The lined paper called to me and brought a tear to my eye.

Could I still feel this way? After all these years?

The note on the paper was simple, but its message was more than met the eye.

Before I could set the paper back down on the counter where I’d found it, I sensed a gentle whisper in my heart: “It’s a place that only I can fill. Will you let me?”

My quiet reply was simple. “Yes, Lord. I know she is physically, emotionally, and spiritually healed, and I want that too.”

“And then you can comfort others with the comfort I have shown to you.”

In that brief encounter with the Lord, I knew this was another one of the painful pruning episodes that was necessary for my growth and yet the pain left me feeling raw and vulnerable.

The note was just a fragment of a thought, penned by my little boy:

“Dear Mom,

I miss you very much…”

He explained that he knew Mother’s Day was coming up, and he thought I might not miss my deceased mother quite so much if I wrote a letter to her and God sharing my feelings.

A sweet suggestion, but my initial response wasn’t quite so sweet as I shared with him that I didn’t think I could do that, as it would be too painful and make me cry.

And yet, I sensed God had something to show me in that exchange.

My mother and I were not incredibly close during my youth. She was from another country, and because of that cultural influence, was not prone to sharing her feelings or affections, even to a daughter who so desperately craved them. What I didn’t realize when I was young was that she was weighted down by a blanket of heaviness and depression most of her adult life. And, to make matters worse (or so I thought as a child), my mother firmly believed she was to be my mother and not my friend. Yet I looked at my friends and saw the friendship they had with their mothers, and I was left yearning.

Only after I grew up and moved out on my own, did a wise doctor diagnose the problem and provide much overdue treatment. Only then, for the first time in over twenty years did I see the joyful woman God created my mother to be. As I became a mother, and my mother continued to heal and experience more of the abundant life God had for her, then we forged a new relationship.

Unfortunately, just as we were beginning to appreciate a new found friendship, her life was cut short – which left my aching heart wounded and gaping.

This Mother’s Day, I wonder how many other countless women have an aching heart.

  • Women who didn’t or don’t have a good relationship with their mother.
  • Women whose mothers are no longer in their lives because of illness, death, divorce, imprisonment, or emotional rejection.
  • Women who long to be mothers but haven’t seen the fulfillment of their desires.
  • Women who are mothers but don’t have a close relationship with their children.
  • Women who have lost a child due to illness, death, or wandering.
  • Women who don’t know their mother.

God created us for fellowship. Fellowship with Him and with others. But there is no denying that being in relationship with others is hard, and often painful.

This Mother’s Day I’m concentrating not on the pain of the past, but on God’s promises for the future. God will:

Bind up the brokenhearted
Proclaim freedom for the captives
Release prisoners from darkness
Comfort all who mourn
Provide for those who grieve
Give us a crown of beauty for our ashes
Give the oil of joy for our mourning
Give a garment of praise for our despair
Give a double portion in exchange for our shame
Let us rejoice in our inheritance instead of disgrace
Allow us to inherit a double portion in our land
Provide everlasting joy
(Isaiah 61)

Holidays are not always smiles and Hallmark cards for everyone. If this Mother’s Day is painful for you, will you give God that pain and let Him bring comfort and healing?

I’m going to write that letter to my mother that my son suggested. Will you do the same? I’ll be sharing more on next week’s post, Dear Mom – Part 2.

Dear Mom I Miss You by Dr. Michelle Bengtson

 

(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)

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A short brief about Hope Prevails.

Hope Prevails
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.

Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide

  • An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
  • As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
  • Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations

Hope Prevails Book cover vertical 536

In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.

For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.

Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.

Dear Mom Part 1 by Dr. MIchelle Bengtson

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