“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. “-Psalm 127:3-4
I will be celebrating my twenty-sixth Mother’s Day this year. In my younger years when I was asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” my response was to be married and be a momma! It was my vision and dream. I was blessed with my first and only girl, Taryn, in January 1990. She was a daddy’s girl from the get go. Needless to say, when he suddenly died in 2001, it was devastating for all three of my children. Taryn retreated to a dark and empty abyss and her climb out of the hole was brutal on all of us.
I started witnessing behavior issues and did everything I could to “fix” her. We saw counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and doctors. She was evaluated for disorders and learning disabilities. She built this huge wall around her and would not let anyone into her painful world. As time marched on, there was disobedience, drugs, drinking, and even running away for five weeks. As her mom, I kept trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Was it something I said or something I did or did not do? The guilt and the shame weighed me down and I was drowning in my own grief- again. This time over my child who I could not reach, heal, or understand her behavior.
Thank God for my husband Randy who reached out to experts to find out what we could do to save Taryn from her destructive actions. It was decided to send her to an eight-week wilderness therapy camp. It is like something you would see on a reality TV- two undercover police escorts came at 4AM and woke her up, handcuffed her, and walked her out to the front door. I was ordered to stay in my bedroom with the door shut. I rocked myself back and forth crying out to God to save my little girl. In this moment I realized, I had to give her up to Him. His will would be done.
- Turning over control- My first major hurdle was the realization I could not fix Taryn and God was the one in control. It did not matter how many people we consulted to find an explanation as to why she was acting out. Taryn later revealed to us she blamed herself for her father’s death. She was eleven at the time and her dad had sent her to her room for misbehaving at dinner. She remembers stomping up the stairs and wishing he would go away. He left later in the evening to play in a soccer game, where he collapsed on the field and died. She carried this burden on herself and told no one for six years.
- Turning over anger- Not all issues were resolved overnight. Even after the therapy program, Taryn continued to slip back into her old habits and wound up pregnant at seventeen. She gave birth to a baby boy after her eighteenth birthday and gave him up for adoption. It was the best decision for both her and the baby as she continued to heal and work on herself. This was a huge disappointment for me and I had to come to a place of forgiveness and letting go of the anger.
- Turning over pain- Today, Taryn is twenty-six years old, married with two beautiful daughters (my grandbabies!). She graduated high school and completed her Associates as a medical assistant. She works extremely hard for her family and plans on going back to school this year to complete her registered nursing degree. I am bursting with pride as she has risen above her anger, hurt, and grief. I have had to forgive her for all the hateful comments, actions, and pain she has created for herself and our family. I am so thankful to God for walking with and bringing us through these circumstances and strengthening our bond as a mother and daughter.
I am amazed at how God guided and directed me these last twenty-six years as a mother. I know I am not perfect, but I am so blessed to call myself the mother of these three beautiful children. I look forward to seeing how they grow up and parent my grandchildren and I pray they enjoy and cherish all the moments. It is said children are a gift from God. Thank you, Lord, for picking me to be the one and only mother to these three children. I love you Taryn, Hunter, and Braeden!!!