First Mother’s Day Without

Fair warning: this was the first Mother’s Day since my mom died. This post will be very personal, and probably uncomfortable for some. In this post, I am deeply, critically honest.

I knew Sunday was going to be hard. There were moments when I missed her so badly that it manifested as a physical ache in my chest. There were other moments, however, that engulfed me in joy so sharp, so overwhelming, that it took me days to verbalize what happened.

Every Tear

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Things were not always copacetic between my mother and me.

I loved her, and she loved me. We both suffered from abuse and depression. We both wanted to fix our relationship, but could not – at least, not while she was here.

She’s not here anymore. She’s in Heaven, and I know with complete surety that her problems are gone.

Made New

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”

Rev. 21:5

She’s not confused anymore. She’s my mother the way my mother was meant to be.

It sounds completely insane to say this, but since I’m being honest, I will: I feel closer to my mom now than I did when she was alive.

No, I know she’s not here. I don’t have her eternal email address. There are no séances at Casa de la Reid. What I do have is the amazing, incredible understanding that she’s been made new, healed, and whole.

I look forward to that for myself someday.

Her fears of betrayal are gone. Her depression and mood swings are gone. Her chemical inability to understand what went wrong and why things hurt is gone.

She even understands now why I married Duane. That’s a nice change.

Reconciled

“Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.”

Eph. 2:16

There were times in my life when my mother’s faith and mine were the only things that preserved communication. No matter how big our conflict, this core belief in Jesus, in unearned love and forgiveness and mercy, made the difference that kept us from ever losing love for one another.

If you really believe that God loves you enough to forgive every mistake you make and every bad thing you do, you can’t hold things against someone else. It’s really simple. It’s also hard to live out.

But it goes even deeper than that.

There are many reasons why my mom left this world when she did. I certainly don’t know all of them. I do know she needed to go Home.

Let me explain to you God’s hand of providence.  God’s hand of providence is the acknowledgement and the belief that God is at work, not just in human history, not just through kings and queens and rulers and nations, that God is also at work in the everyday details of normal people, like Naomi and Ruth and Elimelech, that you and I are very normal people.  These are very normal, average people, and that God is at work in the subtleties and the details of their life.  That is his invisible hand of providence.”

Mark Driscoll

She needed to go Home badly. Her depression had reached a point where she could not fight it off, and it wasn’t her fault. Chemical disorders are terrible things, and she’s not the first Christian to have to fight them.

Even if I don’t ever have another reason, I know that her going Home didn’t happen because God looked away. God doesn’t cause horrible things. He is just amazing enough and loving enough to use even great evil to create great good.

This is why I’m okay

I miss my mom. I don’t miss our conflict. It’s gone, healed, done, and leaves me free to love her as she is without her burdens, and to look forward to seeing her again with nothing between us.

So at the end of this Mother’s Day, a few days before her birthday, I have peace. It’s not easy to say because I know a lot of people think this kind of reasoning is crazy. That’s okay. They can think that. I’m too busy rejoicing that my mother is healed to care.

When I see her again, I’ll be healed, too. Reconciliation and fulfilled love are in my future, and that’s what I call oh, happy day.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,  that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)”

Eph. 2:4-5

Amen.

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