The first time I ever really pondered and thought about my Mother in Heaven was after I received my Patriarchal Blessing. “Your Father and Mother in Heaven love you and know you”. This hit my heart quite hard. You see, at the time of this blessing, I was feeling quite unloved. Perhaps even unlovable.
I was only two weeks out of a divorce. I was twenty and a mother of a beautiful two-year old. I didn’t know where I was going or what life would bring me next, but I had hope for a bright future. One thing was for sure, I knew that staying close to the Lord would be the only way to get where I ultimately wanted to be.
My situation had led me to ask the Bishop if I could have a patriarchal blessing. For those of you who do not know what this is, it is a blessing which provides inspired direction from the Lord. At that time in my life I needed some sort of guidance and hoped that I could glean something from receiving this honor.
So there I sat that day, in President Satterfield’s office chair, anxious, nervous, and even a bit scared. You see, I felt alone. It was just me and my son doing this thing called life together. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of being his mom and wouldn’t change my circumstances even for one moment if it meant I wouldn’t have him. He was my everything, my first, my very reason for getting up each day. There was no other in heaven or on earth that I loved more than him.
“You lived with them as a spirit child and grew in understanding and in talents and gifts and were held by them…” I began to cry as I understood. For the first time in my life, I understood how loved I was. This same love that I had for my son was also the same love that my Heavenly Father and Mother had for me. It was undeniable, it was tangible, and it filled my bosom.
“…to come to mortal parents…” My thoughts flashed to my parents.
My relationship with my parents was a rocky one and certainly not the type of relationship I ever wanted my son to have with me. I often felt loved the least and less important than my siblings. I was used to taking a back seat to everything, often feeling undeserving when put in the spotlight.
President Satterfield went on, “You have been so blessed to be born of goodly parents, parents who have loved you, nurtured you, and brought you up in the ways of truth and right.” Really? Is this me? I thought. But in that moment I was caught up in judgement, feeling picked on, and feeling less. This clouded my reality.
Through the years as I have thought about what my blessing says I have realized that I do have goodly parents. In fact, I am “so blessed”. They did bring me up in righteousness. Because of them I have a desire to make good choices and be a better person. I have learned, after being a mother myself, that things aren’t so cut and dry and perhaps doing the right thing for each individual child is a lot harder than my adolescent mind could comprehend. That life is a very complex series of events which impresses each one of us differently as we grow. These psychologies, when put together, somehow define our actions in adulthood. It isn’t easy raising children. In fact it is the hardest thing one will ever do.
Feeling unloved by a parent is probably the worst feeling in the world. But I see now that it was unnecessary self-torture to view my life this way. Of course my parents always loved me, just as I had always loved them. However, we didn’t have a good system set in place to show it. This is where time, patience, personal growth, forgiveness, and understanding came in. This is when the true healing started to begin.
I’ve had one of my children tell me that they would not do “this or that” when they raise their kids. Do you know what I said? I said, “Good”. I am glad that through me they have been elevated to a new level of understanding. I am grateful beyond measure that they will do better raising their children. I feel blessed that within them is the desire to rise above and conquer. That there is a hope for a better future. In fact, I couldn’t ask for a better example of how I often felt when my parents raised me. But I am most grateful that this child could tell me how they felt and that we could have the conversation which allowed greater understanding.
I read somewhere that the quality and happiness of your life depends on how many hard conversations you have had. I agree. We can steer away from the big ugly skeletons in the closet OR we can confront them. Head on. Like an adult. We can be grown ups. We can have talks without shouting and share feelings without hanging up. There can be a complete knowledge of reasons why. Finally having these very tough conversations with my parents has opened up a door to something beautiful. It has allowed complete forgiveness and most importantly, it has allowed love to win.
After allowing love to win, I have realized that my mom is an amazing woman. That the trials she has faced in her life have been some that I would never dare walk down. She is fierce and goes boldly forward when it would be much easier to give up. She has the kindest and most amazing heart. Her ability to love unconditionally surpasses any that I have seen in my life-time. My mom has become one of my biggest blessings and one of my best friends. Through the years I have realized that I am indeed “so blessed” to have her.
Knowing that my Mother in Heaven loves me has given me strength many times over the past twenty-five years. This Mother’s Day weekend I would like to also declare my love for her. Whenever I was sad or lonely, I would envision being a spirit child and sitting on her lap. Laughing with her, hugging her, while she kissed me on my head. In some miraculous way the veil was thinned a bit just when I needed it most. I know it happened. It did. She loves me. And if she loves me I know that she loves you too.
If you find yourself with a hole in your heart or a feeling that something is missing because your relationship with your mother is not the way you would want it to be, know that you are loved by the mother who began it all. My wish for you is that time will heal the wounds and conversations can be had to mend ways. And in the mean time, that our Heavenly Mother’s love will see you through.
Happy Mother’s Day