Sometimes, in the quiet stillness of early morning hours, memories from long ago surface to dance unbidden across my mind. I close my eyes and sink deeper into my favorite chair, letting the memories play out like an old-time video graph. Not so long ago I would have stifled the memory and deliberately pushed it away. Now, however, I welcome them as old friends, inviting them to expose the emotions that are associated with the memory. Perhaps with their surfacing the Lord is bringing some new insight.
The memories this morning are more like fast moving slide shows of the childhoods of my children. I watch their smiles and smile myself. Then a picture of a terror-filled face, and as I remember the event that precipitated that look I experience once again the sorrow, the pain, and that incredible Momma-bear feeling. Like all mothers, I wanted to protect my children from anything that would cause them pain. Instead, my life choices are the reason they experienced the pain.
I see before me my 9 year old son with tears streaming down his face as he clings to the telephone, speaking to the 911 operator. His father is commanding him to put down the telephone while he holds down and abuses my daughter across the room. I am clinging to his father’s back and screaming at him to stop and at my son ‘don’t hang up, don’t hang up’. What kind of parents leave these kinds of legacies to their children?
When I was a child, all I ever dreamed of was being a Mommy with lots of children. I didn’t have dreams of fancy homes or brilliant careers. I just wanted children. Lots of them. I dreamed of our happy family living on a farm with horses to ride and cows to milk and chickens for eggs, and all the loving days and just knew that was how life would be for me. It was not – and there is no way I can ever make it up to my children. I can never make this right. Even now I feel the ache within me for what they endured and I offer silent prayers to my Father to please, please heal them. Please God, make it all better for them.
I wish you knew my children. One girl, one boy. They are adults now and I am so proud of them. They are loving and kind, generous to a fault, and absolutely delightful to spend time with, and they both love Jesus. The greatest joy of my life is when we get together and just enjoy one another’s company, sometimes playing card games or just playing with the grandkids. We really don’t have to ‘do’ anything to have fun together. We just love each other and it is heaven to me.
Today the Father reminded me that He is holding them in His hand and I can let go. He has their past, He has their present, and He has their future. He is making a way for them and He is using their pasts to help others who have also suffered. He loves them more than I do and He will prevail. He reminded me, too, that He loves being with me just as much as I love being with them. I don’t have to do anything to entertain Him or make Him proud of me – He already is and His greatest joy is when we are together. What a wonderful Savior!
As I wipe away the last tears I realize that with the surfacing and processing if this memory my Wonderful Counselor has once again remade part of me. He has brought release to this area of my memories and it has now lost its power to hurt and control me. Thank you Jesus for loving me.