Building your legacy by remembering your own story is so powerful!

To be the mom we want to be to our daughter, it is helpful to look back. When I was in counseling school, I was given a gift through the curriculum. Each student was assigned questions and essays with the topic of looking back on our own lives: history, family dynamics, and how this has affected us. The choice of looking back, remembering, evaluating, forgiving was challenging and life-giving. It continues to enrich my life and my relationships. 

By looking back and asking ourselves questions about our past choices and experiences, we can use our story to enrich our relationships. We can figure out what we want to change and what we want to pass on to our children. To some of you, this exercise might seem life-giving and encouraging. To others, this may  be difficult and it might require some time and prayer to work through these questions. It can be helpful to discuss this with a friend or mentor if some of the answers feel too burdensome. However, when we look back, we open ourselves to heal from things we have carried for too long. When we invite God into our memories and ask Him to heal our heart, we are blessed and so are those who we share our life with.  

Questions about my mom and my relationship:

  • What does my relationship with my mom look like today?
  • What did my relationship with my mom look like while I was growing up?
  • Did we spend time together? Did she encourage me? 
  • As a child and teen, how did I feel about my mom?
  • What did my mom do to make me feel special and treasured?
  • What qualities did she possess that I would like to pass on to my daughter?
  • What are some great things that my mom did that shaped me into who I am today? 
  • What words (positive or negative) did she speak into my life? How has that affected me?
  • What messages did my mom give me that have negatively affected me?
  • What do I wish would have been different? What did I hope for?
  • How have I seen God work in our story or in me (because of our story)?

Moms love their daughters! We love our daughter, we want the best for her and we want her to thrive in life. This is also how our mom feels about us. However, life is hard and most people live out of their pain. If we have been hurt or wounded by our mom, maybe it is not about us, but because she is living out of her own pain. When we look at our own mother’s story, we see her through a new lens. We can choose to forgive the things that have hurt our heart. Even as adult children, we may expect our parents to act differently, but if we look deeply, we can see through a heart of compassion when we see their story.

  • What difficulties has my mom had to overcome?
  • How have her struggles affected our relationship? 
  • What do I need to let go of? (a memory, a conversation, an argument, a feeling)
  • What expectations did/do I have for my mom and our relationship?
  • What do I need to forgive my mom for?

Forgiveness can be a one time act or a continual process. Each time we remember something hurtful, we can choose to forgive again. This is healing. Our mom might continue to hurt our hearts, but when this happens, we can choose forgiveness every time. 

We can embrace forgiveness in different ways, it is powerful to choose to give God the hurtful memories, words, messages and ask Him to heal. 

Thoughts on Forgiveness:

  • Forgiveness is a choice not a feeling. 
  • Forgiveness is continual. 
  • Forgiveness does not mean forgetting.
  • Forgiveness means letting go of bitterness and resentment repeatedly. 
  • Forgiveness is about looking at a person through God’s eyes, seeing how their own pain has shaped them, and loving them there in that place.
  • Forgiveness means choosing to love (and figuring out what love looks like). 
  • Forgiveness is about God taking us by the hand and healing our heart as we let pain go. 

“Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 MSG)

Forgiving frees us to be the mom we want to be for our daughter!

Prayer:

God, I choose to forgive my mom for ______________________________________________. Please heal my heart from_______________________________________________________.  (memories, moments, messages, unmet expectations…) Please take away any bitterness I feel and heal any brokenness in my own heart. Please forgive me for_________________________

____________________________________________________________________________ (bitterness, resentment, words spoken in pain…) and heal my relationship with my mom, so I can live freely in my relationships with my own children. Give me wisdom, discernment, and understanding to know how to be the mom You created me to be. May I be an encouragement, support, safe-place, and reflection of Your love to each of my children. In Jesus name

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