by Maya (guest writer)
Leading up to this class, my husband had just left me. I was drowning in the pain of abandonment. If there was ever a time I needed a nurturing mom, it was then.
I felt like an orphan. Having a mom unable to nurture and be a safe presence left a gut-wrenching void that spilled into every area of my life. I held back tears in an explosion of pain every time I witnessed a mother and daughter together—laughing, hugging, bonding.
Taking this class was a game-changer. I found something intensely empowering about setting my wound on the table and facing it. Knowing I wasn’t alone opened the door to a complete paradigm shift in perspective. I had defined myself by what I didn’t have, which was a mom who wanted to be a positive part of my life. That diminished my value. So I held on to every relationship, no matter how toxic, that reinforced this belief system. Now I could see how such thoughts were the core waters feeding the pain.
Not having an emotionally present mother defined me. She didn’t want to be a positive part of my life, so I had no value. I held on to every relationship no matter how toxic, and that reinforced this belief system. The class showed me how such thoughts were in fact the core waters feeding the pain.
My identity connected intricately to my mother loss from early on. That meant I was always on a quest to fix it. Fixing it meant making myself worthy of a mother’s love, as if I had a deficit. The actual deficit was in how I was raised. I now know that I can grieve to either deepen the wound or grieve to propel me towards its filling-in.
Releasing the root lies and accepting new core truths was my first step. My second was in seeing my mom as a wounded woman who also didn’t get what she needed as a child. Through the course of the class exercises I found my strength. I could cut the emotional cords to what I had missed and be to myself what my mom could not be. I felt ready.
I went back to church for the first time since my husband left. I sat in the back, alone, struggling to engage in the worship. I thought about the words I painted in the months prior—”He [God] always has a place for me at His table.” As I closed my eyes I said to God, “I can’t even make it to Your table.” This is when a woman a few rows up came and stood on my left side. Moments later another woman came and stood on my right side. As I fought back tears, God said to me that if I couldn’t come to His table, then He would come to me. Psalm 27:10 came alive right then and there.
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.
I am learning to receive the love God has for me as His daughter. That day, I could feel Him holding me as a mother would her child, and I knew everything was going to be okay. This was a filling-in.
Some waters can’t be escaped but they can be navigated in new ways. That’s what this class has taught me. While the hole of having an emotionally absent mother is still present, the power it once held in my life isn’t. My journey towards healing has finally begun.