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Forgave Mom, even after sexual abuse.

When a child grows up thinking abuse is what love from a parent looks like, you don’t know it’s so horrifically wrong until someone else tells you.

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My parents were very abusive. I was sexually molested by both my father and my mother. She [mom] gave me a bath and then wanted me to lie down with her. Most kids don’t see a problem with that. They expect that the parent will read a book to them. The question mom posed, “Do you love me?”, turned into her attempt to make me understand why she was going to abuse me. When the episode was finished, it was a hug and a kiss and, “Good night.”When a child grows up thinking abuse is what love from a parent looks like, you don’t know it’s so horrifically wrong until someone else tells you. Abuse is your normal. When I was told it was all wrong, I then had to relive all of it because it all came crashing down on me like a big wall. I then became angrier as I thought, “How dumb can you be? How did you not know [it was wrong]?” because now you’re an adult. I was in therapy. I tried to kill myself. I didn’t realize how angry I was. I thought people had to say they were sorry for what they did to me. When my mom and I moved here from Florida she worked for a Catholic church where she embezzled about $80,000.00-$150,000.00. The Priest thought I was involved. I had dropped out of school to help her. I told him, “I would never steal anything.”Forgiveness? I didn’t want to forgive my mom. I didn’t want to accept Jesus Christ as Lord because that meant I had to be nice. While at a foster parenting class at a church, I looked across the room and saw a man I knew. We had grown up together. During a break, I thought, “I’m going to go over and talk to them.” I said to his wife, “You don’t know me, but I want to know why you have this ‘glow’ thing going on. What do you have? What is it, really?” She said, “It’s called salvation.” I said, “I have some questions.” She answered, “Okay.” I then said, “When you are saved is it really like these other older people are telling me? Am I going to be like that?” as I referred to the glow I was seeing in them and testimonies I had heard. She smiled and said, as she shook her head affirmatively, “That’s the object.”I thought there was a plan I had to follow or something I had to do to become a Christian. I learned that there is a difference between what God has done through Jesus and what we may believe we must do. I found out that all we have to do is be willing. That day during a short break, she made that clear to me. The next Sunday I was at the altar, in prayer. There was no denying [my need for God]. My prayer was, “Lord, move me. Move me. I’m ready.”My mom was still living when I was saved. I had a fire lit inside of me that was indescribable. It wasn't just a happy experience like when someone expresses how it would be if they were to win the lottery. I felt like I was on top of the world. I knew winning the lottery wouldn’t affect me this way. The conversion I had experienced was completely different. I was like, “You know, I must forgive her.” Although she never said she was sorry for her actions, it didn’t matter because I had already chosen to forgive her. During the last year of her life, we had a blast. We sat at her kitchen table one morning during a bad storm. It was during a power outage that she looked at me and said, “I don’t know why I did the things I did to you and how you turned out as well as you have.” I then, very gently, shared with her the love of God in Christ Jesus. She received Jesus as her savior at that moment. Two months later she died.

Mary F - Forgave Mom, even after sexual abuse.

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