Destiny In Bloom

Trust and Forgiveness

Trust and Forgiveness

posted on March 29th, 2010 / by Crystal Dodson / 18 Comments

Growing up was a tough time in my life.  I was born to a single mother of 16.  She was young, rebellious and just plain sassy.  She was free spirit and hated to be tied down.  Everyone tells me to this day that they admired her freedom to be who she was.

Eventually who she became was not something to be admired.  She found herself spiraling into drugs, alcohol and abusive men.  She shacked up with men of all sorts and gave herself away many times.  In the middle of all of this was me- this young girl who longed to be loved by someone. Anyone. Eventually she had more children and I had someone to love and to love me back. I remember making bottles for my brother, who was 3 years younger than me, and then changing diapers and making bottles for my sister who came along 6 years later.

My life as a mom started at a very young age.

We grew up poor. Not the kind of poor that most kids think they are when they don’t get every single thing they want, but the kind of poor that makes you ashamed of the fact that you live in your car.  The kind of poor that makes you wish you could hide away and pretend your life was amazing.

In our life, we were witness to all sorts of acts of violence.  My mom was abused by a man for over 10 years and we suffered abuse by him as well.  I can remember moments where we would be hiding in the pantry while he ran through the house yelling our names and saying he would kill us as soon as he found us.  Needless to say, this did not do good thing for our daddy issues.

I can remember the police arriving and taking him away; only to find my mother 5 hrs later picking him up from the police station and bringing him back into our home. The place that was supposed to be our sanctuary. The place where we came to find safety, reassurance and comfort.  But instead we found fear, rejection, abuse and many other unhealthy things.  Fighting was a common occurrence in our home and soon it became the norm.  We knew that if we made a noise at night and woke him up, that we would find ourselves smacked across the back or head and told to get back bed.  There was no love in our home. Just fear.

My mom always chose other things over us.  Drugs, alcohol, men, women, and many other things.  We were left for weeks at a time to fend for ourselves and that meant I was the one in charge. I was the mom and these were my children.

Eventually I grew up and started to live my own life. Jesus found me at 17. Broken, hurt, emotionally unstable and in a constant state of fear.  Fear of rejection, fear of men, fear of myself, of love, of anything that was good. I felt unworthy and unloved.

Thankfully Jesus took the time to heal those things and make me the woman I am today. My relationship with my mom even began to heal.

Eventually I married and found myself pregnant with our first child.  I was overjoyed!  I knew that my heart was meant to hold lots of love for lots of children and I couldn’t believe that this was finally my chance to be a mom!

Our son Ethan was born on October 27th, 2006. He was perfect!  Beautiful.  As I held him in my arms, I felt something I never expected to feel at the birth of my first child …


All of these memories of my childhood came flooding back.

I began to cry out and ask God

“How could she do this to me? How could she look at me as a beautiful child and choose the life she gave me? WHY?”

I was overwhelmed by love for my son but overwhelmed by anger towards my mother.  I was her child.  How on earth could she do that to me? I could never imagine putting this perfect little boy through the things I lived through.

The thought was unfathomable to me!

And it was in that moment of adoring my son and hating my mom that God came to me and asked

“Crystal, are you willing to forgive her.

Not for her or for me, but for Ethan.

Are you willing to trust ME to heal those places and to bring wholeness?

Could I walk out of that hospital room a mother and no longer the child who was put through unthinkable acts?

I knew I had to do it- if only for Ethan.

And I did. In the midst of loving my son and hating my mother, I chose forgiveness.  I chose to move on, to love and to cherish the mother I had, despite her failings. It was then that the feelings of anger were overcome by the feelings of love.

For my son – for my mother.

Since the birth of my 1st son, my relationship with my mom has become more and more incredible. She has been clean and sober for almost 2 years and has accepted Christ!  Talk about redemption!  We talk weekly (as I live in Australia and she lives in California) and find ourselves moving past the past and towards the future.

Forgiveness can be many things and it can be the very thing we least expect it to be.  For me it was the freedom to be the mother I never had.  It was choosing love and forgiveness over bitterness and anger. It meant letting go so I could live my life as a mother and love my children fully and without restriction

I encourage you to choose forgiveness.  To choose to love. To choose to trust God.  Even in those moments when it doesn’t feel possible, ask for God to help you.  His heart is moved by forgiveness and healing can begin.  It’s about love. Loving your family /life/self/God and others enough to move past the hurt and choose the life that can only be found in forgiveness.

Mother Teresa said
” If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.”

Crystal is a wife to an Australian hottie and mother of 2 cheeky boys with baby #3 on the way! She has lived in Australia with her little family for the past 5 years and loves every minute of it! Staying at home with her kiddos allows her to dabble in all sorts of jobs. nurse, chef, professional laundry lady, cleaner, and when she gets a moment she likes to grab her camera and moonlight as a photographer.  She loves anything to do with cupcakes and dinner parties.  Most Friday nights you will find her with a nose in a new cookbook or eyes scanning a cooking website. Most of all she loves Jesus and walks in the confidence of who He created her to be.

Crystal Dodson

Crystal Dodson

18 Responses to “Trust and Forgiveness”

  1. Beautiful!! What a precious look at forgiveness and God's love for us

  2. What an amazing story! I too raised my younger siblings yet under different circumstances. I loved my sisters but I took care of them bc I felt responsible. You never realize the huge amount of love that's in you until you have your own baby. So glad God has made you into the Mother he knew you could be.

  3. thank you so much for sharing your story Crystal, it's amazing!

  4. Thank you for sharing your story, your heart and speaking the truth. I remember when I became a mom looking at my dads sin (leaving our family) wondering how could you walk away from a beautiful family. It was hard but the Lord used it and it gave me a greater depth of understanding. I love the last line in your post. At times I walk beautifully in who God created me to be and times I struggle with the insecurity that I try so hard to fight and for reasons that seem so real to be but things our Father allowed. I am going to hang onto those words when I am fighting to walk in truth.

  5. Praise God that your Mother has been sober for 2 years!! Our stories are similar in a few ways. I went through the same feelings when I had my first child. I wish I could say my Mom is clean and sober and that we have a normal relationship. Thanks for sharing your road to forgiveness and how God has restored your relationship with your Mom. God Bless!

  6. Loved it! Praise God for the redemption in your life! Thanks for sharing part of your story. God bless you!

  7. I too can relate to raising a younger sibling but under different circumstances. Just one of the issues which this raises is how to have fun and relax instead of being driven when you have never learned how to be a kid. Thank God we are not alone and He gives us the wisdom and insight that we need!

    So appreciate you sharing your story with such candor. Love how God comes in and writes His heart on the pages of our lives! What a wonderful testimony.

  8. Beautiful!!

  9. Wow Christy! You nailed me to a tee with that comment about not knowing how to relax and always being so driven bc we never were really kids!! Thanks for helping realize somethig new there.

  10. Awesome! Forgiveness is so powerful and its crazy that its much more than for the other persons benefit as it is for our own! Thank you for sharing this! <3

  11. What a great picture of redemption and forgiveness! So beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing your heart.

  12. You are AMAZING! I could say it again and again and i know that is how God sees you-You amaze HIM! You are a brave soldier for Christ-doing the hard stuff because He asks you to and you are surrendered to Him. I know He will bless you for your act of forgiveness and your trust. He will make all things work for your good because HE IS GOOD! Keep fighting the good fight of faith and destroying the enemies lies! GO CRISTAL-God is for you!

  13. I am speechless! I saw so much of my life and what I am healing from right now in your story. Thank you for sharing. You gave me lots to chew on. God is so good!

  14. Thank you Crystal for sharing your story of God's unconditional love for His children that no matter what we go through He is always there to see us through. Thank you for allowing Him to use you to speak to others through your story and testimony. He is our strong tower and very present help in times of trouble. God Bless!!!

    P.S. I live in California and my son has been living in Australia for a year and a half now and will be getting married in November to a beautiful Australian girl. :)

  15. Thank you for this! This is exactly what I am working through at this very moment … forgiving my mom for some issues that have been going on over the years. For the past couple of weeks I've been battling. I go back and forth between choosing forgiveness and then letting my mind go back to the things that were said and I get angry again so it's been a battle. I was just thinking about how forgiveness always comes at a cost to the person forgiving last night and then I read this today. This has been completely appropriate and needed for this exact time in my life. I'm so glad you wrote what you did and that it was posted when it was! I want to really love and have no hindrances. Thanks!

  16. what a beautiful way to express yourself and your story of redemption and forgiveness. thank you for being sold-out to motherhood! you are an inspiration to truly be heard! love your heart and testimony~m

  17. Thank you Crystal! Just the encouragement I needed today since my mom has been in town visiting me.

  18. Crystal- Wow, God has done such a mighty work in you. I can tell, and this is probably just a small snippet of what happened in your life. I can relate in so many ways, its scary! I have a feeling God is going to use you in more ways than you can even imagine. He already has by the life you are giving to your kids. Thank you for your honesty and letting God use you with your testimony~Beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption..