by | Mar 27, 2024

Humans make terrible mistakes; we can deeply hurt the ones we love and leave scars. We don’t remember why, or the why is not important anymore, but the scars remain. 

One of the most difficult, hurtful relationships in my life was with my mother. Her unhappiness stemmed from the idea of having a child. To her, being a mother meant that her dreams of starting life in America, getting a college education, and traveling the world would die. 

She could not see past the idea that I would change her life for the worse. 

I hardly saw my mother when I was very small. It was up to her to provide for me and she had to work three jobs. She never cuddled with me or hugged me or told me she loved me.

In my world, she was the stranger who slept in the big bed, while I slept in the little bed.  

My mother could only love me through gifts. She did not understand that this expression of love was not enough. I liked them, but I wanted her. I wanted a relationship.

For the first part of my life, she was pretty much a ghost. She had many boyfriends, so there was no time for me. Like all children, I had questions about everything, but she never wanted to hear them. There was no routine, no playing, no talking, no joy. She didn’t really know me. 

Even when school became so difficult for me, my mother began to say things like: Why are you so weird? Why can’t you be like the other kids? What’s wrong with you? This was the first time she had to parent me on her own. There was no one else to pick up the pieces. She had a hard time accepting the responsibility. I had no one to depend on or to comfort me. I felt very alone. 

Because of her criticism, I had a hard time loving myself. 

Much later, as my mother lay dying, she chose not to see me. This is not the ending I had hoped for. I did not have closure. Through my childlike eyes, she was my mother and I loved her. She was the reason I was on this earth. I was overwhelmed with grief at the thought of never being able to tell her how I really felt about her.

The moment I could release the dream of the kind of mother I wanted her to be was when I imagined her sitting in front of me and asking her, “Why?” At that moment, I knew, like me, she could not explain—and that no answer would have been good enough.

But, GOD!

I know that I am a sinner, saved by grace, so I gave my mother grace to be who she was and I forgave her because Christ forgave me.

He began to show me my mother’s own life of neglect, abuse, and despair. She knew she had to survive but had a hard time living. She could not see the joy, beauty, and love all around her. She tried to love me. I don’t know why she was so hard on me, but it really doesn’t matter anymore. I have become a more compassionate and merciful person because of what I experienced in my childhood. 

Through all of my suffering, I can see God moving me toward a new and better place.

God had to help me heal the pain of my past. The moment I knew God was healing me was when I could think of the good times in my life and smile. Now, whenever I think of my mother, I remember her as brave, funny, and wise. I am a better mother because of what happened. I also am no longer looking for my mother in other people. I don’t seek her approval in my life. I am more at peace with myself.

Sometimes in life, you wonder as I have… Why? Why me? Why all the pain? Why all the sorrow? I can tell you that you are not alone, even if it feels that way. Isaiah 41:10 says: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

I don’t ask “why” anymore, I ask “how”. 

How can God use my story to encourage others? How can He use me to tell His story through my story? Looking back at my life, it doesn’t seem possible to have survived it all, but I was not alone. 

But, GOD!

He brings peace without limits, loves unconditionally, and is more than enough. 



  1. Brenda

    You are an amazing woman, mother and friend. Praise God you come through to see, you are victories. ❤️‍🩹🙏😭

  2. Elaine Alexander

    Such a heart felt story of forgiveness and restoration! God is live!


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