Tag: parentless

Motherhood: A Sacrificial Choice

motherhood


“Motherhood is an instinct, YES, But it is also a practice; It CAN be learned.” Alice Walker
I think Motherhood is the hardest job in the world now that I am one!  It is a selfless act that requires one to deny, derail, and temporarily delay your own wants, desires and sometimes even your needs for the well-being of another….

Many women embrace and stay dedicated to this awesome challenge when their maternal instincts kick in.  Life is now about that child who becomes a priority over self.  We are now commissioned and predestined to mold and shape the very existence of another human being.  To think about it in these terms, it is an overwhelming, often times scary and delicate process.  Most figure it out and make the necessary adjustments so that their children can thrive. Others don’t fair so well leaving countless lives forever shattered.

Motherhood can be a heavy burden that can drive a mother to do unfathomable things.  The demands are never-ending and some women simply don’t survive the process.  Consider Andrea Yates who simply woke up one morning after her husband went to work and decided to drown her 5 children in 2001.  Or more recent acts of a Philadelphia mother, Nyia Parler who abandoned her disabled 21-year-old quadriplegic son with cerebral palsy in a park with nothing more than a blanket and a bible.  Nothing but the grace of God that he was found and survived the elements of rain and 30 degree temperatures.  Lastly a 19-year-old mother, Johnesha Perry threw her 1-year-old baby boy over a bridge into shallow waters in Lehigh County PA just last week.  She ultimately jumped in after him.  These stories are harsh realities and proof that there is a very thin line between sanity and insanity as a Mother. I don’t judge the actions of these women by far.  My heart goes out to everyone involved.  I can only imagine the types of pressures these women were under when they decided to take such drastic measures.

Although I have never felt so desperate as to bring harm to my son, but I do admit that I have looked at him over the years and wondered if I am going to be able to survive the process.  These thoughts entered my mind when I felt the most alone the most unsupported and the most overcome. When the mind is unstable and the spirit is crushed the job of motherhood becomes extremely complicated. An ever-present help is needed. (Psalms 46:1)

Regardless of how difficult motherhood can be at times, it is still a privileged honor all in the same breath. The mother first has to make the choice to want to perfect the art, not be selfish, and seek ways to learn how to survive the process if she just doesn’t know how….. The word of God says that “Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.” (Psalm 127:3) The one and only true way to survive the loads of motherhood is to stay rooted in God.

I did not always view motherhood as the gift that it is.  I was appointed to be the mother of three.  But due to my own fears, doubts, and self-centered ways, I took it upon myself to return two souls back to the Heavenly Father who gave them to me.  I rejected the gifts with excuses, earthy rationale and with much pity.  Certainly my burden to bear but I thank God for being forever forgiven….. (Thank you Jesus!)

The one I saw through to full term I am committed to beyond description.  My son is 4 years old as I pen these words and brings me unspeakable joy.  At the same time challenges every fiber of my being.  Spiritually I am convicted to be the best mother I can be to him and raise him to be a Godly man.  My physical challenges are great as I push through complications of Multiple Sclerosis with smiles, laughter, hugs and love.  For he does not understand nor does he need to know; at least not right now.  Mentally, as I continue to battle through insecurities, bouts of depression and the results of my own childhood, I constantly question if I am doing the right thing by him.  It is the greatest challenge of my life, but I am so up for it! What other purpose shall my life serve if not to take responsibility to be the best Mother I can be?  He deserves nothing less…. I am also blessed to have some wonderful step children who I love unconditionally as if I birthed them myself.

The role of being a mother never ends.  The definition just shifts as children grow older.  I sternly believe that the job of a mother only ends when her life is over.  It is a long-term sacrifice for those who have stepped up and stayed committed to the calling.

The pain of an absent mother also never ends.  It is a bond that the human spirit requires and if absent and abused will forever scar the soul.  No amount of praying or growing up will take the hurt away caused by a mother who simply decided not to be.  Consider some famous, strong and independent figures that appear well put together and are clearly successful but when asked about their relationships with their mothers, they will crumble and the wounded child within quickly emerges:

  • Kirk Franklin – Famous Gospel Singer
  • Patti Stanger – Host of Millionaire Matchmaker
  • Hugh Jackman – Actor
  • Courtney Love – Actress
  • Gary Coleman (Deceased)– Child Actor
  • Kenya Moore – Reality TV Star
  • Drew Barrymore – Actress

I have watched interviews of each of the above named figures concerning their relationships with their biological mothers.  The agony, is real, it is deep and permanent.  Feelings are mostly suppressed and managed in sometimes self-destructive ways, but it never dulls and never ever goes away…..

I salute every real mother who sacrifices, endures and embraces the hardest job in the world without quitting.  You are to be acknowledged for your greatest sacrifice while:

  • Working full-time and going to school.
  • Suffering from medical conditions (Mentally & Physically)
  • The father of your children walking out on you, becoming disloyal and mentally abusing you as your body went through the necessary changes to bring forth life.
  • Searching how to become a mother for your children when you were never mothered yourself.
  • Remembering that provision does not take the place of being present.

Or a combination of these things….

My mission as a mother is to assure that my son never looks me in the eye and say you weren’t there, you didn’t try, you didn’t teach or warn me, you didn’t provide, you didn’t give me a decent start, you didn’t love me, you failed me…
He could very well grow up and give me his back side but it won’t be the result of me not putting forth my very best effort in preparation for his life.  I will never stop sacrificing for him for it is my call, my duty, my forever blessing. 
Furthermore, concerning this assigned task over my life, I want my Heavenly father to tell me, “Well done, my good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:21)

Motherhood is a choice, not a title.  Just as we chose to put ourselves in position to conceive, we must choose to do the right thing by the lives we bought to this earth; regardless of how hard it is. That means constant long-term sacrifices through behavioral problems, disabilities, and other challenges children may bring to further complicate our lives.  If we fail in this area we don’t have the right to expect our children to willingly want to look out for our well-being when they themselves become adults.   (That’s REAL TALK!)
They didn’t’ ask to be here and again, they are our gifts from the Lord most High.
To all the women worthy of the title, Happy Mother’s Day; You deserve it and so much more……
“Motherhood is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you gained by having one.” Author Unknown


Love Conditions

Conditional Love

I have lived on this earth long enough and have survived enough trials to confidently declare that the human heart needs what it needs. As a result, and like a wounded child acting out in a tantrum, the heart won’t stop bleeding and crying out until it is fulfilled.   Depending on the situation connected to the yearning, this silent fret may unfortunately be a life- long muted experience for many.

Human beings need to be loved.  I don’t declare this as if it is news but just restating its fact.  But there are different degrees of love that are extended to us that cannot be duplicated by any other source.  The love a child gives its mother is not the same as the love given by her husband.  Just as the love provided by a true friend cannot be substituted by that extended by a parent.  This can be validated when considering a man successful in his trade, wealthy in his accounts, healthy in his status, and plentiful in friends, family and business relationships. He appears to have it all.  But in the midnight hour and when no one is watching he must deal with that hollow area in his heart that desires a companion. Nothing else in his life will satisfy this longing so his heart will bleed.  Or what about that woman who has the most loving husband, the house, the cars, the career and the reputation that most would envy.  Yet her wound is barren and she can’t conceive.  Her longing for a child has been denied so her heart aches and bleeds in the very same way.  There is no substitute that will completely end this painful flow from the heart but the thing it desires; WITH CONDITIONS .  Time can and will be spent attempting to substitute the void but nothing ever truly satisfies.

It has been nearly three weeks since my biological father left this earth.  I am experiencing varying degrees of grief that have surprised me. I resent that I miss what I never had that only he could provide.  There was never any substitute for me.   During my second day out on bereavement leading up to his funeral, I spent several hours alone and I cried out to the Lord probably like I have never.  I asked one question repeatedly, “Why didn’t my father love me?” God responded to me in my dream after crying myself to sleep, “Chanel, he did, just not by your definition.” With the inquisitive mind that I have I had to analyze this answer.  How was I expecting my father to love me?  All I wanted was for him to be Present, to Provide and to Protect. That wasn’t too much to ask or was it? It should have been a natural fraternal instinct but it wasn’t for my father and I didn’t get that.

I put conditions on his love towards me.  As a result I could not see what love he was either able or willing to provide.  I wanted love on my own terms and what he was offering simply wasn’t good enough then and honestly it would not be now if he were still alive.  I am human and that’s Real Talk! Love by his definition did not stop the bleeding of my heart or fill that void only he as a father could.  I felt I deserved more and stopped talking to him for periods at a time as a result.  I have heard my father utter that he loved me many times throughout my life. But since his actions did not line up with my expectations I took his words as lip service and lies.  God showed me on that day that my father was not ever capable of loving me the way that I wanted him to. That’s just not how he was made up. This has been the sole source of discord in our relationship and it took his death for me to finally get clarity. I am forever grateful for the resolve.

Because we are human we have hopes of those significant relationships in our lives. When we get them we have expectations.  We feel that certain people should automatically treat us a in a guaranteed way.   These hopes come with outlined conditions and if we don’t get what we want we will react.

For those empty hearts that may never be filled with what we think we need or want, God is there unconditionally.  He never proposes prerequisites like we do and loves us all the time in spite of our ways.   Hallalujah! That is really good news!  Can you imagine if God loved us in the same fashion as we do others?  The human race would be lost for sure!

Although it is part of the human spirit to long for people to treat and love us in certain ways we need to consider reason and if we are putting unrealistic expectations on what we know is imperfect.  Then give reverence to the all mighty God who is the ultimate definition of Love.  He is really the only one qualified to satisfy those voids we try desperately to fill in our hearts.

Is there someone in your life that you are at odds with because they are not loving you as you wish they would?

If so what is your definition of love and is it reasonable?

Can you still find a way to respect and honor that person regardless?

In your answering of these questions, ask God to help you see these people through his eyes and thank him for loving you just as you are; totally  free of limits ; totally free of conditions.

When its time to Let Go

Letting-Go-Quotes-28

Have you ever remained in a toxic relationship because you felt you had to? You knew it was unhealthy.  All the signs were there.  In fact, nearly every time you were in the presence of  a certain person confirmation constantly warned you.  You knew it was unhealthy and more than likely would never improve.  However, the expectations of others coupled by your own guilt and people pleasing ways, you continue to endure.  The hurt, backstabbing, selfishness, conditional love, inconsistencies and lack of give and take; you accept it all, every time. Its all you have ever done and all you have ever known.   You are the only one in the relationship truly trying and all for the sake of what’s expected.  It’s a very heavy facade to bear long term.  Exposed you appear strong, handling it well, smile and laugh on cue because others are certainly watching and judging.  But behind closed doors you cry, ache, pray and long for change.  For waiting for change is easier than considering the inevitable…Letting go.

I think we all experience situations like this at some point in our lives.  Seasonal people come and go whether we release them or they walk away on their own.  Accepting the process is easier with some people than others.  Sometimes we recognize right away the unnecessary chaos a person is causing in our lives.  The “Good Byes and Good Riddance” comes effortlessly.  But what if this painful situation involves a loved one.  A person you are connected to by D.N.A. 1st line blood born relation.  What do you do then?

I have had to withstand this unfortunately a few times in my life. Not because I wanted to but because I had to.  One situation involved my biological father.  A man who walked out of my life as a toddler and remained excessively inconsistent for years.  Out of my desperation of wanting to be “Daddy’s Little Girl” I chased after him in an effort to win his approval, affection and adoration.  This failed pursuit lasted for nearly two decades.  If I did not chase he would not bother.  His words said that he loved me but his actions more than proved otherwise.  Letting go was not easy by far.  I was going to make him love and treat me the way I thought I deserved as his daughter.  That was my will and far from his.  After much hurt, countless tears, severe rejection and lack of support I finally let go.  It wasn’t until my heart lined up with my spirit that peace in the decision took over me. Today, its been nearly 4 years and I continue to experience a calm with this matter that has been priceless.  It is well with my soul for I am certain that I have done all I can. This type of serenity I only wish I had awarded myself in half the time versus 20 years.  But feeling obligated by the urging of others (But That’s Your Father!) and the little wounded girl within me still longing for his approval, I suffered longer than I ever had to.  I pray and wish nothing but the best for my Father, for he has missed out on the ultimate prize; the evolution of ME:-)

Unhealthy relationships can tear down the human spirit and cause one to lose focus on God’s infinite purpose for their life. Along the way depression, self loathing and a crushed esteem can be the ultimate result of staying in unprofitable relationships long term.  We get so stuck on a person’s title in our lives that we feel that we can do nothing but actively deal with it.  Just because someone is your Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Aunt, Uncle or Cousin gives them no right to wreck havoc in your life.  If these people are not working with you to improve the relationship in a give and take fashion a decision needs to be made to let them go.

The only obligation you have is towards yourself.  If you don’t take care of you certainly no one else will.  That’s a stark and painful reality when you consider family members for it is not politically correct to sever a relationship with certain people.  Right? Well I’m no politician by far and dare to go against the grain!

If a person continues to cause you pain, let them go!  if they are not working towards improving themselves or acknowledge their wrong doing in the relationship, let them go!  If they have continuously shown that they are envious, spiteful, un-supportive, critical  and simply don’t have your best interest at heart, LET THEM GO!  This may be scary but depending on the person, this may not be permanent.  Once they see how far away they have pushed you, they may come back around.  But in your letting go, have no expectations for this will only lead to more of a broken heart.

If you are reading this, can relate and are considering a situation like this in your life, ask yourself “What am I truly holding on to?” As painful as it may be, loosen up your grips, close your eyes, open your hands and let go.  Without guilt, without regret, without fear, heal and be free…..

“At some point you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life” – Sandi Lynn