Message from Olive Chapel

In six days God created the earth, and everything in it, but his final touch was the creation of woman. She is the representation of God’s gentle, relational, and beautiful side. She is mother. The cool touch of her hand on a feverish forehead, her gentle kiss on a throbbing boo-boo, her warm embrace after a heart break, the welcoming smell of home cooked meals on holidays. All of this and more is the love of a mother. There is something wonderful and healing about a mother’s love. She is our life giver, and our biggest fan.

Mothers also love in spite of great pain. A mother feels the pain of the sleepless nights during infancy, the rebellion of the teenage years and the frustrations that comes in those toddler years. Mothers can feel harsh judgment of onlookers who say, “If that were my child I would...” but in the end, the pain and the sacrifice doesn’t matter to her. She loves fiercely.

I have talked to people who have lost their mothers, and all have told me that there is something very sacred about the bond we have with our mothers. It’s something you don’t realize until they are gone. It makes sense; our mother is there with us at our very beginning. She nurtures and protects our unformed body. She knew about our existence before anyone else did. We were connected for nine months. No matter what kind of relationship we had with her after we were born, she was our safety before we were born. It is a bond that cannot be broken.

Despite her strength, mothers are up against a terrible enemy, an enemy that causes her a lot of pain. It is called mom guilt, and the struggle is very intense for many.

Some moms think they should always put their children first, so in spite of their own struggles with divorce, depression, or other life challenges, they put on a happy face and press through. Some moms think they must protect their children from any kind of heartbreak or disappointment. This of course is not possible, but they will blame themselves for not shielding their child when life happens. Some mothers blame themselves for her children’s failures, taking on responsibly that are not hers. I know many mothers who struggle with the pressure of self inflicted mom guilt. I know my mother has wrestled with it, and I too am a mother who fights it.

This year, if your mom is still accessible to you, I would encourage you to consider how you may touch her heart by acknowledging her sacrifices. Tell her about your favorite memories of her. Tell her where she got it right. And if it is needed, let her know that it is okay that she wasn’t always perfect. If your mother has passed on or for some other reason is inaccessible I would encourage you to take some time to reflect on her sacrifices and honor her from a distance.

To be fair, I want to speak to the pain of those who do not feel the love of their mother. Though the bond is real and unbreakable, it is sadly true that there are the cases where a mother is unable to parent her children well. She may abandon her child; she may not be emotionally present to her child, she may cause great pain to her child, she may not have appropriately protected her child. Those cases are hard to understand, but when asked the mother usually answers that she still feels the bond to her child. I do not want to undermine the pain that is inflicted in those situations. I do not want to forget to speak to those situations. The disconnect is usually due to her demons that she could not overcome.

For some moms, it is too painful to acknowledge the mistakes they have made and so, they paint an inaccurate picture of the relationship they have with their children, and that is harmful too. To those mothers I would say, it is never too late to heal the relationship with your child. To the children of those mothers, I would say I am sorry you could never get the felt sense of your mothers love. To the childless women I would say, you don’t have to be a biological parent to make an impact in a child’s life, surrogate moms make an impact too. Moms are God’s gift to humanity.

Olive Chapel is not meeting at this time, however I would encourage you to call Olive Chapel and leave a message if you are looking for a place of worship. 574-654-3615

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