When you and Dad died, I wanted to die myself. I mean to die in the most literal sense of the word. I didn’t want to live life without you. I knew things would get better, and I would laugh again, but the time it would take to get to that place sounded painful and exhausting. Instead, I preferred the “just take me home now, Lord” mindset.You always parented me with a heavenly perspective, challenging me to think, act, and behave in a way that aligns with the Word of God. When you died I had to decide if what you taught me was how I wanted to live. I chose Jesus because you made it so perfectly clear that Jesus is the only way, truth, and life (John 14:6). What a gift to have a mom that makes truth clear for her children. Thank you.I went on to experience healing from the pain of your absence. Jesus showed himself so tender and personal. He healed the brokenness and hurt in me that existed long before you died. He walked with me through the painful, ugly, skin crawling things I had done. As I began to confess, I quickly learned that he loves me. I’m not talking about in the trivial way I used to say it but not really believe it. Now when His word tells me that in spite of my sin, he offers me a double portion instead of shame, I believe it (Isaiah 61:7). I’ve learned that He hurts when I hurt. He knows every detail of the pain your absence causes me, and it hurts him because he loves me.This was just the beginning of the healing road. Recently I studied the entire book of Revelation. I went into the study excited to hear about Heaven, and what I can look forward to with you someday. As I studied about Heaven, I started getting excited and hopeful to be there, with you, someday. Then I felt God interrupted with the question, “Am I enough?” I couldn’t stop thinking about this question and what my answer may be. Is God alone enough to make Heaven worth it for me? I wanted to say, “I don’t know”, and move on, but He wanted more. He wanted me to be honest, raw, and truthful. The truth was that at that time, I didn’t love him enough for Heaven to be worth it for me.What I really wanted was to be with you Mom, more than anything in the world, more than I wanted Jesus. I wanted to be with you in a place with no more death, pain or suffering (Revelation 21:4). This is what I truly wanted, to be with you in perfection. You are what made Heaven a desire for me. Though I was religious for many years, I knew that I needed to want Heaven because of Jesus too. I know that Heaven is supposed to be great because of Jesus, because of God. I need Him to be the bigger reason I want Heaven. Studying the book of Revelation made me realize I didn’t think He was enough for me. I wanted Him to be, I knew He should be, but He wasn’t. It felt like a betrayal to you Mom, if I wanted Him more than you. You’re my mom, my person. I was afraid it would hurt you if I wanted Him more. I was afraid it would hurt me if I wanted Him more. I wondered if it was even possible to want Him more. I wanted to tuck these thoughts away, ignore them, and go on believing that it would all work out when I get to Heaven, but I couldn’t. He is showing me there is more to know about Him. He wants all of me, every part of me … the good, bad, ugly, and fearful parts of Maria. With great uncertainty and fear, I once again chose to trust and allow Him to show my heart that He is enough.Taking this vulnerable step in my relationship with Him was one of the most painful steps I’ve ever taken. In a way, it felt like I was losing you all over again. I knew I had to completely let you go in yet another way, in order to walk deeper with Him. I couldn’t do it, it felt wrong. Everything about taking this step felt painful, terrifying like my heart was being torn in two.God has remained faithful through some pretty terrible stuff thus far, so I am choosing to stay willing … He meets me there. He is patient with me. He didn’t rush me out of my broken beliefs about Him. He let me be where I was, broken hearted in my broken belief. I’m learning to love Him more than even you Mom. I feel naked in this new way of thinking. It feels weird to work at wanting Him more and loving Him more. He is turning out to be so different than the God that I had created in my mind. He’s not a religious tyrant, but a loving Savior. He’s not an angry captain, but a faithful King. He’s not a judgmental juror, but a just Judge. He isn’t an arrogant winner, but a kind Protector. He is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11). It turns out that He is nothing I thought, and everything I never knew I wanted and desperately needed.I used to say that your death brought me life, but I was wrong. Your death allowed me to see more clearly the One that died to give me life, Jesus. I once chose Jesus because you did, but now I want Jesus because of Jesus. I miss you, Mom. In honor of Mother’s Day, I give you the gift you always wanted most for your children: I’m learning to want Jesus more than I want you.
Thank you for teaching me to move toward Jesus. Your mothering is impacting the generations behind you. Well done good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:23). I love being your daughter,