Beauty for Ashes: How God Redeemed My Mother-Daughter Story

Our God is in the restoration business; there is no relationship on earth beyond the reach of His agape love. It's not easy to love your mom—selflessly and without expectation—but it is what God asks of us. And God never asks anything He does not also empower us to do. | Mother Daughter Relationship | Forgiveness | Love My Mom | Mother's Day

I press the button to end our call and brace myself for the tsunami of emotions that rush over me after a tense conversation with my mom.

Disappointment.
Sadness.
Regret.
Hopelessness.

I had prepared the words beforehand; rehearsed them over and over in my mind.

But I must have said something wrong.

Her parting words were still ringing in my ears, “I wish you remembered the first ten years of your life. You and I were so close when you were little; we did everything together. I just don’t understand why you choose to only remember the bad.”

This is how it always plays out.

Every time I risk revealing the broken little girl behind the facade, she inevitably shuts down, withdraws in pain, and erects a shield of hurt.

I desperately want to build a bridge between her heart and mine, but I have no clue where to start.

Our God is in the restoration business; there is no relationship on earth beyond the reach of His agape love. It's not easy to love your mom—selflessly and without expectation—but it is what God asks of us. And God never asks anything He does not also empower us to do. | Mother Daughter Relationship | Forgiveness | Love My Mom | Mother's Day

How to move forward with my mom?

Fear creeps into my heart as I think of my two daughters under the age of ten.

It is very possible they will only remember glimpses, shadows from these precious years.

If I can’t figure out what went wrong between my mother and me, how can I be certain not to repeat the mistake with my own girls?

With tears streaming down my face, I pull out a piece of paper and try to remember my first decade of life—an hour later, I’d written down just a few simple memories.

Mom tenderly rubbing my back during church.
Our playful wrestling matches on her king sized bed.
Warm baths together after a long day with the horses.

A handful glimpses into the life of a little girl who was happy and loved—her mom solidly in her orbit.

I desperately want to remember more but those formative years are all but lost to me.

Yet I have no trouble remembering the strife we experienced during my tumultuous teen years.

The moments she failed to fill the piece of my heart I reserved just for her.

I thought if I moved next door to my mom, I would find the intimacy I had been longing for.

But the close proximity only served to exacerbate the underlying issues in our relationship.

Truthfully, I just want to move beyond it all—to be free from the past so we can build a fresh future together.

Our God is in the restoration business; there is no relationship on earth beyond the reach of His agape love. It's not easy to love your mom—selflessly and without expectation—but it is what God asks of us. And God never asks anything He does not also empower us to do. | Mother Daughter Relationship | Forgiveness | Love My Mom | Mother's Day

Wiping the Slate Clean

As I look inside my fearful heart, I glimpse what my mother must have been feeling as we exchanged those tense words over the phone.

She knows how much she loves me.
She knows the sacrifices she made for me.
She knows she did her best.

What more can any daughter ask of her mother?

As my half-empty cup of coffee cools on the kitchen table, I realize it is time to begin viewing my relationship with my mom as half full.

It is time for me to stop criticizing my mom’s every move and start prayerfully considering my responsibility in our relationship.

1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “(Love) bares all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

I always expected to receive this kind of love from my mom, but I failed to recognize God expects the same of me.

When God looks at me, He does not see my past sins.

My slate has been wiped white as snow because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Maybe it’s time for me to wipe my mom’s slate clean.

If I could learn to love my mom selflessly, maybe our wounds could heal and our relationship could be redeemed.

As this fresh hope seeps into the cracks of my soul, I rush to my little red writing desk and pen these words:

Mom, I will never be able to love you as perfectly or unconditionally as God has loved you, but I will dedicate the rest of my life to loving you better. 

Our God is in the restoration business; there is no relationship on earth beyond the reach of His agape love. It's not easy to love your mom—selflessly and without expectation—but it is what God asks of us. And God never asks anything He does not also empower us to do. | Mother Daughter Relationship | Forgiveness | Love My Mom | Mother's Day

A Different Kind of Love for Mom

It’s been a year since I made the commitment to love my mom well.

After decades of looking after my own interests in my mother-daughter relationship, I was trapped in a cycle of fruitlessness.

Nothing is worse than tending a plant all season long, only to discover that it failed to produce a harvest.

It is as though the greedy plant sucked up all the life and love and just kept it for itself.

Sadly, I used to be extraordinarily selfish in my relationship with my mom.

I was so consumed with my own needs and desires that I was just like that greedy plant—unfit to produce a harvest.

“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:24-25(NIV)

But then, by God’s grace, a new seed of love for my mother was planted in my heart.

This love was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

It freed me up to love my mom selflessly and without reservation.

That seed of love produced an abundant harvest in my life, and within that harvest I found more seeds.

For where there is real fruit, you will always find in it seed for more fruit.

So I eagerly planted those seeds and before I knew it I had all sorts of spiritual fruit growing in my heart.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

I learned how to be patient with my mom and treat her with the kindness and gentleness she deserved.

God’s peace guarded my heart from the selfishness, jealousy, and indifference of my past.

I no longer ache for my mom to pursue me, because I am always in faithful pursuit of her.

I now have a heavenly perspective on my role as daughter, and am learning to treat my mother with gentleness and self-control.

I am completely transformed.

And so is she!

Our God is in the restoration business; there is no relationship on earth beyond the reach of His agape love. It's not easy to love your mom—selflessly and without expectation—but it is what God asks of us. And God never asks anything He does not also empower us to do. | Mother Daughter Relationship | Forgiveness | Love My Mom | Mother's Day
Pin This Image! {Beauty For Ashes Design by Elly & Grace}

Beauty for Ashes + a Mother’s Day Giveaway

When I gave God my ashes, He gave me something beautiful in return.

He gave me the key to my mom’s heart.

God restored and redeemed what Satan spent years trying to destroy.

Beauty for ashes. The best gift of all!

In honor of my mom, I have partnered with Brenna, the owner of Elly and Grace, to offer a Mother’s Day Giveaway here on my blog.

One lucky mother-daughter pair will receive their very own “Beauty for Ashes” t-shirt just in time for Mother’s Day. And the rest of you get free shipping now through May 7, 2017 when you use the code “SARAH” at checkout.

I simply adore the gold lettering and flattering v-neck cut of these shirts. I pray that they will serve as a reminder of God’s mighty power to transform ashes into something beautiful and full of new life. {Click Here to view the t-shirt at EllyandGrace.com}

A Few Closing Thoughts

If the Mother’s Day holiday is a difficult one for you, I encourage you to read our mother-daughter story from the beginning.

1: To the Grown Daughter Who Has Failed to Love Her Mother Well.
2: Here’s What Happened When I Chose to Forgive My Mom.
3: Careless Words and Broken Egg Shells
4: Fiercely Loving  My Perfectly Imperfect Mom
5: Beauty for Ashes: How God Redeemed My Mother-Daughter Story

Our God is in the restoration business; there is no relationship on earth beyond the reach of His agape love.

It’s not easy to love our moms—selflessly and without expectation—but it is what God has asked of us.

And God never asks anything He does not also empower us to do.

Even if your mother-daughter relationship is never restored this side of heaven, you can have peace in knowing that you did everything within your power to love your mom well.

And isn’t peace what you’ve been longing for, after all?

This article has been shared at my favorite Faith & Family Linkups.

Sarah Koontz

About Sarah Koontz

  Sarah Koontz invites Christians of all ages to explore the beauty of God’s design. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah lives on 13-acres in South Dakota with her husband, two daughters and a rowdy flock of 30 chickens. She revels in their simple, uncluttered life. Follow Sarah on FacebookInstagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Read Sarah's full Bio Here.

72 thoughts on “Beauty for Ashes: How God Redeemed My Mother-Daughter Story

  1. This is awesome! Thank you for sharing so fearlessly. I had a similar journey with my mom. The relationship isn’t fully restored or what I hoped but God has healed many of my hurts and wounds. I am also now free to love her without expectation. Your writing is a gift – thank you ❤️

    1. Liz, thank you for taking the time to stop by and share a piece of your story. I don’t think my relationship with my mom will ever be “what I hoped for.” I actually think my idealization of what my mom should be is what caused a lot of the problems between us. That said, doesn’t it feel great to love your mom flaws and all? It is freeing, as you said. Saying a prayer for you and your mom right now.

  2. What a powerful story and a sweet testimony, Sarah!

    It’s so good to hear how God is blessing your decision to love your mom and show her kindness and grace! I pray He will continue to bless and heal and restore your relationship.

    1. My prayers are for the same, Melanie. I think it’s the gentleness I treat her with now that has really made me a “safe person” in her life. I haven’t yet shared my mom’s story, but her childhood was far from ideal. Just like me, she has fragile spots in her heart, and needs to be treated with tenderness. I am so grateful I have learned to love her as she deserves, and pray I can continue to do so throughout the rest of our lives.

  3. Oh, Sarah, this is such a good post. I wish I had learned to overlook some of the past with my mom sooner than I did. We could have had more intimate times as she reached the end of her life… What I am thankful for is that we did have some special time before she died and it was such a blessing to be with her. And also to see her and my youngest daughter tie up some loose ends.

    This – “It is time for me to stop criticizing my mom’s every move and start prayerfully considering my responsibility in our relationship.” and this – “If I could learn to love my mom selflessly, maybe our wounds could heal and our relationship could be redeemed.” I think these statements are a key in restoring those relationships.

    Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #Glimpses!

    1. Oh, Gayl. This has been on my mind a lot as my mom and I worked through our past issues. Someone once said, “When my mom was here all I saw were her flaws, now that she’s gone all I remember is her beauty.” I didn’t want that to be my story, and it sounds like you didn’t want that either. I’m glad that you were close enough to your mom to be together at the end and share some special moments with each other.

  4. I wish my relationship with my mom had the happy ending that yours did.

    I forgave her, but she never forgave me, therefore, we could never be reconciled. It was all very sad.

    Looking forward to seeing her in heaven when all will be forgotten and forgiven.

    1. Sandra, people’s stories don’t always end in the most uplifting way, do they? I am sorry for your loss. Unforgiveness is one of the most difficult barriers to cross in relationship. What a blessing to know that you did what you could. And how wonderful that our stories don’t end here!

  5. So well written and emotional. Thank you for sharing. My mother passed away in November and sadly our connection was never fully healed. We were very close when I was little and then she made some poor choices that we both paid for. I forgave her in my early twenties but she was unable to come to terms with her own guilt and kept me at arms length always. She muttered out an “I’m sorry.” the day before she died.
    Her passing was so strange for me because it felt like I had lost her twenty years prior. I know she was very proud of the mother I have become and I can only continually pray that I can maintain the bond with my children and that my mother knows how much I loved her despite any shortcomings because we are all far from perfect.

    1. Deanna, I am so sorry to hear you’ve recently lost your mom. My desire to have a good relationship with my own children was a deep motivator for my heart work and diligent pursuit of my own mom. It’s so difficult to be a hurting daughter and a yearning mother at the same time! Becoming a mother gave me such perspective (like, moms aren’t perfect!), and helped me to accept my mom’s flaws. But had she not received me with open arms, our story would be unfolding quite differently. I pray that the forgiveness and acceptance you were able to offer your mom gives you some measure of peace now that she is gone.

  6. Sarah, I’m so grateful for the hope that you offer here. It’s good to know that we don’t have to wait until things are picture-perfect to inspire others. I pray God will continue to redeem your relationship with your mom as He draws you closer to Him daily.
    Hugs to you, my friend!

  7. This is the key –> I always expected to receive this kind of love from my mom, but I failed to recognize God expects the same of me.

    My mother died 9/1/16 but I can honestly say though she wasn’t perfect God showed me how to love her. He softened me and molded to be a daughter who simply loved her mom warts and all. Best reward – my mom told me that she appreciated it. I never expected to hear those words; it wasn’t my motivation…but to have heard them made all the difference in the world. So when she died, I was at peace with our relationship.
    Parents are humans, just like us.

    1. Yes, you are right about the key point of this piece. It seems that daughters are hard wired to expect much of their mothers yet we struggle to see our own responsibility in the relationship. I am sorry you recently lost your mother, I cannot imagine. But what a gift to be able to give her your love, fully and completely. This whole process has taught me that my mom longs for my love and acceptance as much as I long for hers, yet we are often fearful of opening ourselves up to the possibility of rejection. We’ve all got warts and we all need love, and God empowers us to be lovely in spite of our shortcomings. What a gift.

  8. If I were to create my own t-shirt the verse I would use is my favorite: James 4:8 Draw near to God and HE WILL draw near to YOU.

  9. Wow, Sarah! This is so powerful. Thanks for sharing your story. I have a bit of a prickly relationship with my dad, and this really resonated with me. Like you, God had to do surgery in my heart first before there the work of redemption could begin in that relationship. There is still work to be done, but I see progress, and i am hopeful that He who began a good work in me will complete it — even in this.

    Hugs to you, friend.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this spoke to you. I agree that this truth can be applied to any of our relationships. I am so grateful for God’s willingness to reshape our hearts and teach us how to love with His love. Progress is a gift. I felt stuck for years. Things weren’t bad, they just weren’t great…I could tell there was something beneath the surface that needed to be dealt with. My mom always says she felt like she was walking on eggshells around me. But once Got healed me, the eggshells disappeared and the progress began to happen. Praying for you and your dad right now.

  10. Sadly, I hear more and more how dysfunctional mother/daughter relationships exist. I would love to have a closer relationship with my mom but it isn’t easy when words slice and condemnation is plenty. I relate to your mom not feeling safe in the relationship and pulling back. So hard when I know she expects more from me but that only means coming back closer for more accusations and condemnation. Words are like blows. Hard to feel intimacy when you are trying to self-protect. Great post Sarah and I rejoice in your mended, healed relationship. Thank you for sharing what God has been doing. I know there is always hope with Him for whatever issues we struggle with:)

    1. Gretchen, I have been blown away by how many women struggle with this also. Since I first started writing about my own struggles a year ago, the response has been tremendous. Every woman is somebody’s daughter, and many carry a heavy load of regret and dissatisfaction throughout their life. I tried for years to fix things on my own, but it wasn’t until I invited God into the equation that things really began to change. Self-protection is the #1 enemy of intimacy. But sometimes, self-protection is necessary. Every mother-daughter relationship is different, but it is my hope to be able to help daughters heal and love no matter how their moms respond. Saying a prayer for you and your mom right now.

  11. I love your story of your relationship with your mom. I too have had those struggles in the past, but God really showed me a few years ago how to get past thinking that my mom, of all people, should be perfect. I am to love her and honor her, no matter what! She is a gift, and she is the only mom I get! Our relationship is so close, honest and loving now, and my heart is happy! 🤗❤ Thanks Sarah!!

    1. And I love your story of your relationship with your mom.! Why is it that daughters think their mom should be perfect? I see this desire in my young daughters as well. I’m digging deep, trying to get to the root of it, trusting that God will continue to show me the path to healing and restoration so I can continue to encourage others. I view my mom as a gift now too, and we have enjoyed so much closeness and true intimacy in the past year. It’s the one relationship I can take no credit for, as it was all God’s doing and I am forever grateful.

  12. Wow, what a beautiful insight. I used to have a very toxic relationship with my Mother. One day God spoke to me about it, saying I was putting unfair expectations on her. She isn’t well, she isn’t capable of nurturing me. He sent others who were. Once I accepted her just as she was and I realized all I really needed was Jesus, it was like a weight was lifted. I forgave her, Him, and myself. I have much more joy now.

    1. Amen! That is exactly how it happens, isn’t it? He gives us the ability to see people through His eyes and our disappointment is replaced with compassion. Thank you for taking the time to share your encouraging story. This is exactly what I am praying will happen in the hearts of the other daughters/mothers who are struggling to love one another well.

  13. I love your testimony of how God restored your relationship with your mom. Thanks for sharing this. I think it is easy to get caught up in the expectations we have of people, but it changes things a lot if we focus on loving them. Visiting from Porch Stories.

    1. We do have such high expectations for others. God has been working on my heart for years in this area. Godly relationships are about filling our hearts with His love and sharing that love with others through service, sacrifice, and selflessness. I think family relationships are the toughest because we’ve just been in them longer (more time for bad habits) and it’s easy to think that family should be different somehow.

  14. Sarah- thank you for sharing your story and your relationship with your mom.
    I don’t have the relationship that I want with me mom, maybe I’ve been looking at it wrong. I’m going to have to re-read this and ponder if I’m the wrong one!
    Blessings to you!

    1. Julie, it is so difficult to transition from a childish (self-centered) relationship with a parent to an adult (self-less) relationship. I found that my family relationships were the last ones to get the memo that I’d grown up! It’s funny how that works, but I know I’m not alone in this struggle. Sometimes there’s no “wrong one” in the relationship, but there’s simply something different you can do that you haven’t thought to do before. Forgiving my mom really freed me up to love her better, helped to calm my emotions and gave me the strength to treat her with the respect she deserves. I love that the commandment to “honor your mother and father” doesn’t come with an exception clause (when they deserve it).

  15. Sarah, Such honest words and truth you shared. Thank you. It encourages (and challenges) me when I think about my own relationships, with my mother and others, to ask if I am waiting for them to come to me, or if I can take the initiative to offer grace, love and kindness to them without waiting for any reciprocation. Thank you 🙂

    1. It’s difficult to be selfless in our relationships, but I really do believe that is what God asks of us. To love people because He loves us…

      Thanks for stopping by and I’m praying that God blesses your relationships as you seek to take the initiative.

  16. Thank you, Sarah. I resonate with your mom a bit here. I have a daughter with whom I was incredibly close in her preteen years, only to lose her for quite a while before she found her way back. Still, she is not the person she was then, and we are working to rebuild a relationship with two very different people than when things went wrong. It’s weird and hard and, if we can believe it, beautiful. Thanks for the daughter perspective.

    1. It took me a full 15 years to find my way back to my mom, to heal from the discord of my teen years and really learn how to have an adult relationship with her. It’s like it took 15 years and then happened overnight. Does that make sense? Once God really reavealed my role in the relationship, and helped me to see my mom through His eyes, everything changed and I began to experience such freedom. Praying the same for you and your daughter.

      Another thought. Throughout this process, my mom and I have really learned how to talk about our different perceptions of what happened between us. Some things that really affected me, she simply has no memory of. It’s been a process but I believe we are both starting to understand how things went wrong and that it wasn’t really either of our faults. Just the consequence of being human. We’ve had more conversations than I can count that have ended in tears, but through it all we were able to move beyond it all.

  17. My relationship with my mom was pretty rocky, but it’s good now. It can definitely be a hard thing to deal with.

    Now I’m praying for wisdom as I build relationships with my 2 daughters.

    As for the t-shirt design, I’d incorporate Rom 8:28 – or the words Faith, Believe, Trust

    1. It is complicated to say the least, that is for sure. So happy to hear you’ve found a way to be in a healthy relationship with your mom, that is definitely the first step to building healthy relationships with your own children. As I’ve spoken to women about this topic, I’ve discovered that most women who have healthy relationships with their moms go on to have healthy relationships with their kids.

  18. Sarah, I so appreciate your post and the others about your relationship with your mother. I grew up with lots of disfunction as a result of choices my mother made, especially the men she married. For most of my life, I chose to believe my mother was a sweet, innocent victim who happened to have poor judgement when it came to men. Since she came to live with us a year and a half ago, the truth has come crashing in on my mother fantasy. I haven’t dealt with reality well, processing repressed hurts for the first time and current pain from choices she made and continues to make. I know I must let go of the mother of my dreams and forgive, accept, and love my real imperfect mother. God is faithful, and He will give me the power to be the daughter He has called me to be and love her well. Thanks for all the honesty about your relationship becoming beauty from ashes! By the grace of God, it will happen to us, too!

    1. Cheryl, thank you for trusting me with a piece of your mother-daughter story. I do think that daughters eventually lose their rose-colored glasses, some sooner…others later…but all of us struggle to adjust to seeing our mom for who she really is. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, ” I know I must let go of the mother of my dreams and forgive, accept, and love my real imperfect mother.” That is exactly what God has asked of us, yet we must rely on Him to give us strength to do it. God’s love is a game changer, Cheryl. I’ve known it for my whole life, but it wasn’t until I asked Him to show me how He loves my mom that I experienced it in such a profound and life-changing way. To have unconditional love flowing out of your heart (not forcing it, not acting it, but really truly feeling it) is the greatest gift God could ever have given us. Sometimes the only way to get to that place of unconditional love is to walk through the pain of our past! Trusting God is with you ever step of the way, protecting and guiding you.

  19. I love your honesty and openness here. This message is such an inspiration with me and my story with my parents. To surrender my ashes and to take up pursuit of them. It is a gentle balance with so much brokenness, but God can restore! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Take up pursuit of them! I love how you said that, Nicole. It’s difficult to pursue someone who has hurt you, isn’t it? Even if that hurt was unintentional, it takes so much courage to turn around, go back, forgive, and love that person. The most beautiful thing about God is He has the power to change our hearts, really change them, soften them, fill them, encourage them. When we invite God into the brokenness and pain, He heals us in a way that our parents never, ever could. And once we are healed, we are free to love. It’s definitely a process, but God graciously walks with us through it all. Saying a prayer over your family relationships right now.

  20. You’ve got me thinking about how as we draw nearer to God, he changes our relationships here on earth – the hard ones, the distances ones, the complicated ones. I guess they don’t always change the way we want them to, but the’s definitely the One who can restore the brokenness. Thanks for sharing at #PorchStories.

    1. He does change us, and as we change, so do our relationships. You are so right about how they don’t always change how we’d like. Unfortunately relationships always include two parties, and if both aren’t willing to change, some things will never change. What I love the most about God is that He can heal us, make us complete, irregardless of how broken others are (or choose to remain). That’s the real gift.

  21. This is a great post Sarah. I too have had a contentious relationship with my mom. It has only recently changed for the better this last year. But she is not a Christian so I am still praying for her. Thanks for the reminder to love her as Jesus would. A neighbor from Grace and Truth.

    1. Stephanie, I have many friends who have openly and honestly shared their struggles to love their unsaved mom well. It’s a different kind of struggle from the one my mom and I face, because apart form Christ, real heart-change is impossible. Praying that God allows you to become a beacon of light in your mom’s life.

  22. Thanks for the giveaway – This isn’t very spiritual, but it might be fun to have my blog’s tagline on a t-shirt, “living between whimsy & reality.” I keep meaning to develop this more on my blog, BUT oh I need more time in a day! 🙂

    1. I love your tagline, you so need that shirt! You should ask Brenna from Elly and Grace to make you a custom shirt with her sparkly letters. Such fun!

  23. What a beautiful testimony of God’s grace. Part of my healing has been learning to forgive my mom for not being who I needed her to be and not knowing what I needed. Thank the Lord He always has!

    1. “Forgiving her for not knowing what you needed.” That is such a huge thing! I’ve had to work through this myself. It’s amazing how complex the mother-daughter relationship is, and how deep of a pain broken expectations and unmet needs cause. It’s so true that young girls rarely know what they need/want from their mom, they don’t have the maturity to put words to it, yet the longing exists and affects the relationship in such a profound way.

  24. This is so beautifully written and so true.

    My mom and I had once had a relationship like this, but we talked everything through, prayed together, and let Him do His healing through us. It almost got bad when I lost my son Isaac at 18 weeks.

    My mom was at every appointment, asked doctors questions I didn’t have the strengthen to, she was in the room when the doctor told us Isaac had caught an infection and was dying, and held my hand through the most painful and worse day of my life. Weeks later, I remember vividly shouting at me and screaming I don’t know how to help you, Lord take her pain away and fix my anger. Few days after, she just kept saying I’m sorry and I didn’t know how to help you.

    Four months later, our relationship is stronger than ever! Even though my first mother’s day is around the corner along with Isaac’s due date, I know it will be painful for both of us and we both pray that God will hold us up that day.

    1. Honest and humble conversation + prayer is the best way to mend fractured relationships. It’s not easy though, is it Sarah? But I’m so glad you found the courage to work through this process. God knew you’d need your mom and gave you both the strength to come together and move beyond the barriers of your past.

      I am so sorry for your loss, sweetie. I remember my first Mother’s Day after miscarrying our first child. I knew I was a mother, I knew that precious baby was in heaven, but the rest of the world didn’t see me as a mom. I think that’s the part that hurt the most. Just like you, my mom was there for me. She bought me flowers, pink roses. I still have a few of them, dried and in a special memory box. I’ve written more here: Loss, Sorrow, and Celebration

  25. I don’t know that I will ever have a good relationship with my mother, but it won’t be out of resentment or clinging to the past. Knowing that God works all things for the good of those that love Him keeps me from harboring frustrations and allows me to handle any uncomfortable situations that may develop with grace and love. Blessed that God has done a beautiful work in your own relationship. <3

    1. I love the scripture that says, “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with all men.” It doesn’t say you will actually be able to live at peace with all men, it just says that we must do our part. There is such peace that comes from knowing you’ve done your best, regardless of how the other person responds.

  26. Thank you for the reminder for what peace and joy in restoring relationships can be, especially mother- daughter relationships!!! Moms can be tough be they are always right and always wants what’s best for you!!!

    1. I am so happy to know our story is an encouragement to you, Crystal. It’s not an easy road to walk, but it is wonderful when you invite God to walk with you and teach you how to navigate the rough terrain.

  27. Love it Sarah! Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I am convinced that this is the key to all healthy relationships – not focusing on the disappointments from the past or your expectations for the future – but instead asking God to help you love the other person just as they are.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Sally. It truly is the key to healthful relationships. But it requires a lot of heart work, laying down of self, and filling up on Jesus.

  28. This is so beautiful. Thank you for being so real and vulnerable in sharing your story. I know many relationships will change for the better because of your honesty! I’m definitely sharing this!!! 💛🐝💛

    1. Erika, I was just talking with my mom over lunch yesterday and we both agree it’s been worth the struggles to get where we are at. We are so grateful God is using our story.

  29. Sarah, I loved how you shared your heart here today. My story is similar, and you’ve inspired me to look at the situation as half-full. Thank you, dear sister in Christ!

    1. Oh, Sarah. Bless your heart. Moms are the best and the worst of us all wrapped up together and it can all be so confusing. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in my struggles. Praying you find strength to love her well, and honor God in how you honor her. And I pray that God’s love tears down walls and brings you both to a special place of new warmth and intimacy in the upcoming year.

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