If this doesn’t touch and inspire you, you should probably have your pulse checked. A teenage girl who’s been following on the God52 journey writes about how this week’s peacemaking challenge has forced her to confront some big issues.
To start with complete honesty, I’ve been dreading a challenge like this. Dreading a time when I would be prompted to do what I’ve been putting off for years and years.
My relationship with my mum has always been fairly patchy, to say the least. A lot of my childhood was spent with my dad as my brother needed many hospital appointments after he was born. The more time my mum spent with my him, the more I would feel she wasn’t interested in me and what I was doing. As I grew up I couldn’t seem to do anything right; I was shouted at a lot. That was probably my own fault; as no one is a perfect kid and I definitely wasn’t. But this continued.
Growing up into teenage years, I tried my hardest to please my mum, and be the daughter she wanted me to be, but this was hard and rows and arguments began to emerge. When this happened I would always, and still do, back out of whatever was going on. I’d let her win; she was probably right anyway. I’d go away feeling weak and hurting, and would long for peace to return and still the air again. Don’t get me wrong, she is a really really fantastic mum and I’m extremely lucky to have her, but we have our clashes and I also happen to have a popular/funny brother who she takes interest in, and I don’t blame her for that.
So on the topic of forgiveness and peacemaking… well, this relationship could really do with some of that. The whole situation has lead to me feeling useless and unwanted in my everyday life too, and a truth that I’m scared to admit is that I cannot remember the last time I’ve felt genuinely wanted by someone, because if I can’t do anything right for my mum or be enough for her, then I can’t understand why I would be for someone else. Including God.
So as much as I’m a sinner, I needed God’s strength to break this barrier holding my relationship with my mum back, and for peace to enter and be present in every conversation and situation.
After backing out and changing subject many times, I sat down and talked with her. Talked properly and deeply, something we rarely do. What was said is far too long for the space I have, but it focused on me, which again, we rarely talked about. Afterwards, the forgiveness that I’d tried to grant again and again seemed suddenly freed. It seemed easy to forgive her, to forgive myself for the way we’d both acted. I realised that for years I’d held a hurt which now was easing. God was very much in that conversation, crafting both our hearts towards each other in ways that would both help us, and helping me to realise my mum’s heart was for me the whole time, which reduced me to tears.
So the thing I learnt from this week’s challenge was to freely forgive. It was extremely tough but tonight I laid something at God’s feet that was so massive, I’d never felt I could even bring it to Him before. He delivered, with healing and forgiveness. Next week I have no idea what’s in store, but whatever happens I am loved, by my mum, and even more importantly by God. I’ve learned that to freely forgive can ease the hurt and pain inside. God freely forgives us for absolutely anything that we do, and we should aim to follow His example and do the same.
The writer is a 17 year old girl from England.