It’s the Wednesday after Mother’s Day, and now all of those who have been estranged can come out of hiding. The cards are off the shelves, the flower advertisements have ceased, and we can begin scrolling through social media without being inundated by posts that have us swallow that all-too-familiar reality— the reality that we have been ostracized by the one person we thought would always have our back. I could be overly dramatic here and say that being ostracized means being unloved, but that’s not the case. And actually, that’s what makes it even harder— to be victim of a warped sense of tough love. A misconstrued love that labels me Prodigal.
I’ve found that Mother’s Day rhetoric has become more compassionate and inclusive, at least. For those who have lost a relationship, we are called to honor the maternal mentors in our lives. This is helpful, but it’s still a reminder of loss. So what can we learn amidst the photos, flowers, breakfasts in bed, and coupons for a free foot massage? That I can continue to honor my mother by respecting our differences. That I can compartmentalize the undue guilt of those differences, pack it away, and drop it to the bottom of the ocean. That I can turn the toxicity of guilt into realized joy away from the banishment. That I can choose to walk away and reclaim my life.
I’m a Prodigal leaving a broken home, recklessly daring to run away from what I knew, lavishly discovering what it means to be whole, and returning to new home, repentant for the time I wasted hating who God made me to be.