“Though the church inflicts deep wounds because it is made of people; it is the place where I’ve found the most healing. I often talk about the Church, the community, and the people who’ve poured into my life. Teachers, coaches, and families helped me through a lot of trauma and pain. They opened their homes to me. They encouraged me to continue in times when I felt like giving up. But I rarely ever talk about the woman who reflects goodness in unique ways, and who loved me from the start, enough to birth me and raise me for as long as she was able: my mom.
From ages twelve to eighteen, I lived apart from my mom in several foster homes. My mom suffered and still suffers from many mental illnesses, which have caused our relationship to struggle in unimaginable ways.
Many people view my mom negatively because of the dynamics of our relationship. One time, I made a Facebook post expressing the sacrificial love my mom has for me. Someone got angry asking, ‘How could she be a sacrificial mom when she let her daughter grow up in foster care?’ I felt bad for the commenter. I wondered how people could be so judgmental and lack compassion without knowing the full story.
Birth moms sometimes receive the brunt of things, but birth mothers are also heroes. They love their babies enough to know sometimes they just can’t offer them the best life. Many would say they try their bests. Birth mom’s heroism tends to look different than how we usually perceive our heroes.
My mom chose to birth me during extreme hardship in her life. I was conceived out of abuse, my biological father passed before I was born, and since both of my mom’s parents had recently passed away, she lived alone, with no family close, in a big city she lived in for just a short time. Regardless, my mom said to me, ‘As soon as I heard your heartbeat and saw you on the ultrasound, I knew I loved you.’ My mom chose sacrifice when she chose life for me.
Many may say that my life hasn’t been ideal — abuse, neglect, foster, PTSD, the list goes on; but what life is idea? I am abundantly grateful for the life God has gifted me because my mom chose to birth me and give me a life. I receive a lot of praise for what I’ve overcome and not falling into the statistics of foster care, but I know that praise doesn’t come without the shame my mom has to endure for not being the ‘ideal’ mother. She’s my ideal mother.
I genuinely believe my mom has always given all that she’s been able with the mental illnesses that hinders her. My mom cannot be found in a church, but I believe she is still a glimpse of Christ. A suffering woman, a humiliated woman, continuing to endure, give life and love for the life of another.”
This story was submittted to Love What Matters by Victoria Petersen. You can follow her journey on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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