This is the conclusion of the story brought to you on Feb 14th.
It is a powerful story of God’s reconciliation of a mother and daughter.
This is Kathy’s Story
Before I try to answer any of your questions or concerns, first let me
say that I live daily with the shame of how much I have hurt my two
children, something I vowed I would never do. I cannot undo what
I have done; I can only beg forgiveness and ask that you will allow
me to be a part of your lives again. Sometimes I look back on what
happened and I can’t believe it myself. If I could erase the past I would
do it in a heartbeat, because the daily regret is sometimes too much
to bear. I understand that you would have an insulation layer around
yourself. I am ashamed that I am responsible for even a small part of
that. I understand that I should be on your list of people you don’t trust,
however I would like to someday have my name removed from that
list permanently! I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. You
just tell me what it is you need to talk about and I will talk honestly and
openly. It might not always make sense to the two of you. You might
think I was half (no, completely) out of my mind, but I will talk to you
both about anything. You are my children.
Brian, for you, my son, I’m glad that you and Julie have a wonderful
relationship and she is the focus of your life! As you have said, she is a
sure thing for you and I know you are a sure thing for her.
Aubrey, I’m thankful God has raised you up into a beautiful young
woman and that he gave you an awesome husband to come alongside in
I’m happy that both of my children have spouses who truly love them.
That is how a marriage should be. Saying “I’m sorry” is not going
to fix what I have done, however it does have to be said. It expresses
regret and I have an extreme amount of regret for hurting you. I do take
responsibility for what I’ve done. It is not an easy thing to explain in
writing. I don’t want to make excuses. I can only express how it came about.
You were right when you said I‘ve had a rough life. Both of you knew I was
going through an awful time in my own marriage. I was literally in a state
of fear and depression. With [Jane], she was more than a friend. She became
my spiritual leader. I felt unconditional love, acceptance and attention.
She was the only one that was listening to me.
The counseling became controlling and I secluded myself from
everyone I knew and loved. It got to the point where the isolation
made me an open target for brainwashing.
I was confused and wanting spiritual answers. [Jane] provided that
as she manipulated Scripture into everything she told me what to do, and
I did it. With my own life so out of control, it seemed easier to let
her make decisions. Because I was so vulnerable, I did what I was
told, even to the point of disconnecting myself from my children
thinking you would be better off, spiritually, in the long run.
I know how utterly ridiculous this sounds because even I now
look back and think, “How could I ever have been so stupid and
gullible to allow someone to control and manipulate my life,
especially when it came to my children?” What a fool! My Son
and Daughter, I hope you find it in your hearts to someday truly
forgive me. Allow me to speak with you so that I can answer any
questions. This letter is only a very small part of everything that led
up to the greatest mistake of my life.
I love you. I always have and I always will.
My mom and I were so close growing up. She was more than a mother; she was my friend, that is, until I was 19, when things started to change between us. She befriended a woman we’ll call Jane, who became a big influence in her life. We did not know then how much power this person would have over my mother’s future. Everyone but my mom could see how destructive this woman was, leading her down the wrong path. Since I did not agree with Mom’s choices, she turned her back on me and everything I believed in as a Christian woman. Suddenly, she was cold and distant. She was no longer the fun-loving, spirited mother, and she severed her relationships with my dad, my brother and I.
During that time, I had been dating Donovan and leaned heavily on him for support. Turning to the Lord we found comfort and soon began to plan one of the biggest days in a woman’s life: our wedding day! By the end of that year we were to be married. I would end up being a bride without my mom standing beside me. I was devastated. Donovan and I kept our focus on God and it was He who provided a wonderful woman to stand in my mother’s place for this special occasion. With my friend Kat helping me, we did all the mother-daughter things that go into planning a wedding. We had so much fun, but deep down I ached for my mom. It was one of the hardest times in my life.
Three years later our first baby, Dylan, was born. Donovan and I were thrilled and embraced parenthood with joy and excitement. Again, my mom was not there to share in our happiness. This was her firstborn grandchild.
Throughout the pregnancy I could not understand why my mother chose the beliefs of a cult over a relationship with me.
As Dylan was growing up, I was overwhelmed with confusion. I could not in a million years think of abandoning my son like my mom had done with me! It just wasn’t right. That’s not what mothers do.For many years, I went to counseling trying to cope with my feelings of rejection and abandonment.
I prayed for God to open her eyes to the truth. Through all the pain, I still had hope that one day she would return.
In October of 2008 that day would come! A dear friend called and told me she saw my mom at a post wedding party for a couple that had recently married. I was shocked to learn the person they were honoring was the daughter of my mom’s cult leader! Feeling angry and heart-broken I immediately text-messaged my mom: “How dare you honor that woman’s daughter when you didn’t even give a blankety-blank about my wedding.”
Two hours later my mom called. When I saw her name on my phone I panicked! We had not
spoken in six years! I refused to pick it up but she kept calling back. Over and over the phone rang and rang until finally I took the call. She said, “Hi Aubrey, do you want to talk?” What could I say after so many years of separation?
On one hand I was angry and upset; on the other I was vulnerable and afraid. This turmoil rolled around inside as I struggled for what to say. Beaten down from the absence of my mother’s love I told her, “Mom, you have really hurt me and I don’t understand why. I am so tired of you not being there for me. Then, my heart stopped and my jaw hit the floor. I couldn’t believe the words came out of her mouth. “Aubrey, I‘ve missed you and want to be in your life again.” Was I dreaming?
She said she realized how much pain she had caused. We made plans to meet at the harbor the next day to talk. I was nervous knowing she was still involved in the cult and didn’t want to get my hopes up.
There by the water we spent hours talking. Trying to understand, I asked her many questions, and as we spoke about the past we both cried. On my way home, I had this feeling she had one foot in the cult and one foot out. So much time had passed between us that it was hard to catch up in just one visit.
Donovan and I decided to invite her over for dinner the next night and she accepted. It went well, though it was awkward, to say the least. During the following week we would spend a lot of time talking and sharing our hearts with one another. Dylan was getting to know his Gamma and I could tell it touched her in a deep way.
The Roller Coaster
Then came Friday morning when my phone rang. Mom called, wanting to speak face to face. Being in a hurry to get to work, I asked her what was up. Something in the tone of her voice disturbed me. Trying to prepare for the worst, I braced myself emotionally. “Aubrey, I think I’ve made a mistake and I cannot do this. I don’t believe it’s possible to reconcile this relationship!”
I crumbled, falling to the floor in disbelief as my heart sank within me. Again, I was devastated. In anguish I cried out to God, knowing I could not live like this anymore. She was making me crazy!
Indignation came over me from the bottom of my soul and I made the decision I was not going to lose her again! I knew what I had to do! I put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6: 11) and stood my ground!
Thank God Donovan was home that morning. He instantly began praying. He told me to tell her about the fruits of the spirit and how none of them were apparent in her life: joy, peace, kindness….(Gal. 5:22-23)
I reminded my mother how miserable she had been and how the leader of the cult had brainwashed her. I encouraged her not to listen to anything Normandy would say. She was quiet but in the end she said, “I need more time to think about this.” I told her, “If you walk away now it will have to be forever, because I won’t go through this again.” I hung up thinking, this is it! I might never talk to my mom again. I was a wreck.
I had to go to work, and yet I wasn’t physically able to put one foot in front of the other. I was crying so hard it was as if someone had knocked the wind right out of me. Reluctantly I dragged myself into the office. I thank God I was there by myself! Later my dad stopped by to comfort me.
Just a few hours had passed when I heard my cell phone ring. I panicked! The Caller ID read:
Mom’s cell. What was she doing calling me? I couldn’t take any more insanity! I chose not to answer it. She called again and again. Finally, she left a message.
She said she realized that everything I said on the phone before was true. My mom declared she was done with the cult for good! She begged my forgiveness and asked for patience. Mom announced she was cutting off all relationship with Jane!
It was unbelievable. When I called her back she sounded like a different person. This coaster ride had to come to and end right now! Her change of mind had to be set in stone. She had to own up to all the hurt she’d put us through. She came over that night and we talked, crying for what seemed like hours on end. It was painful to make up for lost time. The following Sunday she joined our family at church. In faith, I prayed her heart would be truly changed and her mind set free, that some day she would discover the liberty she has in Christ.
It’s been over a year since my mom and I have reconciled. Let me tell you, it’s been great! God has blessed Donovan and I. We found out in December 2008 that we were going to have twins! This pregnancy would be so different, as my mom was by my side. God gave us back more joy than we had ever known. He made up for all the years that had been lost. During the past six years God had continually given me slivers of hope to hold on to. I’m so grateful
we’re on the other side of it now. To God be the glory!
July 31st, twins Sydney and Ryan were born, and
my mom was there every step of the way. To Him be
all the Glory!