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Jeremiah 29:11 vs – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare (peace) and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Today is my mothers birthday.
The relationship between my mother and I has been long, painful, full of misunderstandings and woundedness.
It was not a ‘love’ relationship.
She would say ‘she loved’ and maybe she did, in the only way she knew how.
At a young age our dad left, and after that she was the only caretaker.
Not fully comprehending her responsibility, she checked out too, many times.

Responsibilities and concerns dumped on us,
like a load waiting for the laundry.
We tried to walk around them, ignore them, yet they still stayed.
We were three little girls, left to care for each other.
Like the story of the three little kittens without any mittens,
only we had no mother.
We did the best we could with limited abilities.
As a child, understanding why your world is broken, is not an easy thing to grasp.
Immaturity gets in the way.
The needs of a young heart, lacking skill.
To make sense of what was senseless.
Many times the choices she made for us, were not good.
We were the innocent in the way of adult decisions.

I don’t want to be mommy bashing or terribly negative.
What I will say is this; the world we grew up in was not safe, was not warm, was not comforting.
There was no rescuer.
Even though the ‘house we lived in’ was clean and tidy and perfect.
We had no ‘home’.
As the years progressed, the safety continued to be in question.
More decisions made by her, left us in harms way, left us to choose, who we will be protecting.

When a child is raised in a trauma filled household. The world is different.
I remember hanging out with ‘friends’ who had a mother and father, and daydreamed what that would look and feel like.
It was a strange fantasy.
I really had no concept of ‘family’ other than my sisters.
Oh we had grandma’s, but they were distant and unapproachable.
It was our journey.
Together, as sisters.

The relationship with my mother has been an experience, full of winding trails and hidden stories.
The Lord told me one day, “I am taking you on a journey, not too different from a backpacking trip or a mountain climbing experience.
I will heal you, as you let me see what is hidden and buried, under the rubble and rock in your heart. I am preparing you for a journey. I am not sure how long it will take, we are not going to care about that.
What we are going to care about, is your healing.”

As I backpacked and journeyed with the Lord, (after I found him in my youth) without a compass or map, he would draw me near to the painful places of my heart.
The exploration of years never spoken and shared.
The stones were not moved, without us moving them together.
The long paths to dark and hidden places, were not easy or kind.
It was treacherous just like a mountain climbing trip.
The backpack I wore, felt so heavy, it weighted down my spirit many times.
My body raging with pain,
my heart breaking every time I saw,
the truth for what it was.
Jagged stones, cutting into my soul, leaving woundedness, and scars.
The truth was full of pain and sorrow.
God said to me, “This journey is necessary for you, so I can take you where I want in your future”.
In time, I began to understand, that without the deep deep valleys,
I would not value the high places.
My walk with the Lord began when I was 15 or 16 years old.
I didn’t understand Love, so when they said ‘Jesus loves you’, I said ‘oh that means he wants something from me’, or ‘he will leave’.
For My experience with ‘love’ was adhered to other experiences.

It was not easy for me, yet at the same time it was very easy for me.
To accept a ‘father who would love me unconditionally’.
I didn’t have to be perfect.
I understood his ‘kindness’ not really knowing why.
I understood, his safety and actually trusted it.
The first time I trusted anything.
As I trusted …He began to heal… the hole in my heart.
He drew me in.
Reaching into the deepest darkest places of my soul, and
whispered to me,
‘I have loved you’.
You are important to me.
Rest here, and listen as I show you… you were not ever alone.
He drew me in as he showed me the reel to reel movies of long ago.
Rest here, and listen….pulling me closer and closer, until I would reach out for him.

Jeremiah 31:3 – The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: I have loved you with an ever lasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

I don’t have to try to understand my past.
I heard a speaker one day say, “Instead of writing off our past, or discounting it, we should authenticate the role it has played in our life.”
I am who I am today, because of my past.
My husband has often said to me, “I wish I had a testimony, a story like yours,”
and I say back to him, “I would rather to have had, a family like yours, and no testimony to share.”

God is the God who heals broken hearts, and He healed me.
The speaker said, “My life experiences have defined me. Who I am and who I will become.”
Because of my story:
I can walk alongside wounded people and really truly understand.
Because of my story:
I can be a child advocate and can say. I was there too, I understand the sad heart.
Because of my story:
I can be a better mother and grandmother.
Because of my story:
I understand the tears of abandonment and abuse.
Because of my story:
I know what a broken spirit is.

I am not angry or embittered, because of what I went through.
I am beginning to understand.
GOD knew I would become a whole person, able to serve him, with a purpose.
He allowed some difficult things to take place.
It took me a long time, to understand it.
How could he allow it? why would he?

My past has purpose and there is meaning to my story.
Without the pain, the story would be different.
I met my husband in high school and we married when I was 18.
A young bride trying to do her best to be and do what was foreign to her. We have been married for 36 years. The days have been filled with many ups and downs.
We forged together and became a family.

Jeremiah 2:2
“I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through land not sown.”
The back packing experience between God and I, was necessary.
It was hard. It was rough.

It is continual at times.
Once in a while he will say to me in a very quiet way;
“I need to walk with you again. There is more to discover”.

The journey between my mother and I continues.
She is still living. Still the same person only older.
I can see her now as an elderly aging lady, kind of like my neighbor.
NOT the mommy I grew up with.
Maturity tells me, “because of her inability to be in relationship, with anyone.
You never would have received, what you needed as a child”.
Just as our dad checked out. She did too.
I am not holding it over her head anymore. I can talk to her, as an elderly lady and keep the ‘feelings’ away.
What the enemy meant for bad, or destruction. God made it for good.

Today is my mothers birthday.
I hope she has many more. She deserves to have a peaceful calm life in her old age.
Thank you God for saving me and keeping the angels close.
Thank you for protecting me, as I developed as a baby when she carried me, when she had German measles and I should have been injured.
Psalm 139 tells me you loved me before I was known.
You had a purpose, before I took my first breath.
You were there protecting me, all the days of my life.

You are a God who saves, who heals and who loves.
You are a God who I love to journey with.
Help me always to be willing to go.
When you say to me, “there is more to discover, come walk with me.”