I grew up in a family blessed with food, clothing and housing. Both my parents were exceptionally hard workers. I learned my work ethic from them. Yet, all the time there was something lacking in our home. Over the years I have tried to make sense of the emotional silence which permeated our home. Love was hard to come by. We existed in an emotional desert.
losing a mother
Recently I read John Eldredge’s book: Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times. A paragraph brought light on spot in my heart which I have always failed to understand: “Losing a mother, never having a mother, or living with a mother who in many ways could not offer the mothering we needed is simply devastating.” My mother fit that last category. Emotionally damaged in many ways, it was not possible for her to offer the kind of love we children needed. She didn’t choose to be that way; it just was.
famine of the soul
Thinking this through, I have begun to understand that as an adult my reactions to life have given proof that I lacked the “assurance of abundance” as a child. Eldrege writes: “Are my actions and emotions proving that I received utter assurance that my needs matter, and that they will be met, and met joyfully? You could call this the category of “mother wounds,” but I think a far more accurate description is mother desolation. The soul is meant to receive profound nourishment from our mother—physically and emotionally, nourishment in absolute abundance. When it doesn’t, the soul experiences a famine of the most serious kind.”
the difference of god’s love
This has carried over to my relationship as an adult with my heavenly Father. It is difficult for me to accept that my needs matter; that they will be met joyfully by my Heavenly Father. It took so long for me to learn that God’s plan of love is far different than my famine experience.
he will never forget me
It is so refreshing to look at the Scriptures: “Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you!” and “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close” (Isaiah 49:15 NET; Psalm 27:10 NLT). Contrary to all those childhood experiences, God is NEVER going to forget me. God will never push me off His lap.
god’s toolbox of love
“Mother desolation” is part of my bio. My mother died years ago. It took years for me to forgive her for lacking the qualities that were never in her toolbox as a parent. The difference is, I don’t have to look at God as lacking anything in His toolbox of love and care. God WANTS to carry me in His arms, to hold me, to converse with me, to attach with me. I think I am usually the one who tries to squirm out of His arms. I don’t understand such a love and have trouble attaching to it. God is working on that.
the new attachment
He offers to mother us — to come and heal our souls here, in this essential place. Eldredge writes, “God yearns to bring us the assurance of abundance.” God wants to deeply attach to us. “Salvation is a new attachment, the soul’s loving bond to our loving God.”
an abundance of love
Maybe as you walk through 2024, you may want to rethink the quality of your attachment to God. Has it this attachment been affected by how you did or did not attach to your parent(s)? Maybe you need a new approach for the New Year by running to God. His arms are open to you (regardless of your age). There is room on His lap for you. He has an abundance of love.