First of all, I want to thank everyone for the encouragement and outpouring of love I have felt after my interview with The 700 Club. Something amazing happened that day! I received an email from the producer that there were 59 salvations and 118 rededications, the highest numbers the show has seen in a while! God amazes me how He continues to use my story for His glory!
I wanted to continue talking about my relationship with my mom that I mentioned in the video. When I turned 23, my mom was diagnosed with bipolar. With treatment, my mom has come a long way and I am so proud of her accomplishments as well as her braveness for seeking help. I had a better understanding of why my childhood played out the way it did. My mom was sick. She struggled with an undiagnosed mental disorder.
After my son was born, my mom became the most amazing grandmother and I was very confused and struggled with the “why”. Why didn’t she show me the love she was showing my children? After all those years, she never mentioned the past.
God showed me the power of forgiveness. I remember the exact moment that I truly forgave her. I remember how free I felt. God calls us to forgive those that hurt us, and He revealed to me that if I wanted to continue to serve Him, I needed to forgive her. I needed to free myself from the bondage of what was holding me back from completely serving God.
Ephesians 4:32 tells us, “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you.”
God spoke so clearly to me that day,” Look at all I have forgiven you for, now go forgive her.”
What a humbling moment when I remembered what Jesus did for me on the cross, what He did for my mom. After every sin I committed, every time I disobeyed Him and ignored Him, yet He still forgave me. He still loves me. He still wants me.
I deserve death for my sins, but He extended grace and mercy instead. He also calls us to do this for others here on earth. If we want to fully experience this free gift, we have to forgive. The gift of mercy, the gift of grace.
Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive people of their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.”
Fast forward 10 years later, my mom started having memory problems. My husband, Brant, took me out to eat one night and this was still heavy on my heart. I was consumed with grief. The loss of hope that I would never hear my mom acknowledge how she treated me growing up. The two words I needed so badly to hear her say.
As we were leaving the restaurant I got in the car and I lost it. Tears streamed down my face as I longed to just to hear the two words from my mom that could help me heal from my past. Two words that could help me move past the pain. Two words I so needed to hear…
Let me tell you, God is so good.
A few months later, Mom came to visit, and we took a long ride to see parts of Nashville. It was during this ride that we started to talk. My mom explained to me why she treated me the way she did and the abuse she endured growing up and how she worried that she damaged me. Damaged me the way her mom damaged her. I grabbed her hand a told her how I forgave her a long time ago. I tried to hold back the tears that were forming under my sunglasses in hope that she wouldn’t notice. Suddenly, this burden lifted off my chest that crushed me daily for so many years. Finally, I could breathe… I know I have fallen short so many times, yet He continues to pick me up, dust me off and fill me with the strength and perseverance I need to keep down the path He has prepared for me. Without this strength, I would not be where I am today.
Psalms 46:1 “God is our refuge and our strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.”
Today, when I talk to my mom, we end our conversations with “I love you.”
Mom, if you are reading this, I am so proud of how far you have come as a person, a mom, and as a grandmother. I know your road has been full of hurt and disappointments but rest assured that you are covered by the grace and mercy of Jesus and I pray that you feel His loving arms wrapped around you daily. I love you,
For more information on Bipolar Disorder, please click here…https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/bipolar-disorders