The voice at the other end of the line was silent as I spoke.
"Mother, forgive me for being such a difficult child to raise. Forgive me for:
My anger, which was directed at you and others when I judged their behavior;
My bad behavior, which I demonstrated over and over in my attitude toward adults, because I had determined I could not trust them for safety and security;
My rejection of your love and my not showing love to you, because I felt you were insincere.
For my part in making your life and the lives of others, miserable.
I confess, I did these things because I wanted to make all of you as miserable as I was. I held you accountable for my misery, because you and my Dad failed to hold to your commitment to each other, to my sister and to me."
The silence continued. I realized I had laid a load on her and it was clear she had no idea of how to proceed.
Our family didn't function like the picture I had in mind for a family.
I was young when we moved between our house and my grandparents' house to avoid Father's behavior when he was under the influence of alcohol. Later, my mother, my sister, and I dealt with the erratic behavior of an alcoholic stepfather.
Thanks to the patience of my Father God and those around me, I put all that into a different picture and forgave those involved. I realized my Mother had done the best she knew how and/or was able to accomplish.
God showed me I had to forgive all of this, or He would not forgive me of my sins. Being able to forgive her, and my father, and then my stepfather, were huge steps forward in setting me free from my desire to be in control. I regained my sense of safety and security.
Once this was accomplished, God began to work on the other side of the story.
It was time for me to ask forgiveness for the pain I had caused. I started to realize I could do nothing about the actions of others, but I could be responsible for my own actions, no matter the circumstances.
This new knowledge gave me a clearer picture of my relationship to my Father God and what He had done for me. I saw Jesus on the cross forgive those who wounded Him. I saw Him act toward them with love, and his actions set the example for me.
I saw I had not lived up to His example.
The call that night, my confessions, and my request for forgiveness eventually loosened the tension between us. My mother was able to say, "I forgive you and please forgive me".
I forgave, and I was forgiven. Our relationship was restored and set free to enjoy the special bond of Mother and daughter.
This step forward allowed me to grow in my relationships with both God and man, and I became better equipped to encourage those around me to experience God's love in their lives. God had reached into the recesses of my heart and brought healing. He enabled me to submit to His will and walk in obedience.
Brenda Blakely is a co author of The 11:45 Call, An Expository Bible Study of the Book of Jude. The book was the culmination of forty nine years of God's tuning she and her husband to work together. Amazing what God can do with two donkeys. Faithwriters #7537