My parents were married July 10, 1982. I was there. Tucked away in my moms belly. Not yet quite a bump. I remember when I first learned, or paid attention to the fact that my parents were married before I was born. It was after my dad left. After my parents started the process of divorce. And I remember thinking, that’s it. That’s why they even got married in the first place. It was MY fault.
To me, my parents were so different. My dad in a few words: wild, carefree, long hair, tattoos, always smelled like grease, gas and oil. Loved his Harley. Alcoholic. My mom in a few words:
loved, no scratch that, because it was more than just love, she lived for her kids. I remember her laugh. Full of crafts and good snacks after school. A warm hug on a bad day. Dressing my sisters and I in the same clothes. (Which my sister hated, and I make fun of my mom for, but secretly have always loved.) Stroganoff. Her laugh. I know I already said this, but seriously! She always seemed to be laughing with us. Talking to us about God. She stayed home with my two sisters and I until my dad left. The woman loved being a mom. The good and hard parts that come along with being a parent. My dad, well, I think he was just glad he didn’t have the majority of the responsibility. He was gone a lot. Worked all over. When he was home, and this was before he started his own mechanic business and was home all the time, I remember loud music, and the smell of beer, his oil truck, and his cat. But I also remember the time he built us a dam in the creek behind the house. We swam in it during the summers, and in the winter he bought us ice skates and we would skate with him. When he was in the mood to play the role of dad and husband, he was awesome. And when he wasn’t, he just didn’t seem to really “be there.” Besides I wasn’t into anything he was-so our relationship was never really a close one. I regret that sometimes.
I lived a long time feeling the pain and responsibility of “making” my parents get married. I chose to be on my moms “side.” She was the one that grew up. When she found out she was pregnant with me, she stopped smoking. I think she turned into a mom and assumed position of family/adult mode from day one. My dad never really grew up. I don’t honestly think he knew how, now that I think about it. I saw all the things my mom did for us, and as I got older, saw how my dad acted. I couldn’t connect with him. There are a few memories I have with him, that I will forever keep tucked away in my little heart. Reminders of who he could have been. Reminders of the fact that he did love me. In his own way.
I’m not sure when my parents stopped loving each other. But even as a kid, you could feel it wasn’t there. Oh, they laughed once in a while together. But honestly, most of the time, I barely remember them even talking. Or else if they were, it was yelling. But mostly, I just don’t remember much interaction at all. And this girl here, was the culprit, or you know, so I thought. Maybe they resented each other because their lives started before they could really think about it. Making them resent me. Maybe that’s why dad wasn’t around for my birth. Or my sisters. We were just reminders of him being stuck somewhere he didn’t want to be. While he acted out…my mom stayed put. She stayed faithful, and loved us girls to max capacity. It still couldn’t shake the feeling, that if it weren’t for me, maybe she would be happier. Living a completely different life. Sometimes when I let myself “go there,” I still wonder how different her life would have turned out had she married someone that cherished her, or for arguments sake, that she cherished in return. Someone she didn’t feel she had to marry, just because she was pregnant with their kid.
I no longer feel the pressing burden every day, that was. The feeling of helplessness and blame. They were adults. They made a choice. And the fact of the matter is; God had and has a plan for my life. THEY didn’t make me. HE did. And blaming myself, blaming my parents means I am blaming Him. And how could I possibly blame the very God that gave me this life?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I cling to this verse. It’s become His everyday promise for me. No matter the trials, struggles, or burdens I face or go through…He has plans for me that far exceed anything I could ever comprehend.
God doesn’t make mistakes. Wherever you are in your life right now, if you draw close to Him, He will prosper you. You may be going through some very real pain. Or you may just be trying to get through the day-to-day trials that life itself brings. But know this: You are here for a purpose. Our Lord did not die on the cross for us, without good reason. He knew each of us then, just as He continues to know each of us now. Our thoughts. Our actions. Our questions. Our struggles. Our joys. Don’t discount Him. Don’t discount this life. Don’t ever question, “why me?” Instead question, “Why NOT me?” He’s preparing us for His Kingdom. You are alive for a reason. You are going through whatever joy or struggle for a purpose. He wants to use us. LET Him use you. Be joyful in knowing that He gave you the gift of life! And find whatever piece of light you have in your life right now, because you DO have it, and use that to inspire you to live for Him. I’m pretty sure that’s how my mom made it. She lived for us, but mostly she lived for Him. She worked three jobs, after not working at all. And still walked in the door with a smile. We tied our car doors closed, because they wouldn’t shut. And still she smiled. On our way to church one morning the car broke down on the side of the road. People that went to our church happened to pass us, and drove us to church. I was embarrassed. My mom? Well, she may have been embarrassed on the inside, but she didn’t show it. Because on the outside, she was laughing.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
This verse was my mom for me, growing up. And this is who I am currently striving to be. Join me. I promise you won’t regret it. Oh, it’s gonna be hard at times. But it will also be so worth it.
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]