Excerpt from The Way of Forgiveness: God Shows Joseph the Way
When I was five years old my mother was hospitalized and was out of my life off and on for the next seven years. I did not understand and I held it against Ma for nearly forty years.
In a lot of ways I believe that some of the wrong choices I made in my life were my attempt to make Ma pay for not being there for me. Everything I did hurt me, but I thought I was making her pay.
God loved me so much though that when Ma got old, feeble and eventually bed bound, He directed me to step in and take care of her. Through that ten year caregiving experience God surfaced every bad feeling I had toward Ma. God also allowed me to see the bad feelings I had toward Him. No relationship I had was working and the Lord taught me to love and accept Him first as my pathway to loving and accepting others.
I started looking forward to, even longing for late night chats with the Lord.
There were times when I’d sing to Him, other times when He’d sing to me.
Other days I’d be so frustrated, I’d just rant and cry until I fell asleep.
The Lord taught me to get off my own case and forgive myself when I would make a mistake.
He helped me over and over again to rest even when I didn’t have a clue what was going on.
Sometimes I’d just sit with the Lord not saying anything and would enjoy every minute of it.
I had never known such intimacy.
Then the Lord began to help me replace the unforgiveness I had for Ma with forgiveness and genuine love. He’d give me little things to do for her and I had to obey even if I didn’t feel like it. He taught me to pray what He told me to pray for her even when I didn’t want to. Over time I was able to trust the Lord enough to allow Him to walk me out of that dark place called unforgiveness.
I’ll never forget that the final stage of God’s healing work happened when I would visit Ma at my sister’s house in the last two years of Ma’s life. My sister had stepped in as caregiver by then and when I would come into Ma’s room to visit, Ma would say, “Is that my baby?”
She would then proceed to say over and over again, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
Each time she said it, I would say it back and mean it. Those three words were healing for my soul.
Pretty soon I couldn’t wait to finish my day so I could go see Ma. Our relationship was transformed.
When Ma went home to be with the Lord I had perfect peace. I grieved of course, but there was a peace that surpasseth all understanding.
I tell you, there is no limit to what God can and will do for us if we let Him have His way.
I am so thankful today for Ma and even more grateful that the Lord used her in my life in such an extraordinary way.
As I look back now, every precious memory of Ma points me to Jesus and i can't help but praise Him.