Old Wounds – New Pain (by Jen Duffy Ruzicka)

Tomorrow night I will be sitting with some wonderful women of God and we will be discussing the importance of forgiveness. I know that many of them have very deep hurts and those hurts seem impossible to heal and move on from. Others are not sure if they have ever experienced such a crippling event. Some pains we move on from while others haunt us for years.

I have shared many pains in my life in past posts, but old wounds, even if forgiven, can creep up and cause us new pain. Sometimes this can cause us to take ten steps back in our growth process. Sometimes these wounds can serve as reminders that we have been given unmerited favor. They are reminders of who we are and where we have come from. They are the ammunition for our sympathy, empathy, and compassion.

One of my deepest wounds involve my relationship with my mother. To really get a small glimpse of who she was – look at me. I see her everyday when I look in the mirror. My mom is friendly, outgoing, beautiful, and has the most amazing smile. She is a dreamer, always searching for the “perfect” love, and she is sick. Her sickness, though undiagnosed, has seeped into the lives of all of her children and each of us has had to learn how to function without her.

I think I always knew that she was sick. She has been an addict, a victim of domestic violence, insecure, and never really knew her place or her value.I have many vivid memories of being placed in a closet with  my brothers while drug deals took place. I can remember her crying out for mercy as my step-father abused her. I cry now at the thought of the pain that she endured. My tears are no longer tears of anger, hurt, or the “what ifs”. Rather they are of the deepest sorrow that she has never truly experienced the love and peace that I have experienced.

As her children, we know her well enough now to know that she is a free spirit. We embrace the time that she is around – we know that one day she will up and leave and we may not hear from her for years. Its been two years since any of us heard from her. Today, I pray that she is safe – that she is ok.

The pain of having an absent mother is too real for me. Its one of those pains that I may not feel for awhile and then, like today, it sneaks up and causes me great sadness. I can remember when I gave birth to Kennedy. Like any mother, I would just sit and stare at her. I couldnt imagine ever leaving her, choosing a substance or man over her. Grief filled my soul knowing that my mother was incapable of loving me the way that I loved Kennedy. It has been great ammunition for loving my children a little deeper, holding them a little tighter, and never taking motherhood for granted.

My childhood was bitter sweet, but a childhood that I choose to embrace. It is what made me the woman that I am today. I am grateful for the trials, hurts, and abandonement that I experienced. Because of these old hurts – I am the woman I am today. I am the mother I never had. I am able to love, show compassion, and humble myself – knowing that I have been given grace.

I forgave my mother along time ago because I had to. In order to be the Christian woman that God has called me to be – I cannot hold onto that unforgiveness. Do I still hold onto the pain? Absolutely……But it isnt necessarily a “bad” pain. It is a reminder to never take things for granted, to love the unloveable, to never stop trying to be Christ like.

So tonight I reach out to my mother. I pray that God reaches down and embraces you. I pray that you feel your Heavenly Fathers love like never before. The tears I cry for you are out of love and desperation that you know that you are loved. Wherever you are, wherever you are headed, may you always know that you are loved, valued and that you can always come home. I thank you for helping me become the woman that I am. I thank you for giving me such wonderful characteristics, for showing me what I did and did not want for myself. For showing me what love shouldnt look like. You may not have been able to show me the deepest love between mother and daughter but I can show you the deepest love from a daughter to a mother. I pray for peace my sweet mother – that you find it, embrace it and learn that our Father’s love is more powerful than anything. Your loving daughter – Jen

4 thoughts on “Old Wounds – New Pain (by Jen Duffy Ruzicka)

  1. The last sentence saids it all for me. The pain I endured for a long time kept me from being who I knew I could be. I knew I had to forgive yet it was extremely hard. The hurt changed my life and many others. The road we have traveled is completely different from what we thought it would be. In an instant 30 seconds your life changes forever. The person who hurt me and my family members has no idea what he took from us. I have learned that life does move forward if you forgive and not let it beat you up. Thanks Jen for putting your thoughts out there for all of us to be inspired.

  2. Wow Jen, so thankful for your story. I used to think that all the pain and suffering I have endured in my life was such a waste of time. God is so amazing how he can take the broken pieces of our lives and bring such treasure out of the heartache! Thank you for your willingness to share your deepest sorrow and longing for your mother. You are a beautiful daughter of the King indeed!

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