Flunking Mothergood

If you haven’t read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp, you should just for the beauty of her writing. But be prepared to slow way down and experience her story. I discovered reading her book why I’m writing the Bible. It’s in the slowing down to experience the story that the real ah-ha learning happens.

I was caught in it again this morning. I was experiencing the beauty she was describing when suddenly my heart ripped open, remembering the child face beaming up at me, open and trusting.  At seven it changed–the trust–not the same. She thought she was in the way. Thought I had sent her away.

I didn’t even know it until she was 14? 15? A migraine brought it out one night. And I held her as she cried and told me about seven. How she’d felt all that time. I didn’t know.  It breaks my heart again.

I had known something… My mother said she wasn’t the same child who got off the plane at almost seven. I made it worse three months later when I came and talked her out of coming home for another two months–I would be working overtime. I discovered my part in hurting her right after and shared how sorry I was. How could I not have known her pain? Did I ask then? I asked for forgiveness for me, but not how she felt.

Does she know now how much she was loved? Have I told her? Have I communicated it? I think so.

But does she?

She must know now having her own children–the experience of loving five of them and the last one a girl so much like her.

But she won’t even let any of her older boys get on an airplane alone to stay with Grandpa and Grandma! Maybe she will hold them too tightly?

I am proud of her–so proud. She is amazing and grounded and loved by God. It’s more important now that she knows that–and she does. I think.

Sometimes I feel and hear her anger. I call it, but she says she’s angry we  didn’t move there, didn’t follow like we promised. I get it, but it would have meant getting divorced.

She got divorced instead.  I told her she could move home with her boys. But she didn’t think it was what God wanted. And instead she chose to depend on Him (Them) completely.  And what a marvelous love experience with God it turned into for her!  She knows she is loved by Them–lives in it. I guess you can flunk mothering and still be ok if God is your back up.

I do wonder, though, if all the feeling and beliefs of “seven” are healed. She says they are. I’m sure I can depend on God to bring them up for healing if I ask. That stuff can get in your way. She will lean too far the other way. I’m so glad God is willing to get all mixed up in our details. What a good God! I’m so grateful for a loving faithful Father who doesn’t make mistakes! What relief!


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