Breast cancer, mastectomy,, light, fire, love, peace, prayer, faith, contemplation, God,

A second chance

 

Lord God, 
If our fathers didn’t treat us 
As they should,
You give us a second chance,
By offering your love.

Mary, 
If our mothers gave no comfort 
From the start,
You give us a second chance,
By offering your heart.

Jesus, 
If our brothers didn’t help us 
As they might,
You give us a second chance,
By offering your light. 

Spirit, 
If our sisters were uncaring
In our youth,  
You give us a second chance,
By offering your truth.

 

References

God is love (1 John 4:16; NIV).

Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often (Luke 2:19; NLT).

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12; NLT).

He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth (John 14:17; NLT).

Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother! (Matthew 12:50; NLT).

Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:29; NLT).

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Prayer, suffering, life, courage, help, bear, illness, mental, physical,

My mother’s death

 

Last night, my mother died peacefully in her sleep. She was 102, and had been increasingly deaf, blind, bedridden, incontinent and confused for the last few years.  

On hearing the news early this morning, my initial reaction was one of relief that she isn’t suffering any more, though it’s too early to tell what feelings I might have in the longer term about her. I’ve spent many years in therapy working on the consequences of her behaviour towards me, so hopefully that will now help me to cope with her death.

My mother was a complicated, intelligent, energetic and demanding woman. She was very controlling, dominating, angry, frustrated, and emotionally abusive. Throughout, and beyond, my childhood, her unpredictable, explosive rages were utterly terrifying. During these uncontrolled episodes she was verbally aggressive towards those present, and could be could be violent and destructive towards objects nearby.

She was also a very selfish, manipulative and egotistical woman. Despite the efforts I made as an adult to talk to her about her behaviour, and the ways in which it has affected me, she always minimised it, never acknowledging, or apologising for, all the damage she caused.

Recently, I’ve been trying to forget the bad things she did, and to remember instead the good things about my childhood. However, the positives are so few, so undependable, and so short-lived, that I quickly gave up the effort, which felt artificial and unhelpful. 

Well, none of us is perfect. We all have many faults, including me. Fortunately, I started working hard to forgive my mother several years ago, and have continued to pray for her, and try to forgive her, every day. 

Some months ago, I spoke to her privately for the last time about her behaviour, its effects, and my forgiveness. However, by then, she was incapable of replying. I’m glad, though, that I was able to be completely honest with her, after a lifetime of anxiety, fear, dread, panic attacks, depression and physical illness caused by her abuse. May she rest in peace, at last.

 

References

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

We have all sinned against you (Jeremiah 14:20; NLT).

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Breast cancer, mastectomy,, Forgive, blame, anger, turn cheek, hurt, prayer,

Written on the day of my first Holy Communion

 

Lord, 
From today, I turn my face away
From all the harm
My mother did to me,
Remembering it no more.

Instead, 
I call the positives to mind, 
While thanking you
For bringing good
From all I have experienced in life.

 

References

I will never again remember their sins (Jeremiah 31:34; NLT).

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NLT).

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28; NRSV).

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Forgive, blame, anger, turn cheek, hurt, prayer,, Prayer

Give me a church

 

Lord, 

Give me a church 
I can, at last, belong to –

A place where people 
Want to grow like you;

Where people love, fall out, 
Make up, say sorry;

Where everyone who fails 
Can start anew. 

None of this ever happened 
With my mother –

She never said sorry
For how she treated me.

So, give me a church 
Where I can find a home, Lord,

Where all can share your love,
Which sets us free.

 

References

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back (Matthew 18:15; NRSV).

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar (Psalm 84:3; NLT).

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6; NIV). 

The oppressed will be set free (Luke 4:18; NLT).

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Prayer, suffering, life, courage, help, bear, illness, mental, physical,

Emotional abuse

 

Lord,

Every day
I’m still affected

By the consequences
Of my mother’s emotional abuse –

Depression, 
Anxiety,
And fear;

Low self-esteem, 
Panic, 
And dread.

So every day
Brings me fresh opportunities
To forgive her.

…………………………………………….

References

“Lord, how many times shall I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-2; NLT). 

If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15; NIV).

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us (Luke 11:4; NIV).

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Prayer, suffering, life, courage, help, bear, illness, mental, physical,

My mother

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44; NIV).

*************************

My mother,
Who is old,
Is slowly dying.

She’s never
Going to say
She’s sorry now.

Help me
To accept this,
To forgive her,

To understand,
And love her, Lord –
Somehow.

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light, fire, love, peace, prayer, faith, contemplation, God,, Prayer

Sister and brother

Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? Then he looked around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:33-5; NLT).

****************************

 

Lord Jesus,

Through your teaching
And example,

Each woman
Is my cherished, precious sister,

And every man
My treasured, much-loved brother.

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