Fiercely Loving My Perfectly Imperfect Mom
In John 13, Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Jesus set the bar pretty high, didn’t He?
At first glance, it seems like He is asking a lot of us.
But if you take a moment to dig deeper, you will discover the true beauty of this passage.
When we learn to be fiercely His, we are free to love others fiercely.
I want to share a story with you today; one that demonstrates the power of God’s Holy Word to transform the broken pieces of our lives into something beautiful and full of purpose.
The two main characters in this story are me (the dissatisfied and disillusioned daughter) and my mom (the distant and disheartened mother).
Yes, this story is about the complex relationship between a mother and her adult daughter.
Every Hollywood film has a victor and a villain, but you would be gravely mistaken if you attempted to cast my mother or me in either of these roles.
In real life, our Great Victor is always Jesus Christ and the villain is none other than…you guessed it…Satan.
You will discover, as this story unfolds, that the only way to overcome obstacles in relationship is to recognize that the true battle is always between the Victor and the villain.In relationships, the true battle is between Jesus Christ and Satan. #fiercelyHis @SarahEKoontz Click To Tweet
Now that we’ve set the stage and established the main characters, it’s time for my story.
I live next door to my mom. She is a beautiful, godly woman. I have always known she loves me.
Yet, I have often struggled to love her well. In fact, I’ve spent years building my case against her.
I’ve got this ideal vision of what a mother should be, and my mom….well….she often fails to live up to the standard I have set for her.
Maybe you can relate?
Each time she falls short of my ideal, my case against her is strengthened and the dissatisfaction grows.
I know my mom loves me, but I just don’t feel loved by her.
The vicious cycle of impossible standards, broken expectations, and unmet needs nearly destroyed me.
Finally, with a tear-stained face and an overwhelming sense of failure in my role as a daughter, I raised my white flag and asked the mighty Victor to battle on my behalf.
I was tired of going through the motions of loving my mom, I felt ugly and unlovely, and in spite of all of her imperfections, I knew she deserved better.
I had mistaken my mom for the villain for far too long; it was time to redirect my arrows at the true enemy of my soul.
An amazing thing happens when we finally reach a place of surrender, when we finally recognize that the villain has duped us and we desperately need to be rescued.
The Victor shows up!
He does not come quietly, He does not move slowly, He emerges onto the scene with great gusto and forces the villain to retreat into hiding.
Jesus Christ asks us to love because we are loved by Him.
Therefore, our love is born out of His love.
We cannot follow this command in our own strength, we cannot manufacture this beautiful love apart from His provision, and we will have no victory over the villain until we are rescued by the Victor.
God’s love empowers us to be lovely.God's love empowers us to be lovely #fiercelyHis @sarahekoontz Click To Tweet
As this revelation seeped into my weary soul, I was overcome by an irresistible sense of peace and hope for the future.
The truth of Jesus’ words in John 13 freed me up to love my mom without expectation or reservation, and our relationship has been transformed.
I no longer wish my mom to be something she will never be, because I do not need her to be more than she is.
I no longer judge and condemn, because I am not judged and condemned.
I no longer feel unlovely because my loveliness is anchored in the redeeming power of God’s love.
The best part of the story is that it’s not over yet.
Not even close!
My mom and I are truly enjoying each other in a way that I had only ever dreamed of, and when we are together, I feel God’s love pouring out of me.
Are you struggling to love your parent, spouse or child? I encourage you to ask God for the faith to believe and apply the radical truth of John 13.
The victor is waiting to rescue you, to redeem your story, and to teach you how to be fiercely His.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Koontz invites women of all ages to explore the beauty of God’s design. She is 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. Read more of Sarah’s writing at SarahKoontz.com.
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