It’s Wednesday and I’m half way through my “run away and write hard” week. It’s been so good. I was talking on the phone with a friend last night and she asked me, “How do you do it…being alone up there for so long? I would go crazy.”
Not me. I love the solitude.
I knew I needed this time away. I knew that this particular stage of my writing was going to trigger some painful memories of my mom. I wanted to be alone so that I could embrace all the feelings, without interruptions. I’ve had some teary moments but they’ve all been covered with grace and powerful reminders of God’s sovereign Hand on my life.
I was in the grocery store this morning and as I waited in line to pay for my green apples, I witnessed a beautiful “mom and daughter” moment. A little girl skipped up to her mom and with great excitement in her voice, she asked,” Can I buy this pretty container for my hair barrettes? I love it so much. I’ve never bought something by myself and I brought my own money.” Her mother smiled, leaned down and slowly explained what the little girl needed to do. With great confidence, the little girl took the money out of her pocket, (along with a few loose buttons and candies) marched up to the counter and paid for the container. As she walked out of the store, she wiggled her little fingers around her mother’s hand and told her that she loved her.
It brought tears to my eyes. Normally, I would watch such a tender moment and smile but today, I cried because…well…just because.
The incident in the grocery store took me back to a time when my girlfriend, Chris and I were in high school and I saved up enough babysitting money to go shopping – something that I didn’t often do. It was exciting for me to shop with my friend. We giggled all afternoon as we tried on stacks of clothes. I finally settled on a pretty, gray jumper. Chris assured me that it looked great so I bought it.
When I got home, I was excited to show my mother what I bought. When I modeled it for her, she rolled her eyes, told me I looked dreadful in gray (which I do), gasped at the price of the jumper and told me that I had to take it back to the store.
This was the way it was with my mom. Believe it or not, I can’t remember one positive thing that my mother ever said about who I was or what I accomplished. I wanted her approval but never got it.
I didn’t understand my mother. We were very different people. I learned some good lessons from her because she was a strong, independent woman but the truth is that she loved me from a wounded heart. She gave me what she could of herself but I needed so much more.
Thankfully, God lovingly pursued my young soul. When I was 14 years old, I prayed and asked Jesus in my heart and He’s been healing me ever since.
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will HIMSELF (my italics) restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10