I talked to my amazing Aunt, recently. The day I did, was the day before she was heading to Chicago for exploratory surgery, to confirm whether or not she has lung cancer.
Praise God, she doesn’t!
I’m so in awe of her, because although she’s my aunt, she lives very far away, and although I have many fond memories of her as a child, I’ve never reached out to her as an adult to tap into her loving wisdom, that was always available, but didn’t think I needed, and the day before a possible life changing event was about to occur, she unselfishly gave her time to me.
She loved on me.
This one particular day, she became the aunt I always wished I had. The one I wish I could always be.
I spoke to her about my aging mother because I knew she helped care for her grandmother, before she passed, as well as her own mother.
I called, and asked her for advice about caring for my own. Mind you, mine is not dying, but I struggle with my relationship with her.
“Oh, is she having personality changes?”
“No. I think my mom has always been this way. I’m just tired of the guilt and feeling bitter towards her. My fear is she will die one day, and it won’t be resolved.”
I want to love my mom.
We talked for hours.
She told me things I knew in my heart, but never felt validated until I heard them from her.
Our conversation ended, like all of my conversations about my mom end.
“She’s never going to change.”
“I know”, I told her. But then I heard myself say, “I guess if anyone is going to change, it’s going to have to be me.”
Right now, I can hear in my head, all of my friends and family, who I’ve agonized over this with, are screaming, “That’s what I said!”
I know. I know.
My relationship with my mom always plagues me, because like everything in my life, I try to push it up against what Christ would do.
The verse I beat myself up with is,
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12
So how? How do I do this when she hurts me, manipulates me, makes me feel responsible and guilty for her life choices? She insults my children, puts me down, and speaks poorly of me to others.
Moms don’t do this. I know because I am a mom. I’m a mom, who didn’t even want to be a mom, and I still don’t do this.
Acts 16:16-19 tells of an account, where Paul casts a spirit from a slave girl, who although she is speaking truth about them, is still annoying; and who then outrages her owners because she can no longer bring them a profit.
I AM THIS GIRL!
For years I have felt used by my mom. Cried to so many people about it. All who have said the same thing. “She’s not going to change.” Then hear me justify, “But I need to honor her”, all the while, not feeling honoring.
(See, she’s completely me, even with the annoying part.)
I don’t know what my aunt said that made me think of this passage, but it has been completely freeing.
I am no longer her slave to profit from.
She may have burnt all of her bridges and ruined all of her relationships, but that’s not my fault. That doesn’t obligated me to be her only one, trying to hold it together; trying to prevent her from feeling lonely.
That doesn’t make me honoring. That makes me a slave, a victim. I don’t have to live this way. I don’t have to feel this…this contempt.
I have been freed!
I thank you for loving me by sending your Son, your Word that reminds me of your truths and my Aunt. (That was just a nice touch.) Amen.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17