After I had my first baby I apologized to my mom.
Not for the hours of labor I forced her to undergo at my birth, I told her I was sorry I hadn’t loved her enough.
About two weeks after having my daughter I called Momma, tears streaming. “Momma, I finally understand how much you love me and I realize I haven’t loved you enough in return. I’m so sorry. I love you so much!”
The overwhelming love I felt for my daughter opened my eyes to the love my own mother has for me. In an instant, every crazy thing Momma ever did made sense. Every throw of the arm as she slammed on the brakes. Every silly dance to make me smile. Every lingering hug. Every teary goodbye when I was in college. They all made perfect sense now.
When I became a mom, I realized how much Momma loves me.
I understood her blink-of-an-eye willingness to sacrifice herself for me. Why she never had new clothes yet new items always seemed to appear in my closet. Why her hair and nails weren’t perfectly kempt. Why she was always the first to awaken and the last to rest. I finally got it.
When I became a mom, I realized Momma would give her very life, her own blood, for me. And I felt sorry.
Sorry I had never really understood this about her or that I hadn’t gotten it sooner. Sorry I took her for granted and regretful of the times I blatantly disregarded her wisdom. Sorry for the times I asked for more of her when I should have offered more of myself.
Once I became a mother, I understood sacrificial love.
What I thought I knew about love I realized was just the tip of the iceberg. I thought I understood love and all its forms: Agape, Phileo, Eros. But I didn’t have a clue about sacrificial love, not until I held one who had heard my heart beat from the inside. My head-knowledge suddenly became heart-knowledge.
Until I became a mom, I didn’t have the faintest idea what Momma felt for me.
When I became a mom, I sadly grasped not all children have a mother like this. Then my heart broke as I remembered my own mom was one such child. She never knew her mother.
So how did she become the mother I speak of today?
Before Momma was a mother, she gave her heart and soul to Jesus. She humbly confessed her sin and unabashedly devoted her life to Him.
She trusted in The Lord with all her heart and did not lean on her own understanding. Rather than dwell on the “why me?” of her situation, she acknowledged Him in all her ways and allowed Him to direct her path.
Momma delighted herself in The Lord, not The Pity Party, and trusted He would give her the desire of her heart. And what was that desire?
To be The Mother she never had and always wanted.
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what was ahead, Momma allowed God to transform her into the woman and mother she had never seen. Not having a role model to emulate wouldn’t stop her. There would be no excuse. By grace her children would know the love of a godly mother and have a living example to follow.
Momma learned to be a mother by watching her heavenly Father.
She put her faith in Him, not herself; not her experience, ability or knowledge. She followed in His steps in order to lead her children in theirs.
Momma found healing in Jesus’ stripes.
She wouldn’t allow her baggage to become her kids’ issues. Her scars wouldn’t affect their future.
She found shelter in His wings.
The peace of Christ would reign in their hearts and rule their home. Her children would feel secure in their surroundings.
Most of all, Momma rested in Jesus’ love.
As a result, His loved inspired her and flowed through to her children. Jesus’ love in her would encourage them to love The Lord God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and love others as their self.
When I became a mom, my heart awoke not only to all Momma had done for me, but everything Jesus had done for Momma and in turn, for me. His love took deeper root in my heart. I began to understand the width and length and height and depth of His love for me, Momma, and our entire family.
It is only by and through Him that we have been saved.
Momma wasn’t perfect but by God’s grace, His power was made perfect in her weakness.
Friend, I don’t know what angle you’re reading this from today. Maybe like me, you need to pick up the phone and apologize to your mom for not loving her enough. Maybe you need to forgive her for not loving you enough.
Maybe like Momma, you need to surrender your life to Jesus. Maybe you need to find healing in His stripes, forget the past and strain for what lies ahead.
No matter our circumstances or struggles, God can work wonders through us. He can transform the person we’ve been into the child He wants us to be. This is His desire for each of us, to form us into the likeness of His Son.
I pray whatever the case may be you’ll find the peace of Christ, that it will reign in your heart and rule your home. I pray your children, whether living or yet to be, will have a mother who loves them so much that they apologize when they become parents.
“Her children stand and bless her…” ~ Proverbs 31:28
“…I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be.” ~ Philippians 3:12
“…Being rooted and established in love, you may…grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” ~ Ephesians 3:17b-19
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9