My mother’s daughter

I’ll be honest – I haven’t trusted much in God’s sovereignty.

I have to explain: this has everything to do with my mother.

When my mom was in her twenties, she was a full-time missionary. She spoke in churches all over the South. She wanted to be the next Elizabeth Eliot, sharing the gospel, writing books, doing big things for God. She had high aspirations.

But deep down, she wanted to be married. She wanted children. So she married my birth father, a man who was desperately in love with her but that she didn’t love back.

Through this marriage, she began to regret walking away from her missionary life. She also had a mental health crisis, one in which she could not distinguish between reality and fantasy.

It was during this time that she met the man she would have an affair with. A man she thought would rescue her from the mistakes she had made. Because he was going to seminary to be a pastor.

So she took her two young daughters and moved with this man to Texas, divorcing her husband and remarrying. She would be a pastor’s wife and in that way, would reclaim the ministry she had forsaken.

But life didn’t go as planned. My stepdad walked away from his faith. She became a nurse and mother of 5 children and when I was 18, she sat on the floor of my bedroom in tears, lamenting over the life she had lost.

There was a shift that happened in me that day. I felt immobile to make decisions. I couldn’t date. Not well anyway. I could never make decisions about a college major or career.

Because ultimately, I didn’t believe in God’s sovereignty. I didn’t believe He was with me in my decisions. Even when I made plans, they fell apart. I didn’t trust myself and I didn’t trust God.

My biggest fear was stepping outside of the plans God had for my life and waking up one day, years later, regretting the choices I had made.

But I was and am my mother’s daughter. I wanted to get married, but I was stuck by my fears. So I was only attracted to unavailable men. My first love was a man who relocated to Africa. I liked men with girlfriends and men who weren’t interested in me. If at any point I suspected a man was interested, I would run in the opposite direction.

This went on for years, until a few months ago when I threw my hands in the air and acknowledged that I was not living in freedom. I was chained to my fear.

Why did I not believe that the man God had in store for me could love Jesus more than himself?

Why did I have to have a certain career?

There was freedom when I began to acknowledge that I was not big enough to thwart the life God wanted for me. By refusing to make decisions, I was not living in freedom.

For a long time, I thought the reason I was single was because of my disability or because I was too loud or not blonde enough. If I am honest about my life, there have been several good men in my life who showed interest. I was just too scared to open myself up to the possibility of a relationship and especially marriage.

I’ve realized I can move forward without fear of the future. If I make a mistake, God will still be with me.

Freedom is acknowledging that you have the Holy Spirit in you, guiding you towards God’s will. You just have to say yes and move in action.

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