Well, I didn't keep my promise of blogging through my mother's visit, but honestly, nothing of note happened so there was nothing much to say. She even made it through church with us today; she hated it but she was fairly gracious and said not much afterwards (just a few nasty asides like "oh, One isn't really in Sunday School class - it's catechism, like the Catholics." and, when invited to come forward at the end of the service to kiss the cross: "I kiss Jesus in my heart every day - I don't need any rituals, thank you.") Otherwise, she behaved herself. Thank God for His mercy!
It's clear she thinks I've lost my mind and traded "faith in Christ" for "religion" but I'm not overly obsessed with her opinion anymore. Once she had the power to take away everything that mattered to me (my father), then she had the power to drive me to distraction while trying to stop me from marrying the person I love the most in this world. Finally, she prayed that what has become the greatest joy on this earth to me - motherhood - would be forever withheld from me. Well, she succeeded for a while in the first endeavor, but now I have my father back after long years of being without him. I married the man she hated, and 14 years later she has a bit of egg of her face about that, doesn't she? And God gave me two perfect children, even as she begged Him to make me barren.
To put it simply: she has no power over me. Oh, sure, she can cause the occasional panic attack, and bring back an unpleasant memory once in a while, but she can't stop me from worshipping God the way I feel called to do any more than she could stop all those other, most-important-to-me, things - at least not in the end. Ever since I sat in Divine Liturgy this morning I've felt the most amazing sense of release; some piece of fear stuck in my heart for so many years dissolved in the prayers and the incense today and left me forever. Maybe now I'll be able to love my mother for who she is, perhaps for the first time in my life. I might somehow free to do that; I don't know why, but I think I am. Because God is good. Oh. so. good.