Remembering How My Mom Loved In Spite of Depression

“I love you! I love you! I love you!” she whispered some of her last words as she fought for breath. I still see her helplessness as a spinal stroke paralyzed her and took away her freedom to hug us. She loved to hug us.

My mom was plagued with depression through her life (My Mom, Depression, and Love), so my child heart had to work through insecurities. All the turmoil of wondering what I did wrong that I couldn’t make her happier. That I couldn’t stop her hysterical crying. That I couldn’t stop her from wanting to end her life. I didn’t understand why she had to leave to go to the hospital. When she clung to us after our Sunday visits and sobbed and begged my dad to take her home, I didn’t understand why we couldn’t take her along.

It took years before I worked through my guilt and feelings of desertion. But the more I healed, the more I realized what a wonderful mom I really had. Although depression sometimes snatched her away from us or plunged her into inescapable self-absorption, she loved us deeply. Now I am amazed how she even coped, knowing more of her past and all she dealt with. Now I can see how God still taught me about the real love through her.

Today it is 14 years since she passed away. February 18, 2006. She was only 80. I still have times when I miss her.

I am so grateful for my Mom’s love. Though not exhaustive, here are a few ways she showed it:

I often had ear infections. I remember being not very old and crying because my ear hurt horribly. My mom took me to the doctor. I still hear his words, “SHUT UP!” That only made me cry harder, and my mom hurt so much for me that we changed doctors.

She believed me when others didn’t. When I was a sophomore in high school, I ached all over and would run a small grade fever. I was so, so tired. Even our family doctor couldn’t figure it out. I started believing others that maybe it was just the result of emotional issues or of something I was avoiding at school. When I sobbed because someone called me a faker, she hugged me and said, “I believe you.” Later on, my feet and hands swelled up and I was sent to a specialist. Finally a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. It was a long journey through treatment, but she stood by me all the way.

When I was a junior in high school, I had a tonsillectomy. They were more spread than they had thought, so they had to dig and stitch. I couldn’t eat for some time, and I remember feeling Mom’s concern and bringing me popsicles.

♥ She never squelched my creativity and passions but instead encouraged them. When I found some baby frogs, she gave me an old canning tub to build a habitat for them before I released them. She allowed me to make terrariums. I enjoyed keeping an aquarium, raising hamsters, and nursing a duckling back to strength in a box in the corner of the kitchen.

She couldn’t protect us from abuse, and she was emotionally incapable of recognizing it or helping us through the effects of it. But she did care about our safety as much as she was able. Once my brother and I wanted to swim in a pond under a bridge, and she allowed us to but she said, “Keep your shoes on” as she was afraid we might step on broken glass or barbed wire. (I already mentioned before of an incident where she was more concerned about our safety than hers in “My Mom, Depression, and Love.”)

When she was present, she allowed us to pick which cake we wanted for our birthdays. I always chose confetti angel food cake. On my birthday last month, I thought of how she always sent a special birthday card even though her handwriting had become more wavy.

Her children and grandchildren were her pride and joy. She loved it so when we were all together.

Even though my kids were adopted, she never loved them less than the other grandchildren. Once when she was in the hospital, my husband and I went to see her. We didn’t know if children were allowed in her room, so we left them in the lobby. She immediately asked us where the kids were. When we told her, she pleaded that we bring them to her room and said they are just as important to her as the other grandchildren.

I was already working on another post, but my heart led me instead to remember my mom’s love. I’m so grateful she can now dance and rejoice fully in Jesus’ love where there is no more depression.

I love you! I love you! I love you, Mom!

Please share your story about your mom. If she is no longer on this earth, how did she show you she cared in spite of her imperfections? Or perhaps you have no positive memories of your mom, because she was absent or abusive in one way or another? Is there someone in your life that gave you the nurturing love like a mom should?

“Amazing Grace”

This was one of my mom’s favorite hymns. We sang it at her funeral.
Her name was Grace, and by God’s grace, she was amazing, too!

The Unbreakable Lifeline of Hope

“Hopelessness sucks you dry of any peace or victory in your life.
It can be almost suffocating, stealing the Word
from your heart and blanketing you with heaviness.”
(Guideposts)

Do you ever feel this way? It’s an awful feeling when it seems the life is sucked right out of us. We try to grab and hold onto the promises, but they slip from our grasp. Losing all hope in the mercy of God.

Even when we don’t always feel it, God keeps His promises. Sometimes we have to wait a looong time, but never so long as some of the people in the Old Testament had to wait. After God’s last promise of His Son coming, there were 2,000 years of silence. Can you imagine? They must have felt so hopeless at times. The Savior had not yet come. They had to cling to God’s promises that He would come.

It’s impossible for God to lie. When He gives a promise, it is more than 100% certain He will keep it. We know today the promise of a Savior was kept. Jesus has come. He has paid the price. He has given hope and still gives hope to hopeless souls.

“We who have run for our very lives to God
have every reason to grab the promised hope
with both hands and never let go.
It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline,
reaching past all appearances right to
the very presence of God where Jesus,
running on ahead of us,
has taken up His permanent post as High Priest for us,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
Hebrews 6:18-20 The Message

When the storm waves jerk the ships of our souls back and forth, up and down, the rope to the anchor of hope won’t break, because it is made of the unbreakable love of a faithful God.

We may sometimes feel like hope is forever gone from our hearts, and it would be if it were up to us. But even when we cannot see it, Jesus is the unbreakable Lifeline that leads us to salvation, safety, and solace.

We have this hope, this strong and trustworthy anchor, that reaches into the very certainty of the Presence of God. Yes, He’s waiting for us to flee to Him for refuge with all the broken pieces of our lives.

“We see our failures and our lack of faith,
but God sees what we will become
as His Spirit faithfully works through
the broken pieces of our lives.
God’s timing always perfectly matches His plans,
even if sometimes it runs roughshod over ours.”
Sheila Walsh

“Hope in Front of Me”
by Danny Gokey

“There’s hope in front of me
There’s a light, I still see it
There’s a hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I might be down but I’m not dead
There’s better days still up ahead
Even after all I’ve seen
There’s hope in front of me…”

Some of this is from a 2014 post that I feel nudged to share this week. Many of you did not know about this blog yet at that time, so it will probably be new to you. 🙂

May we hang onto the unbreakable Lifeline of Hope!


Soul Longings to Know Jesus More

“My goal is to know Him
and the power of His resurrection
and the fellowship of His sufferings,
being conformed to His death.”
Philippians 3:10 HCSB

Lord Jesus Christ,
I Want to Know You

I want to really, truly know You. Deeply, personally, intimately. In the depths of my soul. To believe in You, not just about You. I want Your desires and Your passions to become mine. I want to “know” You so well that I will live and breathe You with every step I take in this life.

I Want to Know the Power of Your Resurrection

I want to not only believe You rose from the dead, but that it was personally for me. That You left my sins buried there in the grave, and now I am truly free. I don’t want to live weighed down with a heavy burden of my own sins and the sins against me. I want to be freed from the chains of shame. I want to inwardly experience that same power that rose You from the dead, to be saturated in and fired up with Your resurrection power in me that I will live for You with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. That I will live in and through You and Your power with every fiber of my being. That I will fly freely for You.

I Want to Know the Fellowship of Your Sufferings

I want to grasp more deeply how much You suffered for me. How You suffered such excruciating pain out of Your deep love for me. But Lord, sometimes it’s so hard to ask to know more of the fellowship of Your sufferings, because I know that means I, too, must learn what it is to suffer. But You have said that if I want to share in Your glory, I must also share in Your suffering. And Lord, I know You have taught me more about You and the bottomless depths of Your love through sufferings. It is through sufferings that I learn to be more like You. It is through sufferings that I experience more of the power of Your resurrection. But oh, Lord, no matter what kind of sufferings I go through in this life, it will never, ever be even a speck of what You have suffered for me. What body, mind, and soul anguish You endured! Thank You, Jesus, for Your unconditional, fathomless, faithful love!

I Want to Become More Like You in Your Death

I want to continually be conformed to Your likeness. In the inward depths of my soul. I want to die to myself and live for You. I want my selfish desires to fall away. I want You to increase and me to decrease. I want to be so planted into the likeness of Your death that I will willingly take up my cross and follow You, no matter what the cost. I want to be ready to suffer for Your sake. Please, Lord, make me strong in You and for You.

“Jesus Is Alive”
by Fellowship Creative

“Captured By Your Love
That You Would Give Your Life
Oh I Stand Amazed that
Jesus Is Alive”