A Middle Child’s Memories

Ephesians 6:1-4 (KJV)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Nothing can get to me more than dissension within my family.

Flashback to my childhood.  First, I want to say I love my Mother and my family with every ounce of love I have in my body.  Always have and always will, my love will never change.  The fact is that your family can be the source of your greatest joy and your greatest pain.

No matter what I have gone through or will go through in the future, God has a purpose and it is revealed in his timing.  The lessons are priceless, although at times painful.

Growing up, I was placed smack dab in the middle of a near perfect older sister and my mothers favorite, my baby sister. Yep, I was and still am that “dreaded” middle child.  To say it was a bit tough at times, would be an understatement but that was/is “my place”.  I felt and sometimes still do, like I drew the short stick! I’m the square in a family of circles.

Mind you, God has a purpose even though at times I would have liked to have said to him “could I opt out of this please?”  His answer would still have been no, it wasn’t an option. He would say I have a purpose for you and he does!

When you can’t be the perfect child or favorite, well you tend to rebel a bit.  It’s an internal battle of trying to fit in and never quite feeling like you really do.  Honestly, at times I felt like  the “fall guy”.  If something happened it tended to be my fault.  Granted, many times it WAS my fault (perfect, I was NOT) but even when it wasn’t my fault I would easily get the blame. I came to expect it. Which led to apathy, I didn’t care ….so blame me!

One time my older sister and I were standing on the picket fence gate, we weren’t suppose to, but we did it anyway. Janet fell and the picket went into her eye and severed her tear duct.  She had to be rushed to the hospital.  I got my  foot caught between the posts but when I got free, I got in big trouble because “we” stood on the fence gate and Janet got hurt. At the time, I remember thinking I wished it was me that had gotten hurt so I wouldn’t have been the one to get in trouble AGAIN!

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That wicked fence gate! (I’m the one in the white)

I accepted Christ in my heart when I was 9, I repented, asked him to come into my heart and was baptized. I thank God for coming into my life then because I needed him. I do know he has made a difference throughout my life, even when I wasn’t the most obedient child.

That’s not to say the trials were gone (being a Christian doesn’t make all problems disappear) but in the worst of times when I truly wanted to throw in the towel – he pulled me back from the edge. Thank God for his never ending grace, mercy and patience.

Psalms 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

Over the years I became outspoken, I’d fight back of injustices I’d perceive (real or imagined) and I carried a lot of hurt and anger. I wore my feelings on my sleeve like a badge. Not good for your spiritual, emotional and mental health but it was what it was and I was a work in progress.

I had not learned yet to dig deep into the Bible and solely to rely on God to heal these things in me. Like a child, I held on to some things so tightly  and couldn’t bring myself to fully let them go.

Back to growing up.  I have always felt my mother loved me because that is what good Christian moms do, right?  but I have never felt like she truly really liked me.  Over the years I’d hear things she’d tell people that would get back to me or things she’d straight up say to my face, like:

  • “she’s like my older sister” she’d say about me, the one she referred to as the crazy one (yep, that helped me feel good about myself – NOT) My Aunt is eccentric but not crazy.
  • She’d pit my sisters against me by making things up to get them mad at me throughout my life. Too many to mention. Funny thing is, if I wanted to make them mad, I had the uncanny knack of doing that all by myself, she didn’t need to help me get anyone mad. (When I’d confront her about any of her shenanigans I was met with silence! Like oops!  I’ve been caught but ……….silence)
  • After my dad died of cancer (1995) she told me I needed help, I was crazy. I finally had enough of being called “crazy” so I told her I’d go to the good ole’ doc if she would go too. I knew there wasn’t anything crazy about me, (except maybe having emotional and mental damage (or baggage) from feeling like a failure in this family that I belonged to) she agreed  – we went and the psychologist let my mom know that there was NOTHING wrong with me. The fact was my mother played favorites with her children, as many parents do (this was HER problem not mine). Praise God! I felt vindicated, and reassured I was NOT crazy! I was just simply NOT her favorite, and I didn’t play the head games she’d create. It seemed I was more of an annoyance to her than anything.   I don’t care that I was NOT her favorite child (I got that T-shirt a long time ago for that) but the scars of her feelings toward me made me hate being around family.  To this day it’s a cross I still carry and am still working on. Why would you want to be around people who thought badly of you because of all the things your mother said about you?
  • When I was going through a divorce I sent my youngest daughter to live with my mother because my daughter struggled with issues over the divorce (My mom was going to help her).  Come to find out my mother tried to turn my own daughter against me. My daughter gave me a copy of a letter to the psychologist my daughter was forced to go to that my mom had written telling her what a bad influence I was on my children but that they loved me anyway. **WOW** If that wasn’t just one more knife to the heart.

I may not be a perfect parent but when my kids (I had four) were growing up they were my first priority. ALL of THEM!  I didn’t run around,  go out drinking to clubs, partying, I didn’t smoke or do drugs.  I’ve never been in trouble with the law, heck I thought I was doing pretty good, however I did carry baggage from my past.  Now though, she was attacking my parenting skills.  The gap between us deepened once again.

This verse has always left me at a quandary.

Ephesians 6:2-3

Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’ve had times of great growth in my walk with Christ and times I have backslidden being dragged down by baggage I had yet to let go of…..

Do you know what it’s like trying desperately to have a parent love you like your siblings?  I do. I learned to tell myself, it is what it is.Lying to myself, because no matter how you sliced it I felt like crap about it!!

I thought in my crazy little mind that I could listen to my moms likes and dislikes over the years. I could fix this.  I’m sentimental. I’d make mental notes on what would make her happy.  I made her a video of her and my dad’s life one Christmas.  I made her a banana cake with fudge frosting for her birthday one year.  Her mother used to make it for her every birthday and she missed that, all her memories meant so much to me not that it seemed to matter.  I’d try anything, I craved her approval. It still didn’t seem to matter, my attempts were met with not much of a change if any.

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Feeling exasperated, over the years I stopped really calling.  We talk but not much these days.  I keep my shortcomings to a minimum.  I’ve missed my mom my whole life so nothing has changed for me. Sometimes you just don’t get what you want, but you need to be grateful for what you have.  So what we have is fine, I don’t expect anything more.

I am glad she is close to my kids and my grandchildren. Well, except my son, she was not close to my son (he didn’t live up to her standards either)  My son had problems, not ones my mother could deal with. He knew it but he’s gone now.

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My son Cory

I remember a time my Grandmother, her mother sent my cousin down to live near me because he needed a fresh start.  My son reminded me a lot of that cousin.  I helped him find a place to live, helped him look for jobs and tried to stay in touch to help him fight his demons and stay on the right path.  I will never forget my Grandmother was so happy I loved my cousin that much that I would help him.  To me, that is what family is all about or should be all about. I never gave up on my cousin and  I never gave up on my son either.

I feel like the above verse speaks to my heart. There is only so much a child can take, but behold your father in heaven will NEVER exasperate you.  Depend on him and he will heal you and make you whole.  You are good enough, and we are not of this world.  Keep your eyes focused on your Father in heaven and God’s Kingdom.

Let me end this with I will always love my mother, that’s the amazing thing about a relationship with Christ. You don’t hate anyone for their shortcomings, we all have them.

This post is a reminder that some people don’t have the “perfect” relationships with their parents.  Now that my children are grown I see it’s not always an easy road and all I can do is take it one day at a time.

We are at a time when family will be pitted against each other, especially over their faith in Christ. Love them anyway!  Forgive them anyway! Stay focused.  And pray!

Luke 12:51-53 (KJV)

51“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53“They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

God did see my hurt, my struggles and he sent other people to fill the holes.

A Precious memory…………Back in the 90’s I started working with my dad’s best friends daughter (we grew up together, she was like a sister)  I don’t even know how we got on the subject but she let me know something that touched my heart.  When we’d go to visit them, I saw my graduation picture on their family wall.  Man, I remember thinking how good that made me feel.  Did they really care that much I made the family wall?  I was a screw up but I made their family wall.  She told me her mom saw how things were for me and that’s why I made there family wall, I mattered.  I never told her but it made me cry, cry because I mattered to her mother and that she saw what I thought no one else did regarding how things were with my mother.

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About asinnerneedinghersavior

I'm a Christian wife, Mother, and Grandmother. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and want to share his word and my life lessons. Mark 16:15 (KJV) 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
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