Posts Tagged ‘Mother’s Day’

A Christian Mom’s Story of Estrangement

May 12, 2018

People like to think of themselves as “good persons.” It’s human nature to think that way.  No one likes to think of themselves as sinners in need of the Savior.

However, as that link shows and demonstrates to us, the term “good” in the context of comparing our “goodness” to Holy God, shows how desperately we all need the Savior, Jesus Christ, to forgive us of our sins and make us right with God. It is the entire reason why Jesus came to this earth, suffered, bled and died for our sins. The “good” term in the crucifixion day called Good Friday, indicates that the result of Christ’s sacrificial death and ultimate resurrection, shows us how we can be forgiven (when we confess our sins through genuine repentance), saved from an eternity away from God (hell), and reconciled back unto God.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I was back in contact with the mom who I wrote about in Choices: The Undermining Daughter-in-law Dilemma.

She shared with me that she was desperate to see her estranged son, so she showed up at his church on March 4, 2018. This is her story:

When she arrived, she did not see their car in the parking lot. She went inside a bit early. On the way to the restroom, the pastor’s wife Janet said hello to her. Even though this mom had only attended the church a few times (was a distance away), it was so nice that Janet recognized her as Carey’s mom. She asked if he was here, and Janet said that they didn’t attend the Bible study at 10 am, but because they are part of the worship team, they should be here at 11.

It’s a small congregation (less than 2 years old) that meets in an auditorium and she sat down in the 4th row in the center seat. They walked in a little late @11:05 or 11:10. She thought that Aurora saw her right away because she had looked her way but her daughter-in-law immediately looked down at the floor. Aurora proceeded to greet and hug a few people, then headed to the front stage.  She sings in the chorus.

Carey greeted some people, including a couple who had their infant in a carrier. Carey looked at the baby and was smiling. He appeared to touch the baby’s hand or something. Then he greeted one or two more people as he walked towards the back of the rows of chairs. His mom watched him while he did that, and then turned around hoping to get his attention. The worship music had begun and everyone was standing. As he came around and up the center walkway between the chairs, she said, “Hi Carey.” He looked at her with a “not so pleased face” and grunted, “Hi.” She asked, “don’t I get a hug?” He reluctantly walked toward her passing one lady and an empty chair beside her and gave her, as she described, “the coldest kind of hug that she had ever gotten in her life.” She told him, “I have missed you.” He didn’t say anything in reply. He didn’t even look her in the eyes. He mechanically turned back to walk up the center aisle and eventually got to his seat on the right side where the mom and his dad had previously sat as a family when they were on good terms (and invited to the church by them in the past).

During the service, she saw the back of her son’s head and slightly the left side of his face. At one point, he abruptly got up, appeared agitated, walked to the back of the church and was gone from his seat for most of the first worship song. She thinks that he was supposed to give the announcements up at the front of the church, but the pastor ended up doing that portion as well as the sermon.

She was blocked from seeing Aurora onstage by a tall man standing and sitting in front of her. When she could see her, and when Aurora was able to see her too, her daughter-in-law tried really hard to avoid eye contact. At one point when the worship music was coming to an end, Aurora looked at her mother-in-law and was smiling. She smiled back and waved at Aurora, but her daughter-in-law didn’t return the wave. It was more of a smug smile. Knowing later what they would end up doing before the end of the service, it was obviously a fake smile.

When Aurora joined Carey at his seat, they often whispered to each other. She would demonstrate signs of affection, placing her arm around him etc.

The mom texted some of what was happening to her husband (he was ill that day), but told him the whole story on the phone after the service.

Near the end of the service, the pastor customarily asks the congregation to bow our heads in prayer as he offers the invitation to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, and prays over the congregation before dismissal from the service. The mom bowed her head and closed her eyes. Ten seconds later, she looked up and Carey and Aurora had left the room and likely headed to their car and drove off to avoid talking with her after the service! For one thing, that was a very rude thing (especially towards their pastor!) to do during prayer time! It also showed how immature and cowardly they are! It was something that one might expect from teenagers; not a 26 year old woman and 33 year old man. They had been whispering to each other just prior to the prayer and probably planned their escape.

It was then that the mom realized that she should have asked Carey when he hugged her, “can we please talk after the service?” Perhaps her request would have been ignored anyway.

The mom continued:

My son was clearly perturbed that I was there. My first comment on the phone with my husband was, “I guess I just added another 6 months of estrangement to our past 4 months of being ignored!” I had apparently crossed another boundary with them. Perhaps our “sentence” would now be permanent estrangement.

A while later, I also spoke on the phone with my daughter and son-in-law. They thought it was so strange that they are like this towards both me and my husband, because we didn’t do anything so terribly wrong. A simple communication issue should be discussed and resolved; not ending in this awful treatment of us. Everyone who knows us (relatives, our friends, and their friends, co-workers etc.) have been very supportive of us. No one can believe that our son would ever do this to us! We still can’t believe it! But Carey has been convinced by his wife and probably his in-laws that we should be shunned and that continuing in any sort of relationship with us would be detrimental to their happiness. So be it. We have grieved so deeply and enough over this situation and now need to move on from it.

At least I got some closure on one thing – I accomplished getting to see him in person, which none of us had previously been able to do since October.

They both obviously do not want anything to do with us at this time in their lives. I have no idea if that will ever change, but maybe some day our son will come to his senses and regret what he has done to us. Then again, maybe not.

Only God knows the future regarding this subject. I will continue to pray for my own healing; pray especially for my husband’s healing of deep pain, grief, anger and sadness. Carey is his best friend and this has been so difficult for him. It has been so difficult and sad for me, too.

The loving son we once had is gone.

I have never seen the bitterness and contempt that he has shown towards us these last six months! He has never acted this way during his entire life!

I also continue to pray for healing of our daughter’s pain and for comfort from her sadness for her parents. She, as well as we, can’t even believe that her brother, our son, would ever do this! But he has done this awful thing to us all, and apparently has no feelings of remorse about it.

What is even sadder is that they have chosen to dismiss any and all relatives and friends who have chosen to be sympathetic towards the parents.  One cousin stated that Aurora had “unfriended” her on Facebook.  Even Carey’s best man at the wedding has been shunned!  The dad found out that two of Carey’s long-term employees quit, three months after this had happened.  One of them kindly texted the dad and wrote, “it just wasn’t the same the last 3 months.”

Even in the midst of pain and anguish, Jesus answered the mom’s urgent prayer.  She asked to get the chance to see her son one more time and also prayed that this deep grief she had been suffering in for four months (at the time) would be lifted from her.  She had lost 10 pounds.  Deep grief takes its toll on the heart, body and soul of a heretofore loving mom who always had a great relationship with her son!

Well, here’s what happened for her during her one hour drive home from the church service where she was shunned by them.

The mom wrote:

Something happened to me after that experience with my son and daughter-in-law.  I realized at that point that there was nothing I could write, text, call about or say in person that would bring us to reconciliation.  Instead of being deeply grieved, the deep pain was miraculously lifted right off of me!  THAT was God at work fulfilling my request through answered prayer!  There is no other explanation for it!

She recognized something that day.  Hate is not the only emotion that is the opposite of love.  Indifference is also the opposite of love.

The word has an altogether different meaning in Deuteronomy 21:15; Matthew 6:24; Luke 14:26; Romans 9:13, where it denotes only a less degree of love.

At the time, the mom of Carey didn’t have a name for what had happened to her during that drive home from the church. However, she found a blog that described another type of abandonment/estrangement story,  and discovered the word for what had happened.

Restoration.

Excerpt:

Now what do we do with these hurts, these pains that have haunted us most of our lives? Healing is a process, a journey, and the first step is to be willing to surrender to God and invite Him into that place of our hurt. He won’t force Himself in. It isn’t easy to expose that wound again, however without going back to the place we were first hurt, we can’t begin to heal. I believe that is why so many people stay stuck is because it hurts too much to go back there.

Jesus came not to just save us, but to liberate, heal and restore. He is our healer. In Stasi Elderedge’s book Captivating, she rephrases Isaiah 61:1-3 *so beautifully:

Isaiah 61:1-3God has sent me on a mission. I have some great news for you. God has sent me to restore and release something and that something is you. I am here to give you back your heart and set you free. I am furious at the Enemy who did this to you, and I will fight against him. Let me comfort you. For dear one I will bestow beauty upon you where you have known only devastation. Joy, in the places of your deep sorrow and will robe your heart in thankful praise in exchange for your resignation and despair.” 

Another step in the journey of healing is to release. We can’t suppress our feelings. Many people carry anger, resentment and shame. We need to allow ourselves to cry and let the tears of healing flow. We need to get alone with God – vent and let it all out! It’s like opening that wound and letting it bleed. Don’t be afraid to bleed all over Him!

[She realized that even if reconciliation does not occur with her son, God granted her needed restoration!]

Continuing with the excerpt:

Restoration and healing does not have to equal reconciliation. God restored me in different ways by showing me my worth and value whether a man approved or not. God did! He told me, “You will be healed in the place you were hurt.” I was hurt in my heart with the absence of a father, but God restored that with His presence. Remember, forgiveness and Restoration does not mean reconciliation

John 14:18 – “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you”

Satan and his demons constantly confront Jesus for domination of our souls. Evil wants us to be prisoners of our past. Receiving our healing comes from forgiving and venting and crying out to God.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  Let us remember and pray for healing for moms who have lost a child or who have been sadly estranged from a son or daughter.

The mom who has shared her difficult journey with me wanted to be a help for others who may have suffered estrangement from a son or daughter, too.

Excerpt from blog post:

  1. Reach out to help others through their process
    A. Matthew 5:16 –In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.B. Exodus 17:12 –When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.C. Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

  2. We hope this helped you and we pray that God restores and heals every area in your life so that you are able to walk free and abundantly!

*
Isa 61:1
¶“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Isa 61:2
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,

Isa 61:3
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 14, 2017

Since my daughter, her husband, and their cute, precious 18-month-old daughter live 2 hours away from our home, I often ask my daughter to take short videos of Lucy so I can have my “granddaughter Lucy fix” each day.  During a brief text conversation with my daughter yesterday, she sent some hilarious videos of Lucy!  It makes me smile every time I see her on video, and especially when I see her in person!

After commenting about one of the videos I wrote, “Love you all so much!!!” my daughter wrote:

“We love you so much mama!!!  I’m so thankful for you.  I saw this and it made me think of me and you and then made me think of me and Lucy and I teared up!!”

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”

Mitch Albom

I replied, “I’m crying now!!!  Now that you’re a mom too, you truly understand…

Just as I finished typing the above, my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter Face Timed with me!  Jenna and Lucy will be visiting for several days starting tomorrow, so I get to enjoy a much longer Mother’s Day celebration!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!  May God bless you and your families!

I am truly blessed that my 93 year old mom is still with us!  I do not know how many more years that I will get to spend with her.  Therefore, I treasure each time we speak on the phone and each visit I have with her.

May the Lord Jesus comfort you at this time if your mom is no longer here on this earth.

The promises in the Bible assure us that we will see our loved ones again in eternity, which is a much better place.

I have always found that John 14:1-3 is a very comforting promise from Jesus:

John 14:1-3 (NKJV)

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

~ Christine

Mother’s Day, 2015

May 10, 2015

Marriage is not always perfect.  There are ups and downs in any relationship.  Motherhood can be challenging – especially when children can make the choice to rebel against their parents and God.

When tragedies (illness, accidents, deaths in the family) befall us, the pain can be excruciating.  As a family, we can help each other get through the tough times. Plus, on the other side of it is the reassurance that Jesus Christ is always with us. Knowing His promises and that He will get us through anything and everything that this fallen world can throw at us brings comfort through the storm. The steadfast knowledge that though we may mourn, one day the joy will return to our lives in the here and now as well as in eternity because of God’s mercy, grace and love for us.

Even though Mother’s Day is just beginning, I’d like to share the card and note that my husband has given me.

The card:

For my wife on Mother’s Day

What a beautiful gift you are to my world…

What a special love you’ve brought to my heart.

Through the years, we’ve built a beautiful life together.

And on Mother’s Day

I want you to know

how grateful I am for our family

and all that we share,

for you and your love,

Happy Mother’s Day

The note:

To my darling wife,

Few men are as lucky as I am to have such a beautiful loving wife.  Our house always seems so empty when you are away and we can’t wait for you to return.  I can’t help but smile and my heart is warmed when I hear you laughing in the next room, your laugh brings this house to life.  You are tireless in your effort to create a home for us, you work so very hard and words cannot express my appreciation for all you do.

Lastly, and most of all, you are an extraordinary mother.  For over thirty years I have watched you be a wonderful loving mother to our kids.  Through your actions and deeds you have taught our daughter how to be the perfect mother, all she has to do is be like you my love.  God has truly blessed us, and especially me, with you.

Your loving husband,

C

I could not get through typing that without tearing up! I cherish what our family has – loving relationships with each other – but most of all, the credit goes to God. His guidance in all of our lives has helped us avoid the pitfalls that often divide and hurt members of a family. All the glory and honor goes to Him!

Jesus Christ has been instrumental in all of our lives and it is His promises and directives that have made us all strong in our love. The agape love of God is the highest kind of love – it is “His kind of love” as the contemporary Christian song describes, that gets us through the challenges in life that might aim to tear us apart.

I am so grateful to have a loving, godly man as my husband! He has been the best father, too! Our children are who they are today because of his discipline, guidance, and love. Our adult children grew on the right track because they never wanted to disappoint their dad!

I am convinced that it takes a loving mother, a loving father, and ‘bringing up a child in the way he/she should go” guidance of God to raise happy, healthy, and God-loving children. God’s idea of marriage and family is because He defined it that way!

My husband and I have been greatly blessed; and the credit goes to not only to our relationship with each other and our adult children, but most of all to Jesus Christ – our Lord and Savior!

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!  God Bless you!

~  Christine


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