Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries
On February 11, I wrote a blog post entitled “To the Grown Daughter who has Failed to Love Her Mother Well…”
In this post, I shared openly and honestly about the many ways I had failed to love my mother well and how it had negatively impacted our relationship. The root of the problem was my unwillingness to forgive her for the times she had failed to live up to my expectations.
The unforgiveness in my heart almost destroyed us both, until I found the strength to ask God to show me a better way.When I realized how destructive unforgiveness was, I asked God to show me a better way.
At the end of the post, I made this commitment to my mother:
A clean slate.
An unconditional love.
These gifts are not mine to offer, but I know the One who is the giver of all good gifts.
And I will ask Him each morning for the strength to see you through His eyes, to love you with His love.
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.
In the three months since I penned these words, my relationship with my mom has been completely transformed.
My choice to clean the slate and love unconditionally has released me from decades of dissatisfaction and opened up the floodgates of blessing in my life.
It’s time to share the rest of the story.
It’s time to tell you what lays on the other side of forgiveness.
It’s time to talk about freedom.
Last night, my mom took the time to write a comment on my original blog post from February 11.
Her words are so heartfelt and true, and I am blessed to be able to share them with you today.
A Message from my Mom…
It has been a few months now since all of this has happened and it was an answer to prayer and ordained by God. I want to share with any who what to listen, the walls have come down.
Yes, there was a stronghold, a wall that had been built between us over many years and once we were able to share from out hearts and God ministered, it has disappeared.
I feel so loved and accepted by my daughter now. I feel free to be who I really am, and feel her love.
I am so attracted to her!! I want to talk to her every day and it is so easy now. When I see her, I see the love coming through her eyes and feel it in my heart. Yes, it is Jesus.
It his His love that she loves me with. How could it be more perfect?
Thank you, Lord for speaking to my daughter and healing my wounds as well as hers. You are alive! Waiting, wanting us to enjoy you and each other!
This is the greatest gift I could every receive from her. I am very grateful.
Oh if only more people could wipe the slate clean and enjoy love again. There is no greater thing!
And if you are a Christian and have asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, He waits for you to turn to Him, confess your sin and receive forgiveness.
Once you receive his forgiveness, you can forgive others. Please do it!
By the grace of God, my mother’s pain has been replaced with peace, my frustration has been alleviated through forgiveness, and our sadness has been transformed into hope.
Tomorrow is Mother’s day, and it has me thinking of all of the years I have struggled to love my mother well.
I wasted so many years judging, correcting, talking down to, being angry with, feeling justified, being dissatisfied with…my mom.
I thought I hid it well.
I thought I had played the part of a loving daughter to perfection, but when she broke down that day and revealed all of the pain I had caused her, I realized that my act had never fooled her.
I am so grateful that our story will not end in sorrow and regret.
I am so grateful that I chose the hard work of forgiveness and restoration, that I discovered a whole new way to approach my relationship with my mom.
Everything my mom said was true.
I am now free to love her completely and without reservation.
The only explanation I can muster is that my decision to wipe the slate clean allowed me to see my mom through Jesus’ eyes and love her with Jesus’ love.
His supernatural intervention allowed me to rebuild and restore what Satan had spent years tearing down and trampling.We do not love people because they are worthy, we love them because Jesus commands it of us.
And He is faithful!
When we choose love, for His sake, we are released from the bondage of sin and unforgiveness.
If you are feeling stuck in your relationship with your mom, choose love and forgiveness today.
Even if the relationship is not restored, as it was in my story, God will bring great freedom and peace into your life when you choose this path.If you are feeling stuck in your relationship with your mom, choose love and forgiveness today.
Sometimes forgiveness restores a relationship, but most of the time, forgiveness simply frees the forgiver up from the bondage of the past.
My prayer for you this Mother’s day, is that you choose to do everything in your power to live at peace with your mom.
Maybe she will respond with love and a warm embrace, and maybe she will reject your peace offering, but either way…you will be free!
Because forgiveness wipes the slate clean and allows you to begin to create a different kind of future for yourself, a future that is not restrained by the chains of your past.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 (NIV)
If you are struggling in your relationship with your mom, 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?
I would love to have a conversation about choosing love and forgiveness in the comments.
I know firsthand how difficult it can be to offer it without reservation or expectation.
If you have a story to tell, a question to ask, a frustration to share….I am here to listen and to pray for you. All you have to do is drop me a note using the form on our “CONNECT” page.
My mom and I have made a commitment to spending time together every week. Whether it be a coffee date or a hike in the woods, we are regularly investing time and energy into knowing and loving one another better. The images used in this post were captured on one of our mother-daughter days as we enjoyed a hike together in the beautiful Black Hills.