Whether it be a look, a touch, a smile, or even just the way she breathes, moms have a special way of communicating love that transcends language, time, space, and age.
So this past weekend my mom, AKA my best friend, visited me in NYC. And it was, in a word: magnificent.
But I’m not going to bore you with the specifics. Yes, we “did up” Broadway. Yes, we ate some delicious food and went shopping, and had beautiful “heart to hearts” over wine. That’s all well and good. But that’s not the point of this post.
What I want to talk to you about is relationships. Specifically broken relationships.
Because for as incredibly close as my mom and I are now, there was a period of time (during my anorexia) when our relationship was full of pain.
One of the most tragic things for the loved ones is having to watch their daughter (or son) or friend or sister literally waste away, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually, and not be able to do anything about it.
So naturally, this puts a lot of stress on the relationship.Interactions consist of flared arguments over calories and intake, and inpatient and food and the future and you name it. Everyone’s on a short fuse. And everyone is hurting.
And eating disorders aren’t the only culprit for strained relationships: financial issues, worries of infidelity, not seeing eye to eye on important issues, feeling hurt or judged, stresses from life, holding a grudge, jealousy, comparison — all these things can contribute to brokenness and rocky relationships.
And if any of that sounds slightly familiar, here’s what I want you to hear tonight:
Broken relationships can heal.
My mom and I have always been best friends. Ever since childhood, she has always been my biggest fan, and I, hers. We’ve taken mother-daughter trips, pulled pranks on one another, shared our hearts with each other, and loved each other. Our hearts, quite honestly, were one.
But during my disease, I completely abused that love. I lied to her. Flat out. All the time. About my eating disorder, intake, exercise, whereabouts, etc. I would explode in rage at her. I would manipulate her. Push her love away.
And there’s only one way that this was possible: forgiveness.
It was all her. With the help of Him.
My mother is truly incredible, and I am forever grateful for her forgiveness.
You see, she realized that it was not me, but my anorexia that was doing all of those hurtful things to her.
And even though she was wounded to the core, she found the strength to love me through that dark period of my life, and meet me on the other side with open arms and a loving heart.
When you’re in the thick of a broken relationship, you can feel hopeless. Utterly. Like your relationship will never be the same again. You’re hurt. You’re angry. You’re sad and depressed. But take heart, because it can heal.
You can get back to that place of love again. To that place of safety and trust again.
It takes humility to ask for forgiveness and grace to give it. Grace, which frankly, only comes from Above.
It will take those things to heal. And time. And work — Rebuilding trust, reestablishing the new normal, the new rapport, the new connection. But one day, you’ll realize that things have picked up right where they’ve left off.
Broken relationships never have to be permanent.
Everyday I’m grateful for my mom and for her love. She is my rock. And even though there was a dark period where I abused that love and trust, we have put the pieces back together, and in all honestly have become stronger because of it.
So too, with relationships.
So too, with my mother.
So as I sit here, wistfully reflecting on such a marvelous weekend we had together, I am just so poignantly reminded of how far we’ve come. How much we’ve been through. How much she’s been there for me through it all.
And we were once broken.
We were once in a dark place.
But have healed.
So can you. So can that relationship that you’ve given up on. It’s able to be healed. Forgiveness is key. And if you find yourself unable to muster the strength to offer it, find courage and fortitude from Him to do so.