her mother is fairly sacred ground. It is: “Mom and apple pie.”
As a young boy wants to be able to say, “My dad can beat up your dad,” the young girl wants to be able to say, “My mom makes better chocolate chip cookies than your mom.” (Here I’m substituting “chocolate chip cookies” for “apple pie.”)
I have learned to stay tight-lipped in social settings regarding my relationship with my mother. Honoring my mother is the main reason. However, even to share a minor detail with a group of other women is to create a situation where an awkward pause will result, followed by one of the other women sharing her mother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe (so to speak).
Since the making of chocolate chip cookies seems to be synonymous with good mothering, we will use it as our gauge. In the situation where a young girl’s mother never made chocolate chip cookies (a neglectful childhood), burnt every tray (an abusive childhood), or made really bad-tasting cookies (a dysfunctional childhood), the young girl will probably experience shame. The child might question: “Other families have chocolate chip cookies; why is our family different? Is there something about our family that is not right?” And, the trickle-down effect will cause her to say: “Something about me must not be right.” The end result of shame is usually a heart filled with false guilt. Unfortunately, the false guilt in her childhood will probably go with the young girl into adulthood, where she will never be able to bake enough chocolate chip cookies to make up for the heavy load she carries.
God fills our hearts with his love! “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5). There is hope for the young girl or the woman, because there is something wonderful with which to fill their hearts! As they grow in the knowledge of our heavenly Father’s love, his love will fill their hearts until there will be no room left for shame and false guilt.
My story entry in JOURNEYS TO MOTHER LOVE played a role in helping to set me free. In the process of preparing the new testimony for Christian Women’s Clubs, I told a friend, “Well, I might as well include the part from my childhood. After all, it’s already out there in the book!” I was able to say those words in the most sincerely light-hearted way. God has filled my heart with his love and now he has opened it.