We’ve all faced conflict and distance in relationships at some time or another. Some cases are more severe than others. Sometimes reconciliation isn’t possible.
Tanya Glanzman, a Christian counselor and executive director for a a residential maternity home for young ladies between 18-21, honestly shares with us today from her personal experience.
We had a difficult life together. My mother was a little girl in the body of a grown woman, trying to raise a little girl.
My father? I never knew him and he never knew me. We would never know each other.
Not ever having healed from her own painful childhood, she parented out of the baggage that she carried around with her- a heaviness that had become so familiar, she no longer recognized it as a weight she could be free from.
We survived together, through bad relationships and addictions and financial difficulties. I stood by and watched as her choices affected my world, a non-participatory bystander. We were together until we weren’t. Until the day she decided she could no longer take care of me. Until the day she decided I would be better off with someone else. She gave me away, and then she left. The role as my mother, she willingly laid it aside. The country, she re-married for the fourth time and moved away due to his job. My world, I didn’t know if I would ever see her again.
The phone would ring every now and then, and her voice would be on the other end. Usually tainted with the sound of illegal substance. I would occasionally try to invite her back into my world, sharing of everyday life but like her, our relationship seemed to drift farther and farther away.
In my late teen years she gave birth to another daughter. It felt like betrayal and replacement and being abandoned all over again. Our few phone calls after that were filled with descriptions of how cute…smart…funny…. her new daughter was. I ached for her love and longed for her approval- but she had moved on.
Years passed along with the hope that I would ever have the Mother I wanted. The Mother I thought I deserved. The one in my mind that was healthy and could love me in the way I needed and wanted to be loved. I tried to convince myself that because I was a grown up now, I didn’t need it- it’s difficult to lie to yourself.
It was the Sunday before Mother’s day that I got the call. The voice of a little girl, her little girl, on the other end of the line this time. She had found our mother…not breathing….she was gone. She thought I should know. ” I won’t be at the funeral.” It was all I had at the time. All of the anger and sadness and pain bubbling to the top of my heart.
It would be years before I would be able to forgive her. I grieved. For the mother I never had. For the mother I never would have. For the death of the dreams in my heart that my children would know their grandmother. For the fact that there would be no “happily ever after” to end this fairytale.
I am thankful, however, that we do not grieve like those who have no hope. Despite all of her issues, I know for a fact that my mother accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior while on this earth.
I will see her again. I will embrace her. What a joyous reunion that will be.
In the meantime, I am thankful for my Father God who holds me close. Who has filled every void left by my mother’s unintentional inadequacies. He has helped me to see her not as one who didn’t love me, but one who loved me the best that she could in her frail brokenness. He has helped me to forgive her and be free from the hurt, anger and bitterness that her choices offered me. I can now see her through His eyes. He helped me to understand that her abandonment of me had nothing to do with me.
He has helped me to move forward, heal, and not be held bound by the weight of my own baggage as I am a mother to my own children.
God has been so faithful to provide other women in my life who love me well. Who speak life and encouragement and love. Who potentially offer what my mother would have had she been healthy.
Philippians 4:19 tells us that God will provide all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I have watched Him be true to His word in my life as He has placed Godly women who have loved me as a mother would.
In turn, as He leads, I extend love to mothers who for one reason or another, need the love of a daughter.
Tanya Glanzman is the executive director of Grace Home Ministries as well as a Christian counselor specializing in women’s trauma recovery. She enjoys running, writing and speaking and lives in Virginia with her family.
Pull out your E prayer card (download prayer cards here if you haven’t already).
- Write down names of family members, neighbors, friends that you know are struggling with estranged relationships.
- Write down any people you have your own estranged relationships with.
- Pray that God will keep our hearts free from bitterness and hatred and instead fill us with His love.
- Pray for reconciliation if at all possible.
- Pray that in cases where reconciliation is not possible that God will keep our hearts free from bitterness and hatred and instead fill us with His love.
- Pray that God will send people to fill the roles in our lives where a void has been created by an estranged relationship.
TweetablesI am thankful for my Father God who holds me close. #PrayAtoZ
Pray A to Z. E is for Estranged Relationships #PrayAtoZ #prayer
A daughter shares with us her story of an estranged relationship with her mother as we #PrayAtoZ