The following is a true story, which the exception of a name change to protect her identity. It’s not dramatized. It’s simply a retelling from a first-person perspective.
Patricia was about to embark on a new phase in her life. She was about to be married and felt as if there was baggage from her past that she knew shouldn’t be carried into new territory. She wasn’t sure what to do about her relationship with her mother, so she prayed about it. Here’s a paraphrase of her story:
I prayed about what to do about my mother. She acted as if things were great between us. There was so much she turned a blind eye to regarding how she raised me. She was realistic about the impact her neglect and emotional abuse had on me. After a few days of prayer, I stopped praying.
I woke up one morning and had the strong urge to visit my mother. I lived in New Jersey and she lived in Georgia. I didn’t understand why I felt the way I did because I honestly didn’t want to see her. Previously, when I’d attempted to share deep feelings with her, she didn’t hear me. She’d turn the conversation around to something that happened to her, or she’d blame away her responsibility with the statement, “I did the best I did.”
I started praying again because I didn’t want to see her. I felt the Lord pressing the idea on me and I couldn’t shake the feeling. I felt Him say, “You’ll have help. I’ll make a way for you.” Help? What help? Who would be with me to help me? I asked a friend of mine if she’d go with me to Georgia to talk to my mother. She discussed it with her family and her and I worked out our travel plans.
The challenge with the visit was that my mother was into various religions and held a multiple of spiritual beliefs. She’d frequently talked about how spirits came to her at night, talked to her, and kept her awake all night. She’d share stories of seeing, and having conversations with, dead relatives. I didn’t want to be in that type of environment.
Aside from the spiritual aspects of my mother’s life, she was also a con artist. Well, that’s what I called it. She’d been involved in pyramid schemes for over 20 years, had forged my signature on documents, opened accounts in my name, etc. I didn’t trust her as a person and I didn’t trust her to hear what the Lord was sending me to tell her.
Fast forward to the day of the visit. As my friend and I parked the car, I felt a voice within me saying, “Don’t take anything in. Don’t bring anything out. Don’t consume anything. Hold to your purpose and nothing more.” I admit to feeling afraid. I felt like a person on a mission. My purpose was to tell her how my upbringing affected me, period.
My mother was confused as soon as she saw us. She said she thought my husband and I were staying overnight. I reminded her I’d told her my friend and I were coming for me to talk to her and then we were leaving. My mother went on to say she’d made up her spare bedroom, changed the linens, and cooked my favorite foods. I honestly don’t know why she thought something so different from what I’d told her. I began wondering what else she’d be confused about.
My mother insisted on taking us on a tour of her house. In the living room were dream catchers hanging from the ceiling, tarot cards set up on a table in one corner, crystals on a table in another corner. The different rooms each had a different spiritual theme i.e. iridology charts, body pressure points, chanting music playing, a Buddhist shrine, a table top waterfall, Wicca symbols, statues. I couldn’t figure out what the pictures on the walls were supposed to mean. She had several books strewn throughout her space such as The Bible, The Qur’an, The Tanak and Talmud, a large poster of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and others I forget the names of. Needless to say, I was praying as we walked through her house. I felt like I was in a spiritual curio shop.
I’d love to read your experiences with unsettling spiritual situations. How did you handle your feelings? Did you tell anyone of your experience(s)? Why or why not?
Comments always welcome.
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