As I sat on the church pew, my tears flowed down my cheeks faster than I could wipe them away. Well-known discouraging and belittling thoughts bounced around my mind. “You’re a horrible mother. You’re ruining your daughter’s life. She’ll never be normal because of you!”
I remembered that morning when I’d gotten so angry at two-year-old Darcy that I feared I could actually harm her. I felt so alone and my prayers seemed to bounce back at me after hitting the ceiling. There didn’t seem to be any help for my anger and any hope for the future.
Suddenly, I became aware of how the woman sitting next to me seemed to be anxious about my distress. Would she say something? Now I had more bouncing thoughts. Do I want her to ask? Can I even talk without sobbing? What would I say…I wanted to hit my daughter this morning? How could I say that? Would she call 911 to haul me away to the funny farm?
Somehow we both sat through the service and during the final prayer, I slipped out. When she didn’t follow me quickly, I was relieved. Or was I even more sad? Maybe she could have helped me.
Over 35 years ago, that very scene occurred in my life. I never saw that woman again in our large church, but I’d love to tell her that God answered my prayers. He turned my anger into patience, my distress into joy, and my pain into ministry. I’m still not sure if it would have been good if she’d talked to me. But I do know that in time I told others and received the help I needed.
I first shared my struggle with my neighborhood women’s Bible study. They began to pray for me and hold me accountable. James 5:16 became real in my life: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (NIV).
And my daughter? God healed our relationship and we are now best friends. God redeemed her and she loves God and is teaching her son to love Him also.
If you are struggling in any way in your mothering, reach out to others.
It may seem like the most fearful thing there is. I was terrified the first time I shared with that group but in spite of my fears, they were concerned and didn’t reject me.
It may feel horrible to feel needy. I was so needy but God met my need through them and in many other ways. I began to learn that it’s good to be needy because then I needed God and His servants.
It may seem discouraging to have to ask again and again. I gave a report every week to those women and it wasn’t always positive but God worked over time.
It may seem embarrassing. I cringed thinking of sharing with them but God humbled me. And He also gently taught me in my teachable state how to be a good mom.
God knows how to bring the help you need. You may not be received into someone’s loving help immediately, but don’t give up. God will guide you to those He wants to help you.
God cares about your struggle. You are not alone. There is hope and help.
About Kathy Collard Miller
Kathy Collard Miller is amazed that God began her writing ministry with her first article in 1979, which shared how God delivered her from her abusive anger. She had no idea that God would open opportunities that would result in her 50th published book and speaking in 32 states and 8 foreign countries. Her latest book, written with her husband, Larry, is Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today (Leafwood). The delight of her life is her 8 year old grandson. Kathy lives in Southern California. www.KathyCollardMiller.com