When you are born, it is your parents’ sacred duty to love you.

Most parents would describe meeting their child as a meeting filled with endless love at first sight. That is the ideal, but it isn’t always the case.

Sometimes parents just don’t love their children as they should. Sometimes they are so incredibly broken themselves that they are unable to give their child the love they deserve. Sometimes the hurt that has been passed down to them from previous generations still has such a stronghold over their life that they are unable to break the cycle themselves.

Sometimes they don’t even realize how incredibly hurtful they can be.

But now you’re here, momma, raising babies of your own. You are determined to break the cycle and do better for your little ones. That determination is step one.

How does someone who experienced abuse at their parents’ hands leave a whole new legacy for their children? How do you move past emotional, psychological, sexual, physical or mental abuse and become a healthy parent yourself? How do you move past repetitive cycles, addictions, or extreme heartbreak to set a new tone for the next generation?

Love. Determination. Commitment. Forgiveness. Learning. Trying again and again and again to do better and be better.

Most importantly, the recognition that this is not your fault. You deserved so much better.

God, full of his love and infinite wisdom, designed you to be exactly as you are. Those eyes, that hair, the heart that cares so deeply even after its been crushed—all placed in you by the Creator of the universe Himself. It was His will for you that you would know how loved you are.

Sometimes earthly parents don’t measure up, and God weeps for His children here on Earth being broken by their parents. That wasn’t the plan.

But God is the perfect parent. His love can provide you with sufficient healing and peace if you allow that to happen. His words can give you the grace you need to forgive, and the peace you need to move forward.

Rest in His presence. Delight in His opinion of you. Find your identity as a child of the true King, and not of your broken earthly parent. Ask Him for help moving forward, and keep on remembering His promises and grace over and over and over.

Spend time in His Word, reflecting on the way God loves you. Remember the cross, and how Jesus felt about you. Ask for the Holy Spirit to fill you with the peace that passes all understanding. Meditate day in and day out on how loved you truly are and how you were created with a purpose, even if it wasn’t how you were made to feel while growing up.

Seek forgiveness when you speak and your broken parent comes out, not just from God but from your child, too. Look for others who have overcome the same abuse you have, and ask what worked for them.

Remember how wanted you are. God didn’t put you on this Earth to live in the bondage of your parent’s brokenness. No, He put you here because He wanted you here. You have the opportunity to create a message out of the mess your earthly parent gave you, and reach so many other broken children in this cruel world.

God wants you. God loves you. God does not think you deserve this. God is excited to see you live in victory over your past.

Now, go and do better. You can break the cycle—after all, you have made it this far!

Leslie Deane-Mountjoy

Leslie Deane-Mountjoy is studying to become a Registered Psychotherapist. She loves to encourage people to see their true worth as beloved children of the King, capable of overcoming the obstacles life throws their way. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have four kids. Leslie is rarely seen without a big smile, and a cup of coffee!