I have been talking with a Christian woman over the last year about the fact that, for most of her life, she has felt unloved. Her mother always loved this woman's brother, quite unconditionally, while only tolerated her presence in the world. No matter what evil her brother committed, he was never to blame, and never held accountable. He received heap upon heap of unconditional love. When her dad began to "fool around" on her mom behind her back the news came as quite a shock. Soon thereafter came the divorce, and with the divorce a new family, a new family which did not include her presence. When she asked if the new step-mom could watch her two sons for a couple of hours, the response came, "They're not my grandsons." The new step-mom would make comments to her face such as, "How could anyone so pretty look so ugly?" This kind of treatment desolated her sense of dignity and value.
Her dad died not too many years after the divorce, leaving her with many pieces to pick up. Her now deceased father's new wife and her family wanted nothing to do with her. Often she was ridiculed, gossiped about in the community, and always demeaned even to her face. Without exaggeration, thirty years would pass before anyone in that family ever sought any semblance of setting things right, the way they should be. Still, even then, there did not result any desire for the formation of a genuine relationship. Thus she felt rejected and unloved.
Her mother remarried and she was hopeful for establishing a new relationship with the two of them. That failed miserably. When she asked the two of them if they would watch her two sons for a couple of hours, the response came, "They're not my grandsons." This was nearly unbelievable -- the exact same words from two sets of parents/step-parents (who, by the way, never communicated with each other). Given that her mother always favored this woman's brother, and given that her mother's new husband wanted little to nothing to do with her or her family, she felt rejected and unloved. Once her mother even remarked to her: "Well, maybe I'll outlive you." To this day, that comment reverberates throughout the echo chamber of her mind, causing an enormous amount of emotional and psychological pain. Listening to the pain and hurt in her voice as she sobs while telling these stories is almost too painful to endure.
Her husband's parents would prove no better than her immediate family. When they decided to move only two miles away, she asked them about getting together for dinners and other get-togethers, to which they responded: "Now, let's get this straight: You've got your life and we've got ours. Let's keep it that way." This really shouldn't have come as any shock, though, because her husband's parents had abandoned their three kids when they decided to go and live selfish lives in another state; they permanently dumped their children off with the grandparents. Therefore both her and her husband felt rejected and unloved.
A few years into her marriage she met an older Christian couple who sort of adopted her and her new family, given that this older couple were never able to have children. The older couple did their best to love her and her family as their very own, but even they reached their limit. When she and her husband were in a financial tough spot, and a friend of hers went secretly to the older couple, asking that they join in with some others to help out financially (so that she and her family didn't lose their house), the man responded, "I've given all I'm going to give." Well, "all they're going to give" amounted to a one-time help of $500.00, which was paid back to them; and this couple had plenty of money to give. She and her husband lost their house. She was devastated, felt rejected, and quite unloved.
For nearly 40 years this woman repressed the impact of all her victim heart had endured. Then, within the last four years, all of it has come to the surface. The bitterness, unforgiveness, and rage nearly consumes her every waking hour of every day. The icing on her cake, however, came about when her gay son informed her and her husband that his therapist had taught him the reparative drive theory of origins for homosexuality. She almost lost her grip on reality. Never had two parents ever loved their gay son more than her and her husband. She then began blaming her husband for not being closer to the boy in his youth. But, in reality, the father could not have possibly loved, cared more deeply for, nor provided more than he had for his two sons. Moreover, he treated his sons as equally as humanly possible. The heterosexual son never held much in common with the father, either. Why was he not gay? Was the father to "blame" for that son's heterosexuality?
Fortunately, her son came to reject the error of reparative drive theory, and apologized profusely for hurting them deeply, unbeknownst to him. While this helped heal the woman's heart, she cannot help but to bring it up from time to time. Why? Because she is such a loving and caring human being, who couldn't imagine causing anyone pain, though she has endured so much of it in her life -- she knows pain all too well. Sensing some sort of blame for her son's homosexuality was, simply, too painful to bear -- too overwhelmingly difficult to cope with, digest, or accept. It drove her to despair.
As you read this post this woman, a dear and caring believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, feels unloved. She knows theoretically that God loves her, but she doesn't sense it, she doesn't feel it in her heart. She knows her husband loves her, but he finds expressing that love very difficult, due to his own tragic upbringing. She knows that her two sons love her very much, but even they don't express it enough. This woman -- a truly broken human being created in the image of Almighty God -- wants so desperately to feel loved, to feel special, wanted and needed. Though God has loved her from before the beginning of time with an unfathomable love, because of her catastrophic experiences, she finds sensing that love a near impossibility. During this Christmas season, so many people are experiencing excruciating memories and past and present circumstances that are wreaking havoc in their hearts. Please pray for her today or whenever she crosses your mind. She is my mother, and she is loved beyond human comprehension.