Jesus is the mother I never had. Yes, I did have a mother, but she wasn’t a nurturing mother. She just didn’t like children and didn’t like to hold them. I’ve watched her in my later years. She became irritable around children. They were not a source of delight for her.
I don’t blame her. I love her and miss her. She tried to be a good mother, in her own way, but she just didn’t have it in her. I knew her parents and could see why.
Nevertheless, I’ve suffered greatly from the deprivations. She confessed to me that she didn’t hold me, but propped me up with pillows and my bottle. I got the milk I needed but not the love and intimacy.
I always knew I was different from other children. Something was missing, but I didn’t know what it was. However, there was something else that filled the gap – anxiety, depression, and alienation.
I never felt worthy of love or even of someone’s attentions. It therefore made sense to me that if I was tops at everything, I’d make myself worthy of love. I’d then be able to feel comfortable within my own skin. However, this strategy didn’t work for long, and it came with great costs. Any failure would undermine my entire personhood. It would confirm the established fact that I was a looser.
This identity had become so deeply entrenched that all my highly recommended psychologists were unable to touch it. It didn’t matter how many positive messages they fed me, I was convinced that I was a looser. My feelings of self-loathing were so powerful that they now scorned any affirmations or even successes. They were no more than unconvincing whispers in a roaring tsunami.
Despairing of all therapies and human interventions, I was left with only one option – a God who promised:
- "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
However, for years, this God was highly objectionable to me. While some reject Jesus because of His objectionable teachings, I rejected Him because He simply was Jesus – a traitor and an enemy of the Jews, my people. At least, that’s how I understood Him.
I, therefore, tried out many other religions, each leaving me disappointed. Meditation didn’t work. It just left me more focused on myself – something that gave me little encouragement.
I tried to live in harmony with the land as a subsistence, organic farmer. I assured myself that if I lived in harmony with the land I would experience the peace of the land. However, this was not to be. Instead, I experienced a horrible chainsaw injury that left me bleeding to death in a pool of my own blood. I was sure that any second I would pass out from loss of blood and “Goodbye world!”
At that very moment, I knew that I wasn’t alone. I knew that God was with me, although I didn’t know who He was. I was filled with ecstacy. Nothing mattered anymore. Even if I died, I knew that I would still be surrounded by His love and protection. Covered with blood, but assured of His love, I cried out, “God, I will gladly give you everything just to know who You are!”
This cry became my life script. It also led me to my Savior and surrogate Mother. However, this isn’t a romp-in-the-rose-garden story. There was much I had to learn and re-learn; there was much that had to first be stripped away.
Despite my miraculous encounter and rescue, faith didn’t come easily to me. It required years before I could receive His assurances like a little child. Feelings of self-loathing continued, but slowly the counter-assurances of Scripture took hold. He assured me that:
- I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Gradually, through His promptings, I began to understand that my life was no longer about me, my successes, or my popularity, but about Him alone – the God who loves me and has rescued me for all eternity. I no longer had to perform well to have value. He loves and forgives me, and that is all that really matters at the end of the day.
When I fear that I am not good enough for Him, He assures me through His Word that:
- Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
I am His and He is mine. Although I don’t feel His arms around me, I know that He is there, and that is enough.
I still experience some of my insecurities – my childhood inheritance – but these only serve to make my Savior – my Surrogate - all the more precious to me.