By: Diamond Rivera
Psalm 27:10 “When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take care of me.”
Most of the people I know have a parent, that in one way or another, has been involved in their life. These individuals have been loved, influenced and corrected by the parental figures in their lives. I believe those are the responsibilities of a parent; along with, shepherding the heart, body, and mind of their children. Whether or not the parent is a believer there is a sense of love and protection that kicks in once the child is born; however, it all seems to go by so fast. It can be bittersweet to see your children grow up so fast and hit milestones that eventually will lead them to adulthood. I often wonder how my beautiful 7.7 lb baby girl, who was born after an intense 24 hour labor, is so grown up!
It is by God’s Grace alone that I have been able to cultivate a heart and mindset to be the mother that my children need. I was not raised by invested parents; therefore, I must accredit this to God and the love He displayed on the cross toward me.
I hold the following verse very dear to my heart: “When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take care of me (Psalm 27:10). The reality of being “forsaken” has had a large impact on me as a woman, a wife, and a mother. My father was an addict who chose drugs over me. He had the responsibility of investing in me and loving me, but instead, he chose something that had a hold on him and that I could not compete against. At the age of nine, my father left me in an unexpected trucking accident no one could have predicted. During this grieving period my mother became pregnant with twins and suffered every complication imaginable. For the first time in my life I met the monster she had been battling against for years. My mother was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression. She suffers from anxiety attacks, among other physical ailments. I have seen my mother in such difficult physical and mental states. Due to her mental illnesses, somewhere, between the ages of 12-15, I felt emotionally and physically abandoned by my mother even though we lived in the same home. I felt as if she wasn’t even there. I resented my mom, wishing and wondering why I couldn’t have the relationship I desired and needed from her. Why didn’t I have a mother I could trust? Why didn’t I have a mother who was there for me when I needed her? When my heart was broken I didn’t have a mother to run to. These were questions that I asked myself over and over again; however, at the age of seventeen, I found someone who loved me in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and that person is Jesus Christ.
Shortly after I surrendered my life to Christ, one of my main desires was to be a good mother one day. I loved the idea of being married and starting a family. God heard my heart’s desire because that is exactly what He gave me. With all the excitement that motherhood has brought me, it’s also brought about fears and doubts. I believe every parent questions their abilities, to some extent. Being responsible for another human life is crazy and pretty terrifying! Now as for me, the thought that has plagued my mind is that I never had an exemplary parent in my life. That fact lead to me believe that without that model I wouldn’t be able to parent well. Most of all, I wondered who I would go to for help or to answer my questions? My worth as a mother has been connected to my insecurities and the “Am I good enough?” mentality.
I felt as if I was set up to fail… BUT GOD!!! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a good future.” I now look back and see God’s providence and what He was allowing, with purpose, for His glory, and for the future of my children. My husband tells me, in my times of doubt, that I am a great mother to our kids as a result of what I went through as a child and not in spite of it. My lack became their gain. My struggle became their strength. As long as I have breath and Christ sustains me, my kids will always have someone they can count on. They will have someone they can run to in times of need and someone that will never abandon them. I try my best to remind them daily that everything we have is because of God. I am their mommy because He saw it fit to use me to love them. What a privilege that is! So, I would like to encourage you by saying that whenever doubt creeps its ugliness into your head, be reminded that God chose you! He sees you in a way no one else does and loves you like no one else can. With this example of sacrificial and unconditional love, how can we not strive to be great parents? God the Father has parented me in ways that I hope to parent my own children.
As for my mom, I am pleased to say that I adore her. God has removed and healed the feelings of resentment and abandonment. I have come to understand her condition and extend forgiveness and grace for the hurt I endured. I have been able to come to terms knowing that my mother has loved me the best way she has knows how to love me. I pray that one day she would know God as her Father, so that I can be hand-in-hand with her worshipping Him for eternity.
– Diamond Rivera