A Labor Of Love…
A Mother Holds Her Child’s Hand, For Just A Short Time, But Holds Their Hearts Forever!
As I sat in the chilling and all-too-familiar courtroom making small talk with the surrounding attorneys, fear of doom ushered me right into a place of needed defibrillation. My broken heart could not restore stable rhythm. These palpitations were caused merely by fear!
This courtroom battle is tied with an umbilical cord all around it.
I cherish these rare glimpses of his presence. They fill my depleted heart with warmth and comfort that only he can deliver. I couldn’t wait for this sustainable joy to be released throughout the courtroom when his presence entered.
You see, this joystick I was waiting for is packaged in a 6’5″ bundle of sunshine shackled in chains along with a bright orange county jail uniform. Those brief two- to three-second eye contacts with “I love you, mom” mutters had become the norm and the only visualization I would be blessed with each month for 14 straight months.
I became more acquainted with every inch of his blonde hairline and the back of his head that I once cupped and rubbed as I nursed him, along with witnessing his body language displaying defeat and despair. Weekly visits consist of 30-minute video visitations where I try and share the love with matching colors. Blondes do look great in orange!
From the outside, this photograph above that was taken at Disneyland almost 20 years ago portrays a beautiful family happily on a treasured holiday. What you don’t see is the pain behind the facades painted so brightly. We were as tight and challenged as The Three Musketeers, but without the help emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially from a father figure and familial support, the tight rope became weakened and the roles somehow became displaced.
The payback for surviving this labor of love is oftentimes bittersweet. One must undergo grueling pain and hopelessness before the miraculous occurs!
My heart leans into my source of peace and power for the electrical stimulation to jolt my heart back into normal sinus rhythm by remembering the story of Hagar and Ishmael in the book of Genesis. They were basically cast away, cut off, because they threatened the heir with their existence.
As Hagar leaned in and called out to God in her distress, God met her right where she was and comforted her. She called God “El-Roi,” which in the original Hebrew tongue means “The God who sees” (Genesis 16:13).
I don’t know where you are today, but you are seen by God!
In this bizarre season of despair and fear the past 14 months just waiting for a court trial date, knowing your son feels unseen, worthless, not understood, nor defended, rips this mother’s heart to the core because there’s nothing I can do anymore except to trust the One who is writing my son’s story and to love and support him all I can.
I can do this because I know the Lord hears my relentless cries and pleas for help similar to how God heard Hagar in Genesis 16. God met Hagar right where she was. God continues to meet me right where I am.
People judge. People ostracize. Family ridicules and forsakes. Church members gossip. People fear you. Friends walk away. People demand YOU SHOULD BE DOING X, Y and Z, but fail to do anything except criticize and point fingers. Families divide.
Where’s the Love?
Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty” and “unconditional love”?
God is meeting my son right where he is. This wilderness is exactly the place where my son is seen by God. Not only seen, but now my son understands, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
He can’t run or hide from God in jail. All he can do is look up and see how much God loves him and accepts him just the way he is. He is finally seeing that there is nothing he has to do to be loved by God. It’s not by belief systems, performance, denomination, works, conformity, you name it. His life matters and is worthy to be loved.
I no longer follow the Lord out of fear;
Instead, I follow the Lord out of Love!
I have walked quite a journey with the Lord; learning to follow Him through Love rather than follow Him out of fear. I have learned the meaning behind God’s attributes; His heart, His grace, His deep mercies and His will over time. He has never forsaken me. I am able to trust Him like a child in His provision.
There is nothing more torturous, more indescribable, than the shame and guilt a mother often feels when her child does something wrong, says the wrong thing, doesn’t act a certain way, or cannot fulfill society’s standard of perfection.
When a mother has to come to terms with the imperfections and the incomprehensible conduct of a world demanding perfection with no shortage of flaming arrows of torture, emotional darts of judgment and/or condemnation, life can be brutal at best.
With so much hate in the world, how does one scurry up enough compassion and devotion when your life feels defeated and hopeless?
God knew the solution to my need because He saw me. In simple words, my son said, “Mom, will you pray for me? I need those prayers!”
Mom, will you pray for me? I need those prayers!
The strength found in this umbilical cord that is sustaining and holding together this labor of love is powerful… Power of Prayer!
Ask a mother who’s been pushed to her knees due to a corrupt justice system, excessive force within our correctional facilities, bullying from law enforcement usurping their power and authority, and carrying shame and disgrace from the casting of judgment and condemnation.
I am not going to fear our story, especially when we’re right smack in the middle of it!
Until next time…