In Search of a Mother’s Love

There is a hunger inside of me sometimes.  We are all born with it—the desire for love and relationship.  From an early age we are taught in life how and who fills that need.  It is generally filled by our parents.  In most cases, the responsibility falls on the mother.  But what if that mother isn’t equipped to take on that role or isn’t capable of bonding with the child?  What happens to the inner need?

Longing for LoveThe Longing for Love

The need doesn’t go away; we just find other ways to fill that emptiness and hunger for love and relationship—in either healthy or unhealthy ways.  I didn’t know that or understand the affects that my mother’s mental illness had on me until about ten years ago when my unhealthy ways of relating and compulsive behaviors finally caught up with me.

I’ve done a lot of healing work and spiritual growth in that last decade.  I now serve in a ministry where I can come alongside others who are also struggling with the hurts from the past and seeing themselves as God sees them.  Even though I know with my whole heart that Jesus came to give me life and ultimately fill my need for love, there are still times when life can get me down.

I still have a longing to be known and to know others.  It is a longing for deep relationship.  It is the search for a mother’s love that was lost.

Looking for Love

I’ve lived my whole life this way—being self-sufficient without close siblings and without involvement and emotional attachment from my parents.  I didn’t know what I was missing because I didn’t experience it.  Now, after a decade of healing and recovery work, I know.  I know because I have started to more intensely experience the loss of the women in my life who helped me to heal.

michelle-ventor-reason-season-lifetime1When I started recovery, I had virtually no female friends—only a few through work.  I didn’t know how to be a real friend.  As I started my recovery journey, I observed real authentic vulnerability in other women.  I was hungry for that.  I let down my walls and embraced this new way of relating.  There was freedom gained by not being a secret or thinking that I was the only one who experienced that depth of pain.

Those bonds formed felt sacred to me.  They became my mother, my sisters and my daughters.  Those relationships have been hard to let go of over the years.  Insert the ever increasing presence of social media, and I begin to wonder who my friends really are.  Do I want quality in my relationships or do I want quantity?  I choose quality, but that has its cost too, as it’s hard to fit in the time to maintain the intimacy.

Missing my Mother

Mother’s Day 2014 marks four years since I last saw my mother alive.  Her passing and end of life forgiveness poured love back into me in a whole new way—her love and God’s love.  And still the loss of never getting to know her as a person keeps me searching at times for the love and mentoring of a mother.  My inner child (my little Ardis) still longs for my real mother’s love.

look_into_the_mirrorI wish I could’ve had more time with her.  She’s generally not far away though.  If I slow down long enough to look for her, she stares back at me in the mirror, smiles, and tells me that she loves me.  The knowledge and hope that I will see her again in eternity makes the longing fade into the distance once more.

May your Mother’s Day be filled with the love of your family or other important people in your life.

This post is listed on Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays and Missional Women/Faith Filled Friday.

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9 Comments

  1. I think your latest post is one of your best, if not the best. Well written, as always, clearly and beautifully expressed, it touched me deeply. The need, desire, and presence of Mother still catches me by surprise, sometimes in joy, sometimes a touch of loss. Once again, your voice speaks to many.

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    • Terry, thank you for your kind words. This was a hard post to write as well as publish since I just got word of the sudden passing of a friend that I greatly admired. I’m learning that grief is definitely a process–a cycle of surprises as you so beautifully stated–and one that I am learning to embrace no matter when or where it surfaces. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself here as well. ❤ Ardis

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  2. Hi Ardis!
    I love your introduction to your site, all about you and why you write, especially the zeal you have for the Lord. It is awesome when He makes us bold. I am a bit of an introvert when I am in a large social setting, but I love to teach and talk to people to bring them to a better knowledge of the Lord, so he balances me out. Your post about Mother’s Day is very tender to my heart. My sweet grandmother went home in January and my heart is aching for her presence and nearness, though I know she is with the Lord and what a better place for her to be. Thanks for sharing your heart.
    Bless you!
    Dawn

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    • Dawn, thanks for stopping by and commenting here. Sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. I’m sure she is smiling at you from above and proud of the way you share His love with others through your writing as well. Blessings on your journey through grief. Take as much time as you need. Ardis

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  3. heartwriter

     /  May 7, 2014

    You are a teacher for us. Thank you for your beautiful post.

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    • Thanks Jenny! The lessons of life are a hard teacher for us all. Let us use it for the benefit of others, as you do as well in your writing. Blessings, Ardis

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  4. A beautiful post which will bring such comfort to those who are hurting this Mother’s Day in various ways. May God use you greatly as you minister to others. Grateful you share your story! Blessings!

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    • Thanks Joanne. May the Lord also use your blog to reach others for Him. Be blessed and have a happy Mother’s Day. Ardis

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  • WELCOME to my site!

    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

    I am thankful to God for Making Me Bold in the process. Now I use my writing and speaking voice to help others on their journey to turn healing into hope.

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