Prepare yourself: this isn't what you might expect.
The dirty truth is more and more clear to me the older I get. I have historically been a terrible daughter. I don't say this lightly. In many ways, it's hard to even admit it to myself even though I've gone through steps, had two children of my own, and uncovered (by God's infinite grace) a lot of ugliness and deception in my heart. But there it is, as plain as anything.
Mainly, if you need a reason other than my general in-born wickedness and corruption, my turbulent relationship with my mom can be put down to extreme differences and similarities in our personalities.
Differences: She is ALWAYS in the middle of a project. This still drives me crazy since she never relaxes nor finishes most of her projects.
She is very thrifty while I am bizarrely extravagant on some things (coffee!!) and insanely tight-fisted on other things (hair cuts)!
She is free-wheeling and unstructured. I am a nazi-scheduler. If I could, Id plan everyday of the rest of my life.
She is laid back in social settings. I am extremely stressed in social settings.
Our preferences for a million different little things never seem to coincide.
Similar: We are both fiery. We are both "do-ers" working ourselves to death to finish 8,000,000 things. We overcommit to everything. We tend to just speak what's on our minds rather than think it through all the way first. We're both very talkative, enthusiastic, creative, and emotional. We like fixing other people's problems.
So, as you can imagine, our differences exploded constantly while I was growing up, only further exacerbated by our similar fiery personalities. I must have driven her mad between the ages of 12 - 21. I was self-ish, condescending, proud, and disrespectful. There was a log period of time when we couldn't even talk to each other for 5 minutes without a fight exploding.
BUT GOD: And then I met a man who changed everything! Justin's love, respect, and just sheer enjoyment of his mom changed my heart overtime toward my mom. God convicted me over my meanness and disrespect. He showed me how much heartache and effort my poor mother had suffered for my sake out of love for her little brat of a daughter. And then the clincher: I had a baby. And not an easygoing, happy baby either. I had a boy who didn't want to talk to me or even look at me for his entire first year of life. (Thank God, that miserable phase is over! He's such an affectionate little boy now!)
All of a sudden I kept thinking about how my mom must have felt when I bossed, complained, demanded from, and then shunned her. What a horrible time she must have had! And yet she still gave. And gave. And gave.
For as many times as I flailed, rebelled, disobeyed, and talked down to her, she forgave quickly and easily with no thought to her own marred name. That's love. I respect that so much now and feel so heartbroken at those wasted years I spent "knowing better" and dismissing her. And in God's infinite grace, now I am so blessed as to see my sweet mom at least 2 times a month. I get to enjoy watching her love on my two little boys and bless them with her perfectly targeted attention. I get to enjoy her as a person, as a funny and fun lady who always has something she's reading that makes her super excited! I get to admire how hard she works, how she serves everyone around her, and how she cares more about unity than almost anything else.
So mom, I love you, Im so sorry for hurting you for so long, and Im so thankful for the time Im getting to make it right!