I decided not to do the bouquet of flowers for Mom this year. I figured I’d buy her some flowers that would last a bit longer and brighten up the backyard she looks out on as she washes the dishes at the kitchen sink. The first few months of 2018 have been rough on our family, and probably roughest on her.
Growing up, Mom has been the constant source of encouragement. Even when we royally screw up, she’s often finding a reason this-or-that happened. Or when I’m sure I’ve been hit with the plague, she’s calming me down from an emergency trip to Urgent Care or coaxing me off of Web MD. Yep, Mom has always been the band aid “put-er-on-er” and “boo boo kisser.”
However, so far this year, it has felt like one big ripping off of the band aid. No warning. One moment I'm on the road to ultimate healing from something and then the next moment…rip!! Exposed. Tender. And I’m sure the first layer of skin and some hair is in there too!
So what do you do when you’re a Mom and the expectation of healing has been deferred? You do what my Mom does: You cry a little. You get mad a little (or a lot, especially if someone has hurt your man or your child.) You may even ask God, "Why?" And then you brush yourself off and you make dinner. You do the laundry. And you tell your daughter she doesn’t have pneumonia because of a slight cough. You don’t have time to wallow or wait or wonder because there are people who are depending on you. There are people who are looking to you to say, “It’s going to be ok.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve been through Celebrate Recovery, Grief Recovery, Freedom, and Spiritual Coaching…I am a HUGE advocate of it all and the biggest advocate of going to God with your "ish." Because if you are harboring resentment, unforgiveness or anger, you might as well tear off some band aids and pour salt on them. Angry, bitter Moms don’t usually have a positive effect on their children. And if you haven't dealt with your own wounds, it'll be really hard to relate to someone in their hurts.
I’m just recognizing that God needs me to walk through some stuff I don’t really want to walk through. And there are days I have worried and wallowed and wanted all the way out. There’s some band aids that need to be ripped off of myself and some people close to me…and my Father in Heaven is telling me, “I know this may hurt a little…but I promise it will be quick.” Now if there's one thing I've learned: God's "quick" and my "quick" are never the same. But He needs me to learn how to be a Mom from Him, and then be a Mom to others. To trust Him in this process of hurting and healing and then helping others to do the same.
In the throes of my early 40’s, single and no prospect of having a biological child of my own, God had given me a word that I’m just now really understanding: “You’ll be the mother to many.” I remember being moved to write about the realization that I was a mother. And in the last few years, I have had many opportunities to “kiss a boo boo” here and there for people I’ve come across or situations I've been put into. And if you ask me for a band aid and I don't have one in my purse...well, I forgive myself eventually but it takes a minute.
The thing that I recognize about Moms are that they have faith. Things can get ugly and hard and hurt. But Mom’s can be the ones in the family that keep you going even in the sight of situations that seem will never change or are getting worse. They can be the constant one. The one who's face is at rest during calmness and chaos (oh..He has SO much more work to do with me on this one! #NoPokerFace.) They are the ones who can keep you fed. Wrap your wounds. Listen to your uncertainty and speak truth over your situation. Don't have any kids of your own? No problem. You can be a "Mom" to that young girl at your job who just broke up with her boyfriend, or the older woman at the bus stop who just lost her husband and needs to be heard. All you need to do is listen for that person in your life looking for a band aid and let them know you hear they are hurting, you'll be there for them in there hurt, and that the hurt doesn't have to last forever.
So happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s doing it day-in and day-out. Looking over their kids by blood, by marriage or by choice. Whether you are the Mom of your house or your neighborhood or your job – your role of Mom is important. I’m continuing to ask and challenge myself to walk into situations like a Mom would, believing the best of her children, facing uncertainty by keeping the faith and encouraging others along the way.
Today’s Forecast: This may hurt a little…
Silver Lining: …but I promise it will be quick!