For those of you who do not know, (most all of you) I was asked to leave my mother’s home when I was eighteen. The precious woman you see embracing me to the left in this photo is the one who so lovingly opened her heart, arms, and home to me during this crisis. It was very likely one of the most risky choices she could have made in all her life, and yet it is probably the primary reason I had a chance at recovering that harsh summer of 2015. She has not always had the words to reassure my sorrows. What she has never stopped having is the sacrificial heart of Christ, and the willingness to serve me even through things that neither she nor I could ever make right. She has been the closest thing I have known to a mother since that lonely night, and is my inspiration for writing about the crazy love of our Father.
This is How it Happened:
My mother had been suffering the traumatic divorce of my father going on three years and was lashing out at her children all the time. She was extremely lonely and without the help of anyone to raise her three children, and it doesn’t really help that she had been diagnosed with so many psychological disorders. For years, she had already been addicted to love as it could be received in abusive relationships. The fact that my father was never faithful, addicted to drugs and physically abused her, left her heart squeezed so dry, that she had hardly anything to offer her children. She was not much of a mother really. Instead, she was more the broken and leftover pieces of a very shattered woman who had previously wanted all for her children that any mother would. As her daughter and eldest child, this left me feeling depressed and imprisoned in her darkness. I felt that we deserved so much better so I took up the courage of being the voice of our justice. I often told her “my true feelings”, and was fully prepared to deal with the consequences, whatever they would have been. I knew that we deserved better, and at my age I had no idea how to communicate that in a godly manner.
My straightforwardness, did nothing except give my mother room to label me as rebellious and disrespectful. I cannot count how many days I repented to God for having ever told her anything about herself. Some days I would be as passive as possible in an attempt to have a peaceful day and yet she’d still wake up enraged. Once, during one of her fits of rage, she even accused me of trying to kill her. I still don’t understand the battles that took place in that household. My brother Charles was also the victim of many of her wrathful episodes. One night, she threatened to kick him out of the house. I am not sure why. I only remember that after all the hollering and arguing she must have forgotten she ever threatened. This is when I began to realize that my days in that house were truly numbered and I asked the Lord to provide for me, through whatever was going to happen.
Packing Up My Bags
The night my mother decided she was absolutely finished bearing me, it was clear to me that God was not going to fight for me to stay there anymore. A strange peace settled over me after I prayed to the Lord about calling the Roberts. They were the couple that had been my Sunday School teachers just a year before and had told me to call if I had ever needed anything. This time…I really did. There all my bags were on the concrete right outside her apartment in Houston. All that she left me with that would still be under her provision was my cellphone and charger. The rest was up to God.
He Goes After The One
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountaintops and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than the ninety-nine that never went astray.
Just like Jesus, Momma Roberts received me into her home regardless of the fact that she still had her actual family that she needed to tend to. She pursued me with a love that felt much like a shepherd’s love for the one wandering sheep. Although she’d already had her beautiful godly family which was full and satisfying, I was seen in her eyes as worthy of time, attention and care. I was treated almost no different than her natural daughters. What lavish love!. There was a certain spiritual lightness in the Roberts’ home that made you feel like you were flying. The environment is also so restful, quite like the presence of God. So far I’ve never gotten as good a night sleep anywhere as in their home. This is partially because such a peace rested over me when I slept there as never before. It is also because of the warmth she tended me with. I remember that whenever I was sick, we went through this sweet routine of teas, natural vitamins and essential oils. At times I was even given a cash allowance, just to make sure I could find something enjoyable to do. I was lavished in the Love of the Father.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!”
1 John 3:1
I believe that one of the deepest kinds of love aside from spousal love is being able to call someone your child or treat them even remotely similar. You may feel that this is a sort of over the top kind of love, but it is the first thing on this earth that allowed me a glimpse into the crazy love of the Father. When God chooses to demonstrate His crazy love to you, no matter how extravagant it may seem, allow Him to. One day you will be called to do the same for someone else.
To Momma Roberts: I am beyond grateful for what you have done for me and the way that you continue to pray for me. Know that it will not be forgotten. I wish I could reciprocate the affection you have shown me, but nothing will ever match. I wish you many blessings, fun and enjoyment and so much love in this life!