The Mother Wound: How It's Affecting You


Healing the Mother Wound

We were in a group sitting in a circle, 6 of us, both men and women. My heart was crying for this woman next to me. Inside of me was a voice screaming, “this woman has a gaping wound and she is bleeding all over the place and onto people who have never cut her. How can I help this beautiful woman?”

I’ll call her Belinda (a fictional name I’ll give her for privacy purposes). Belinda was describing her estranged relationship with her father. She was in her 60’s now but was describing how her stepmother had caused a strain in the relationship with her father by controlling every interaction and conversation or visit she had with her own father. The stepmother had not liked her even when she was young and had mistreated her horribly. Belinda was one who was now shut down emotionally and mentally.

Belinda was saying that she wondered why she struggled with relationships. She had struggled with friendships, marriages and other significant relationships. When she was at work, she struggled to perform for her bosses, wrestling with anxiety whenever they asked her for something on a deadline. She felt she had to do everything perfectly or she would fear being punished. Belinda was successful and competent, yet in her own mind, she just wasn’t good enough. 

There is a Culprit. It’s Called the Mother Wound

The mother wound is a hurt that is caused when a mother or another female figure in our life causes us harm. It can be a physical, an emotional, a mental wound, or spiritual abuse. The wound can be caused when a mother is absent, critical, ignorant and disconnected from us.

Whether a mother does these things willingly, or not. Mothers can be absent on a heart level even though they are physically with us. Mothers can die at strategic points in time in our lives. Mothers can be victims in their own lives through domestic violence or other types of abuse. Mothers can be uneducated or lack the kind of nurturing we needed. For whatever reason we feel we are not loved or are neglected, it translates to other parts of our lives, whether or not we know what is happening.

The mother wound can manifest itself in many ways and we often do not recognize the symptoms. We may carry the mother’s issues on into our own lives with our own children. We may be disconnected. We may lack empathy. We may not be able to process emotions in a healthy way. We may not be able to communicate well or stay in ignorance. We may be ones who come under the bondage of continual comparison and competition with others. We may fear authorities or be extremely critical of ourselves and others.

In terms of the spiritual realm, the mother wound reveals itself in the way we connect with Holy Spirit. Just as the way we view and interact with Father God is a reflection of our relationship with our natural fathers, there is a similar effect with mothers and Holy Spirit. As a side note, the way we act and react with Jesus is often a reflection of our relationships with siblings and friends.

What it looks like practically with Holy Spirit is this:

  1. You may not trust Holy Spirit.

  2. You may consider Holy Spirit to be harsh, apathetic or cruel.

  3. You may believe Holy Spirit is absent or distant.

  4. You may blow of Holy Spirit altogether.

  5. You may not honor Holy Spirit as having equal authority with Jesus and Father God.

  6. You may not be able to “hear” God like other people.

  7. You may consider Holy Spirit to be unapproachable.

  8. You may not experience Holy Spirit like you’ve read in the Bible

The list could go on, but I think you get the point. If these symptoms sound familiar to you, you are not alone. Most everyone has some mother issue that brings us into places of brokenness between people, ourselves and God.

 The GOOD NEWS is, it’s healable.

I believe when we address the mother wound, we can be healed and made whole. We can be more connected with people and with the Godhead. Not only can we be healed in our own body, soul and spirit but we can heal others.

Truly, I believe we can heal cities, regions, nations and the world.

 I believe we can bring an end to abortion, reconcile with those who have been broken by racism, sexual abuse and more. Healing the mother wound can have tremendous impact on an individual and in a culture.

 We live in a time of great need and crisis. Would you dare to believe that healing the mother wound could change the world as we know it?

 Recently, I had the opportunity to offer this prayer before a group of prayer leaders. I was surprised to see how touched they were when I prayed something similar to this over a team of 40-ish.

 There are a few examples of prayers of repentance in scripture that bring healing to generations and to lands (Leviticus 26:40-46, Daniel 9).


In Ezekiel it says this:

Ezekiel 20:30 I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. (NASB)

 You can stand in the gap.

This scripture tells me that we can stand in the gap, meaning we can fill in the missing places and build on the behalf of others to prevent destruction and restore broken places. Nehemiah also offers a picture of this building of walls for protection.

Here I want to offer this prayer of repentance on behalf of mothers who have harmed you. You can heal and begin to function in healthy ways bringing healing to our world. You can offer this to someone in need or have someone do this with you.

Forgive Me as A Mother

“I know I have failed you.

Forgive me for having profoundly disappointed you. I am sorry that I have not been the mother to you that you needed. Please forgive me for not having mothered you appropriately, gently or kindly. Please know in my heart, I choose you.

I know I have not nurtured you.

Forgive me for having failed to nurture you in deep places. I am sorry for not answering your cries. Please forgive me for not providing a safe place for you to express yourself and be who you are without condemnation. Please accept the comfort you deserve.


I know I have been critical of you.

Forgive me for my words that have wounded you. I am sorry that I have used words that have caused you harm and did not encourage you. Please forgive me for the negative words and actions that have come from me. Please know I am for you.


I know I have not recognized you.

Forgive me for not acknowledging you. I am sorry that I have not heard you or have seen you. Please forgive me for not valuing your accomplishments. Please know that I see you and celebrate who you are.


I know I have not taught you.

Forgive me for not teaching you ways to navigate your life. I am sorry that I have not given you tools and information that could have helped you live a better experience in the world. Please forgive me for my ignorance and lack of understanding. Please know you bring value to every arena you find yourself.


I know I have not processed emotion with you.

Forgive me for not having grieved with you when you were sad. I am sorry that I have not expressed joy with you when you were happy. Please forgive me for not processing connection, trust and transparency with you. Please know I love you with my laughter and my tears.


I know I have been absent.

Forgive me for abandoning you. I am sorry that I have not been present either physically or emotionally for you. Please forgive me for not expressing my heart for you and experiencing life with you. Please know that you are not alone, and you are significant.


I know I have not modeled life well.

Forgive me for not being the best role model. I am sorry that I have not built confidence inside of you. Forgive me that I have not taught you how to relate to the opposite sex or the same sex appropriately. Please know that you can have healthy relationships and experience deep love.


Will you forgive me?”


If this strikes a chord with you and you have not yet forgiven those who have harmed you (this can be an aunt, a coach, a teacher or other female figure), you can do so now. You can begin to heal.


You can begin the process by choosing to acknowledge and forgive today. God is gracious and compassionate, begin by receiving His love and connecting to his heart for you.

 Note from Toni:

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical doctor, psychiatrist, or professional clinical psychologist. I have been a licensed and ordained minister specializing in prayer ministry. My writings are based on my personal experience working with people in various capacities bringing spiritual transformation to individuals and groups. The views expressed here are my own personal views, opinions, observations and experiences over the past few decades. My blog posts do not necessarily represent the views of organizations I am currently working with or have been a part of in the past. I have been trained extensively in various settings by experienced leaders. I have trained others interested in spiritual healing in various platforms, using a variety of methods. Stories of individuals are used by permission and/or details have been changed in order to provide anonymity for the purpose of dignity and privacy.

Copyright © 2019 Toni Imsen. All Rights Reserved. 



Calling of Women in Ministry and the Ugly Cry

The Calling of Women in Ministry and the Ugly Cry Image.jpg

As soon as he introduced her, I began to tremble on the inside. I could feel it coming on. It was the dreaded ugly cry.

You know the one, your lips begin to quiver, your face gets hot, the tears are coming quick and your nose begins to run. Even drooling and leaning forward, your whole body begins to shake.

I was in a conference sitting between my husband and my direct leader, whom I was serving in a church with at the time, another male leader whom I had a good relationship with.

My leader glanced at me with a concerned look as if to ask if I was okay. I just looked at him and he looked at my husband who then noticed and leaned over to me and asked if I was indeed okay. I just looked at him and nodded slightly. I couldn't talk, and most of all I didn't know exactly why I was so wrecked.

Two world-renowned Christian leaders were on the stage. The man was introducing this woman with such honor, affection and humility as he handed his pulpit to her. He spoke highly of her personally and as a leader. He spoke of her ministry with such grace and emphasizing her great accomplishments. Then she began to speak. I was still shaken and crying.

"Lord, what is wrong with me? I can't control myself. I feel so sad and confused. What is this?" I prayed, feeling numb and in shock.

Suddenly I began to have flashes of a memory.

Years earlier I had been in a living room of one of the people I was involved with in ministry. Almost everyone was outside enjoying games, dessert and hanging out. I had gone into the living room to get something from my purse and I heard a conversation of two other male leaders in the church from the kitchen, which was just on the other side of a freestanding fireplace.

"I would never have a woman preacher in my pulpit. They don't have the authority to preach and teach, they are so easily deceived and controlling." One man said.

The other man in response said "Yes, I agree. Whenever I've walked into a church and seen a woman behind the pulpit, I turn around and walk out. That church is clearly out of order. Some even think women can be senior pastors. That is such nonsense and not even in the bible..."

They didn't know I was right around the other side of the fireplace. I heard every word and I wasn't really surprised by what they had said. I had heard that before from other people that I highly respected. Having not grown up in the church, I didn't have a grid for a lot of things that had been taught. I respected them and I assumed they probably knew something I didn't considering I was a fairly new believer at the time I overhead that conversation. Somehow it didn't feel right, but I got what I needed from the living room and went back outside completely forgetting about that conversation, until that moment of flashback in the conference that day.

"Dear God, why am I thinking about those men and that conversation right now?" I asked Him quietly while she was speaking on stage.

"Toni," He replied so fast I could hardly believe it. "Do you believe what those men said? Do you believe that women have no power and authority? Do you believe women are easily deceived and controlling? Do you believe women have no business in a pulpit preaching and teaching? Do you believe women cannot be senior leaders? Is that Who you think I am? Who do you say I am? The melody of three voices echoed in my mind the voice of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit asked in unison.

"No, Lord. I don't believe any of those things represent you or your ways. You can use anything you want, anyone You want, however you want to. It doesn't occur to me that You are reflected in any of those beliefs. Those are limiting boundaries, not expressing you or the freedom of your frontiers. Those things aren't true about you or me.  I believe you are all-powerful, all knowing, and ever-present. At least what I can see or have known You to be so far. I have not known You to restrict me or any woman. If I am wrong, please teach me." I answered His questions.

"You are right, Toni. Those things are not me and do not represent Me or my kingdom correctly. Many believe wrong things about Me and misunderstand the passages about women in my Word. Who you say I am is important. You will need to know that inside and out and with every fiber of your being. You will need to be found in Me and find your identity in My identity. You will need this for where you are going and what will come to you and through you. Forgive those men for misrepresenting Me, turn from those declarations and beliefs. Follow Me. It is important for you to know this now and forever forward." I kept these words in my heart. They are clear and vibrant today as they were then.

What I didn't know then was that somewhere inside me, even though I was not conscious of or aware of any agreement with the things those men said, those beliefs were still stuck on me and in me somewhere and they had to be broken and disagreed with.

I also was unaware that I would be thrust into a position of leadership in our region within the next few years that I was not planning for, considering or even desiring. God knew what was around the corner for me and was preparing me ahead of time.

For the next few years, God had begun speaking to me about a variety of topics - leadership, strategy, models for ministry and business. It was as if I was in a kingdom speed-course. I had no idea what to do with all of the dreams, visions, prophetic words and downloads of information I was receiving. I wrote it all down and recorded it whenever possible. I knew that when the time came, I would know what it all was and how to apply it all.

I can say this one thing. He was faithful with His details on His end, especially when it was difficult for me. Believe me, it was impossible at times. I spent plenty of time on the floor just plain suffering and weeping. There is a cost to the calling and it was pretty expensive.

When the ugly cry comes, ask Him what it's all about and He will let you know.

Answer the call.


Copyright © 2017-2018 Toni Imsen. All Rights Reserved.