What about the Motherless daughter in me? I wonder who else feels like there is something missing in their lives and can’t quite pinpoint it. Or they know exactly what it is. It’s always been an ache that you cannot sooth, an itch that you just can’t get to. I know it has to resonate with many women around the world. What if you lost your mom while she was pregnant with you, you’re an orphan and you never knew your birth mother, your mother was “absent” while growing up, or your mother died when you were 7, 18, or 70 for that matter? You are still a motherless daughter. There has to be millions of us around the globe who feel this way to a certain extent.
I started being able to name this feeling in the last couple of years, when reading a book about women who had lost their mothers. I won’t say the author’s name here because I’m not mentioning it to cut her down personally. It was a very interesting read. She interviewed hundreds of women in America and she was also a motherless daughter from the time she was 17 years old. I could relate to a lot of the stories and empathized with many of them. The trouble for me, when reading that book, is that I kept waiting for the punch line. I kept reading on to see if there was going to be help of some kind of help for all these women. What should we do then? She was well meaning I’m sure but I found it sad to get to the end of the book and still feel empty. I thought it was heartbreaking to write a book all about motherless daughters, get so many people’s heart strings pulled, and then just cut them off. I found it very sad that she had given no solution to the dilemma.
For me, the only way to remedy such a sad phenomenon, is divine intervention. It’s impossible for me to describe it any other way. How would you soothe the heart of a person who is hurting and missing something so important in their lives? With a drug? With a counselor, or a psychologist? Yes, those things are necessary or useful at times. But really, how do you solve a problem which is not humanly possible to solve? Is that possible? I don’t think it is.
The only way that makes sense to me, is to turn a mess into a message. The greatest mess humankind has ever made, is to sin. God turned our mess into a message of hope. How does one have hope in a seemingly hopeless world or situation? Back in the beginning, in the book of Genesis, God was sorry He had even made man, and decided to wipe him off the face of the earth. But then, in His divine plan, He decided to send his one and only son to earth to redeem our lives again. We were pulled from the pit into a life of hope. There’s not anything we did to deserve it. There still isn’t anything we can do to earn it. But God in his great mercy and goodness of character, wanted to purchase our pardon. He sent His son Jesus, into the world to die for our sins and redeem our lives and give us a second chance. It is all grace.
It is all God. It’s the way He works.
All we have to do is accept his gift of grace and receive Him in our hearts. If we believe on him, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. He made a way for us. He wants communion with us forever. He is a relational being. He wants for us to come to Him and live forever with him in heaven. The only way to have this opportunity is to repent of our sin, accept His gift of faith and live in grace. Then we have the promise of heaven. Because we have received this gift of grace, we have a desire to do good works for Him and others. We fail again and again and He lifts us back up.
I find it very sad that many people do not believe this or know about it. They can have hope. Maybe they are not be able to see it, or do not want it. They might be in the depths of despair and not even feel like making the effort to climb out of the pit. I’ve been there at times in my life too. “No thank you. I will stay in this hole and be unhappy and everyone who is with me has to be unhappy too.”
It’s like we love to wallow in self pity sometimes. What is that anyway? When I was seven and my mom died, I wanted her back. I was just plain sad and lonely. I was a very insecure, scared little girl who wanted her mommy back. But my mom had been around long enough in my life to instill her faith in my heart. Plus I have the treasure of her 30+ years of diaries that she wrote. She had lived it. I had seen it. My older sisters told me about it. It’s the only thing I knew of that people were supposed to do if they were sad. They depended on God, and their church family. But things were not perfect then, and they did not remain rosy either.
There were many trials after the initial loss of my mom. Throughout my life, I’ve had many setbacks and one loss piles on top of another loss and brings the last ones to the surface again. Life as a stepchild was not an easy road, and there were many challenges on that path. Then later, the loss of my sister was a tremendous blow. I felt like the floor had been totally pulled from underneath me. What was going on? Why did so many people that I loved die over and over? I couldn’t stop the flow of tears. So many nights I cried myself to sleep over Audrey’s death. No amount of sibling’s love, a friend’s love, and stories in church of God’s love cured this completely. Had someone cursed me or something? Then news of cousins, Aunts and Uncles, and friends in my life who died. Why was I the only one, I wondered. What is it that God is trying to do?
Well, I knew it after my sister Audrey died, that God was going to use her death for His purposes in some way. By that time, at the age of 15, I had matured enough to at least try to make any sense of it. People would tell me things sometimes that made me angry. They meant well. They would say something like, “Everything happens for a reason,” or “We don’t know God’s plan, but there are reasons.” Oh, was that maddening. I hated to hear it then. Now, this many years later I’m writing this all down and I still don’t know all the reasons why. It’s been in my mind and heart ever since after Audrey passed away. It was a huge job. Was I – “little ‘ole me”, supposed to write the story to help others in some way? I had the desire. I just never had the time or had the determination to get it done.
But God. He took the sorrows of my young life and kept allowing adult pains too. Just enough to keep me depending on Him. Thanks be to God for redeeming me. May anything I write be only for His glory alone.
If you relate to anything I have shared about the death of a loved one, share with friends here who will support one another in grace.
I just came across your invitation to follow your blog….talk about learning to navigate social networking!!
I love how you put into words so many of the feelings we have in losing someone we love. I remember when I was “younger” feeling inadequate in knowing what to say to someone when they lose someone. After my Mom passed away, it became very apparent to me that saying nothing and just being there could mean as much as trying to think of the right thing to say or worrying about saying the wrong thing. A simple I am so sorry for your loss was enough in most circumstances.
I look forward to reading more of your blogs!
Hi Michele! Thank you for reading this blog. I sure hope it will bring you some hope and “nuggets.” Yes, I sure have worked hard by trial and error and lots or prayer, to learn how to do a blog (and it’s still primitive) but I’m getting there! So glad to see you here. Yes, you and I have a lot in common. No matter what age your mom was, or what age you were when your mom passes away, it doesn’t matter. We all have this empty place in the corner of our heart where our mom was. The difference for us as Christians, is that The Comforter, The Holy Spirit, can put a soft pillow in that corner for us…until we get to have a talk with our moms again in heaven. What a comfort! We can minister to others who have lost someone dear. We can hold our memories close.
Don’t know if it always holds true, but the “best” outcomes I’ve experienced when visiting grief w/ someone is to exchange good memories….even at a funeral home visitation. Saying something positive like “___ was so good at this or I remember when we____” It seems to lead into a bit of a more relaxed conversation even through the tears.
That is such a great idea Bev! I don’t think I’ve ever tried that but I think we all love to hear good memories about our loved ones. It may bring a smile through the tears. Even after many many years, I love to hear things about my mom and sister. If someone says something I hang on every word. As you said, it may not be that way for everyone but for me, I love it! I think a lot of people may be afraid to speak about the person. Good reminder. Thank you!
I love to hear memories about my sister, too!!
Very good article Myrna. Here is something I want to get so much better at how to speak life into someone during those hard moments. I read what Bev wrote and thought, I may have done that to someone! And it grieves me! I think many people want to be supportive and extend mercy and yet it seems like everything we say or do is wrong!
Your loss is not the same as mine, but we both hurt and the words that comfort you probably wouldn’t comfort me. And so we stay silent and I don’t think that is better either. How thankful I am that we have a God that always knows our pulse and exactly what we need! How amazing that He met you in your place of need and He also met me. I loved your “But God….” so true!
Thanks for sharing your heart with us!
It’s so true that everyone’s grief is different. I’ve often heard comments from those who are grieving that they didn’t appreciate what someone said to them during their darkest time. So maybe it’s a reminder to all of us, me included, that the least we say the better! I always think I need to say something too. It is possible that just being there- your presence- is much more important than saying anything. Thanks for joining in the conversation Kelly. I love to hear what people are thinking! God’s blessings to you!
You are definitely publishable. Wow. This is awesome. I couldn’t stop reading. Fantastic writing, fantastic theology, fantastic message, fantastic mission. Love you, my friend. 🙂
Thanks Sandy, for the compliments. Trouble is, you’re a BEST friend, and best friends always like your writing….lol Seriously, you have been there for me since we met in junior high…love you girlfriend! Praise God for true kindred spirits in our lives!
Awesome. Thanks for sharing! Our hope is in Him alone!
Thanks sister! I love you! You are one of my best cheerleaders. If not for God, how would we have made it?
Hands down, flat out, best post you’ve written. You’ve found your voice and may have stumbled on your calling at the same time…..a support for grief.
I know how alone I felt after my sister died. I can even name names of “friends” who mocked my sorrow after attending visitation. That hurt as much as anything. Junior high or not, these people knew better and were raised better than that. I remember the stupid things adults said like “you’ll see her again,” it’s all for a reason,” blah blah blah. As a 13 year old, the prospect of Heaven seemed an eternity away. (It’s seeming a little closer and more real these days!!) I can’t tell you how many times during the three excruciating visitation sessions at the funeral home I was called by my sister’s name.
I have a dear friend who lost her husband (a very good friend of mine) then about two years later lost her only daughter to a horrific quadruple homicide in which she was the target—all the rest were killed to get them out of the way to get to her. She describes her life as walking around w/ a big red X on top of her head. Only now, some six years after the loss of her daughter, is the fog beginning to lift in her life. This is a strong Christian woman, and I look at her and am ashamed for having any sorrow at all.
Time patches the hole in life but with a different fabric than the original. There really is no solution because it’s a change that can’t be fixed. But you move forward and do the best you can.
I’ve felt called to this kind of ministry and also feel very strongly to speak into a couple of other heartfelt issues also. It’s the passage of time, combined with the strength of the Holy Spirit, our comforter, which carries us through. I’m praying right now that your friend can come to a place of peace. Thanks for sharing your story too.