I was blessed to grow up with food, clothing, education and housing. Both my parents were exceptionally hard workers (I learned my work ethic from them). However, over the years I have tried to make sense of the emotional silence which permeated our home. Love was hard to come by in our 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 purposely choose to be that way; it just was.
Thinking this through, I have begun to understand that as an adult very often my reactions to life has demonstrated I lacked the “assurance of abundance” as a child. Eldredge 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 FAMINE EXPERIENCE
That famine experience has carried over to my relationship with my heavenly Father. I ask Him: “Do my needs matter? Will You meet them joyfully?” I find that God’s love is far different than my famine experience.
What does His love look like? God is unable to forget us. “Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15) Burn these words into your heart: “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10). Contrary to all those childhood experiences, God is NEVER going to forget me. God will never push me away.
“Mother desolation” is part of my bio. My mother died years ago and it took years for me to forgive her for lacking the qualities that were never in her toolbox as a parent. It’s hard for me to believe that I don’t have to consider 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.
A NEW ATTACHMENT
I don’t understand such attachment and have trouble trusting it. God is working on that. 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.”
ALWAYS ROOM FOR YOU
Maybe as you walk through 2024, you may want to rethink the quality of your attachment to God. Try attaching to God in 2024. He always has room for you. There is an abundance of love.