Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: God Help Me Love My Mother
By Constance Bronson
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Many years ago, a Christian friend told me that the way to feel loving feelings toward my mother is to pray for her, and pray that God will give me love for her. That was about 25 years ago and I must not have prayed enough or something. I see my mothersí needs, as elderly ladies have lots of needs. I am committed to see that she gets all the help that she needs, whether by me or someone else. Does that constitute love?
My husband and I own and operate an adult foster care home called Providence House. For several years now we have had a house full of ladies and only an occasional man.
I had to learn how to love those ladies too because, as a result of my relationship with my own parents, I never learned how to behave lovingly to anyone aside from my husband and sons. I had plenty of feelings but I didnít know how to express them. But I did learn over the years, in spite of my motherís lack of interest, to be loving even to strangers. So did love for my mother finally sprout? I think maybe it has. I am able to see her now as just another one of the dear elderly ladies who depend on me for so much. Her behavior toward me is mellowing too as she learns to give up her fiercely guarded independence. I still canít hug her and tell her that I love her, but I think it is there, just below the surface.
My mother is a devoted Christian now. Her failings of the past donít exist anymore. So I need to love my mother for the person she is now. She still thinks that every conversation must be about her, or her neighbors, or her cats. The other day, for the first time that I can recall, she called me on the phone to ďto find out how you are todayĒ! It was the very first time she had ever expressed any thought about how I am doing. It was amazing! And she cut off the call without telling me that so-and-so said this, or someoneís not treating her very nicely, or they had it all wrong but I told them the right way. I was so startled with that call, and yet pleased, because maybe my mother is learning to love me too. Just as I am learning to love her. If we can do that in Godís love then we will gladly greet one another in Heaven.
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