Stressful, stretching motherhood: Sunday takeout

Yesterday we had the Mother’s Day sermon, which was a little more pointed than usual in that it was presented by a ministry couple, one of whom is pregnant and ready to pop. I’m truly in awe of these younger women who are able to stand on their feet for so long while carrying the ultimate pack on their front, not their back.

We heard lots of motherhood jokes, and a sermon about Mary, and some painfully poignant words about stressed and unresolved relationships with mothers and fathers.

I thought about a friend (a professional counselor) who wondered this week not whether she was messing up her kids but how.

And I also thought about how God has been particularly gracious in helping me to overcome some frustrations with things past.

Forgiveness isn’t supposed to depend on understanding. We aren’t supposed to need to know why someone is how they are to be able to forgive them. Ultimately, the answer is always the same: they are that way because they’re human, which means they’re fallen. What God intended to show in them is marred by the sins of others, and what they attempt to be is marred by their own sins.

But God is sometimes kind. Sometimes God allows us to see just enough to know — or at least to have reasonable suspicion — how a particular hurtful pattern was developed. We realize the pattern may have been hurtful to us, but truly had nothing to do with us. And it becomes easier to forgive.

Has a surprising insight ever helped you to forgive?


About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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