Mother’s Day is tough for me. It is hard to get misty-eyed and sentimental for her.
My mom has played a huge role inmy battle with disordered eating.
True Confessions: Eating “nutritious” foods–those dense in vitamins, minerals with a lot of nutrient bang for caloric buck–is impossible for me without gagging. I can’t do it. Nope. Nothing doing. At least not as a general rule. I can’t eat salad or steamed veggies to save my life. I really can’t do it. I grimace involuntarily at even the *smell* of a stray piece of lettuce on a snack wrap at McDonalds ordered “sans” anything green on it.
An exception: I can eat my husband’s fresh, home-made salsa…by the spoonfuls! My mom never made fresh salsa. So, she never beat the tar out of me for *not* eating it. She never literally shoved it down my throat. She never greeted me the next morning with it and declared I couldn’t have any other food until I had eaten it like she did with the peas…cold…shriveled, the asparagus…withered, limp, or the green beans…
Is it any wonder I took to sneaking food? And yet the behaviors that I learned as a child, before I had obvious conviction of sin and God’s saving grace, became spiritual strongholds as an adult. Behaviors that had helped me to cope when I didn’t know what else to do…as an adult they stood in the way of coping.
I wish I could say the freedom that I write about here at the blog after ten years of exposure to Thin Within includes enjoyment of foods that are wholesome and beneficial. In fact, I would love to be able to snack on carrots and apples and other yummy foods that God created to be enjoyed.
But the truth is, I can’t, I won’t, I don’t even bother trying any more.
Once upon a time, I prayerfully stood over my kitchen sink and begged God to enable me to defeat this. With tears, I begged him to infuse me with tastebuds that LOVED a carrot…and as I took a bite, in faith, that THIS time would be different, the gag happened and I ended up feeling traumatized, a flashback to when I was 8 years old. Only this time, traumatized at my own hand. And I wondered why God didn’t answer “yes” to a prayer that seemed soooo according to his will. :-/
I have worked through a truckload of forgiveness of my parents–including my mom for this very thing. I don’t feel bitter about it. But it is a part of what I deal with, still, today, now, and it follows me everywhere.
The reason I bring all of this up today is because Mother’s Day is painful for me, so, I wonder if Mother’s Day is painful for any of you. Is it true for any of you that Mother’s Day isn’t the perky positive rosey flowers and chocolate event that Hallmark and Dayspring have us wanting to believe it is? In church, when people stand up to give verbal testimony to their moms, I always feel so…well…unchristian for not finding something to say that elevates my mom to appropriate levels of esteem in the eyes of my friends.
God has used my heartaches, trials, and, even, the abuse for my spiritual formation. I am desperate for him, largely because she was so wrong. While I must own my sinful choices now, I also acknowledge that my eating issues are directly related to the way my mom chose to treat me. My eating issues keep me ever always dependent on him, clinging to him like the hemorrhaging woman in the dirt. If only for a touch of the hem of his robe…if only to experience him, his power…and to be healed.
Apart from this weakness–which really is a product of a Mom with her own issues getting in the way of handling a young, strong-willed daughter–might I be even more independent, even more arrogant, even more resistant to hear his voice in the whisper?
God redeems. I have no doubt of this in my mind.
Yet, Mother’s Day is painful for me. I won’t blog a post saying otherwise. I wish I could. But I can’t.
So, how about you? Is Mother’s Day hard for you? Is there some way in which God may want to redeem the challenges you face today, perhaps due to a very human, fallible mother years ago? Will you let him?
More on that in Part 2…