Let yourself off the hook...God has!
And all thy children shall be
taught of the Lord; and great
shall be the peace of thy
children.
 Isaiah 54:13
The Word For Women Network  An Interactive Ministry
A Mother’s Story           by Bernadette Love

Mother’s Day hasn’t always been a happy time for me.  My mother has gone on to be with the Lord and I
am still dealing with that loss.  But, I know that she is now resting in the arms of Jesus.  
I did know the joy
of motherhood.  
 I have been blessed with two wonderful children and six beautiful and healthy
grandchildren.  So, you ask, what was my problem?  
So you ask why weren't they happy times?  I had
some issues that some of you may be able to identify with.  Some issues that stole my joy every mother’s
day and every day.  Some issues that gave me no peace…no matter where I was.  You see, I had not let
myself off the hook for some past mistakes that I had made with my children.

Let me explain.  I love my children but I didn’t always thank God for them as I should have.  I was a single
mother and had to drop out of college in my junior year to give birth.  Now, this was not my daughter’s fault.  
And though I loved her from the moment that they placed her in my aching arms, I never got over the fact
that I had made a mistake.  Over time, I learned to deal with my “mistake” and I poured myself into being a
good mother.  Then, wow, it happened again.  I found myself pregnant only this time I got married, for all
the wrong reasons.  I loved my son, from the moment they allowed me to look upon his t
iny, premature
face, I loved him.  But here again, another “mistake”.   At that time, I didn’t look at either as gifts from God, I
only saw my short comings.  I tried to be the best mother that I could, under the circumstances.  But, I had
fallen short in my eyes.

As the years passed, my children grew and flourished, or so I thought.  You see, I was so wrapped up in
my own pain, my own guilt, my own junk, that I was not there for them emotionally.  I made sure that they
had clean underwear on each day, just in case there was an accident or something.  I made sure that they
had food to eat, that just seemed the right thing to do.  I took them to the doctor when they needed it.  I saw
to their daily needs…or so I thought.  I spent the better part of my days feeling sorry for myself about the
way that my life had turned out.  I was in a loveless marriage that was a constant source of pain and
humiliation for me.  I spent the better part of my energy trying to make something out of nothing instead of
putting my energy to better use, like getting involved in the PTA or being a little league mom, or….

Can anyone relate to this?  I asked God to forgive me for my shortcomings, my regrets, but, I refused to let
myself off the hook and forgive myself.  Even though my children loved me, I felt certain that they could not
have respected me, I didn’t respect myself.  I knew that they would always love me, but I didn’t love myself.  
How could I?  The enemy wouldn’t allow me to forgive myself.  You see, he knew the minute that I forgave
myself, learned to love myself, learned to like who I am, I would become a vessel that God could use.  Are
you at that point, harboring that hurt that nobody knows about but you and God?  Is it time to let yourself off
the hook so that God can do what he always planned to do with you from the beginning of time?  I think
so!!!!

If this is your story, today, give yourself the greatest Mother’s Day gift that you could imagine.  Let yourself off
the hook, forgive yourself for those moments when you didn’t act like June Cleaver (old school, real old
school).  Forgive yourself for the past mistakes, errors in judgment that  may have prevented you from
being the mother that you always dreamed you would be…and go on.  God not only forgave me but he gave
me a second chance to be the mother that I always wanted to be.  He restored to me my self worth and
thereby allowed me the opportunity to give all the love that has been locked away for years!

Your story may be a little different.  Maybe you don’t struggle with the regret of an unplanned pregnancy.  
Your regret may be something totally different, but the result is the same.  If you have ANYTHING that you
have not let go of that is weighing you down and making you feel like less than the person that God made
you to be…now is the time to let it go.  God never intended for us to live with regret…but the enemy does.  
Decide today that this is your day to walk away from your past hurts and pain.  Don’t allow the enemy to
steal one more day of joy from you.

Heavenly Father,  thank you for another Mother’s Day.  Thank you that in spite of ourselves, your love
and mercies are new every morning.  Thank you for the gift of your darling Son that allows us to even
call you Father.  As a mother who has lived with regrets, I want to take a moment and pray for my
brothers and sisters who are yet living with the burden of regret.  Your Word says that we have all
sinned and come short of your glory.  Though our heads tell us this, it’s hard sometimes to accept it in
our hearts, especially when it concerns our children.    For the times when we were not the parents
that we knew we should have been but desired to be…forgive us.  For the times when we allowed other
things, like our own desires, to become more important than our children…forgive us.  For the times
that they didn’t always see you in us…forgive us.  For the times when we made decisions, outside your
perfect will, that were not in the best interest of the children…forgive us.  For the times that our
lifestyles and the choices that we made, made you look like you didn’t exist…please forgive us.  Your
Word says that when we repent and ask for forgiveness that you hear and are faithful to forgive….so
we thank you.  Now Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to forgive ourselves and go on.   Amen