This time of year can be hard for some. Holidays are made to be shared with loved ones, but what happens when that loved one is gone? How do you celebrate when you wife, husband, child, or (fill in the blank) is missing from the party? Do you put on a smile and fake it till you make it or do you hide out in a dark room and avoid all contact with the outside world?
This week has been really hard for me; December 9th is the 2nd anniversary of my mom’s unexpected death and December 12th is her birthday. Add to that a 29 week pregnancy doctor’s appointment where I had to drink the nasty Fruit Punch Glucose crap, a weigh-in realizing I have already gained the total weight of my last pregnancy and I still have 11 more weeks to go AND the fact that I got a hair cut that didn’t turn out the way I wanted! This called for a major pity-party and let me tell you, pity-parties are the best parties I throw.
This week I find myself living in a world of regret. You see, my mom and I didn’t have the best relationship. I spent half of my life hating her. I allowed hurt and anger to boil up inside me and build a wall. When I was young it was easy to blame everything on her. Things like “I was just a child…she was the adult…she should have reached out..I did nothing wrong” filled my mind and I found comfort in blaming her.
But then Jesus…
I started to realize that Jesus didn’t die on the cross so I would spend my life hating her. When he cried out “It is finished” over 2000 years ago what he meant was “Katie. This ugly bitterness inside you is finished; it’s time to forgive.” If Jesus could forgive the friends that betrayed him and the people that killed him, I can forgive as well.
It wasn’t easy and it took years. Romans 12:2 played a big part: Do not be conformed to the image of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The renewing of MY mind. Yes, the world told me it was ok to hate her, but Jesus said to renew MY mind…this means I have to take ownership of my thoughts and feelings…gross! Who wants to do that? I literally chanted “the renewing of my mind, the renewing of my mind, the renewing of my mind” every time I felt the ugliness rising up in me. I had to face that fact that I’m an adult now and if I want things to change, I can’t keep doing the same things. (Duh, mind blowing I know.) I had to change my tone of voice, body language and even my posture while talking to her. I had to realize she did the best she could.
When she died, our relationship wasn’t perfect but it was better than what it previously was. I look back and get sad for the part I played in the “complicated relationship.” Nothing is ever 100% someone else’s fault. We ALL play a part in conflict. If we want it resolved, we have to do some self reflection, realize our part and change our behavior. It’s not easy, but necessary if you want change.
If you have some one you need to forgive, let me encourage you to do it! It will be hard and it won’t be overnight but it’s so worth it. Don’t spend another day with that wall up, start knocking those bricks out.
Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.