I had plenty of time for reflecting over this season, the struggles which came our way in situations we have no control over. I thought about the situations we did have control over and I thought about that babe born in a feed trough who fills my heart with love and grace.
My mother and i haven't spoken for some time. It's been a painful journey ~ one which isn't something I feel needs shared. I will simply say, there were deep hurts.
A few months ago I felt moved strongly by God to listen to Him. To understand I wasn't doing myself, my mother or my faith any favors by holding onto the hurts. By being upset. By being distant. Jesus whispered GRACE time and time and time again. I knew He was speaking directly to me. I also knew what He wanted me to do. He wanted me to forgive. Not just say "I forgive you" but to truly forgive her. To extend the grace He gives to me daily. Who am I to think she wasn't deserving, when I am given grace daily. Am I better than her? No. Did I deserve it more? Absolutely not. It was very clear, God was speaking to me and sharing with my heart. It took time. It took tears. And it took a great deal of faith in Him. I wrote my mother a letter and shared with her I wanted GRACE to be between us, and FORGIVENESS. I desired HEALING and PEACE. I wrote the letter with pen and note card, not a typed email or text. I put my heart into it & I put a stamp on the letter and I sent it. I didn't hear from her. Which was okay.
Christmas eve we were invited to my brother's home. I new my mother would be there. Past experience is that she would ignore me, and pretend I'm not really there. I was no better, I didn't go out of my way by any means.
As we walked into my brother's home, there my mother stood. My kids went to her and hugged her and said Merry Christmas. I took a deep breath, she didn't look up, never looked my way. I took a deep breath said "be with me Jesus" and I walked right up to her and I reached to hug her and I said "Merry Christmas". She hugged me back and said the same. We visited for a moment and I was off to hug others. The evening was very nice, very peaceful, very calm. It was one of the nicest evenings our family has shared in years.
When I laid my head down at the end of the day, I said "Thank you Jesus. Thank you!"
Emmanuel ~ God with us. God was with me. He continues to be with me. As I prepare to write a thank you note to my mother, I think about how differently the evening could have gone had I not listened to Jesus, had I not followed His direction. Had I not given Forgiveness and Grace with a sincere and God centered heart.
I am so grateful for my faith.
I trust Jesus, I allow Him to work in me and I continue to seek Him when I hurt and continue to forgive & extend love and grace.
My heart is lighter, my joy multiplied.
My children shared with me, they knew that was hard for me ~ I shared with them, it took all the courage I had because I didn't know how I would be received, but I knew one this. God was leading me and I had to trust Him. I also shared, I knew He was there, as the placement and the way the welcome unfolded as we entered the room, I knew He was present before me.
I pray my mother felt loved. I pray my children witnessed the extending of forgiveness. I pray our relationship heals and I pray God continue to direct me and fill my heart with Him.
Blessed indeed ~ Thank you Jesus