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"To the mother whose child is struggling" by Ginny Kochis (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: By Justin Peterson (2016), Unsplash.com, CC0/PD[/caption] It’s not fair, is it? It’s frustrating and heartbreaking and isolating all at once. Your friends and their kids seem to be marching along just swimmingly. And there you are, you and your baby, drowning -- both of you too desperate to speak up. It’s not that you ever expected this life to be easy -- not really. It’s more that you never imagined you would feel so heavy and alone. You never anticipated the sorts of thoughts you’ve been facing lately.   That God has abandoned you. That your child is broken. That you’ve failed somehow at being a mom. Sure -- you could talk to somebody about it. And maybe you’ve already tired. But nobody really understands the depth of the heartache you’re experiencing. It’s too deep and all-encompassing to be ameliorated by well-meaning tips on diet, sleep, and exercise. I get it, my friend, because I have been there. I have felt the stares, heard the whispers, faced the “She’s so brilliant, but …”   I’ve lain awake at night retracing every step of my broken motherhood experience trying to find the place where I slipped off the railway.   But guess what, my dear friend, sister, and confidante? It’s not out there. And it’s not part of your journey home.  

To the Mother Whose Child is Struggling

Your child’s struggles are not your fault. You have not failed to teach him values or morals of any of the other details for which you currently doubt yourself. Those thoughts are desolations: sentiments that do not come from God.   You are beautifully, wonderfully made -- for each other. God has chosen you to be the mother your child needs, and vice versa. As you shape and form this soul on its journey to heaven, so is that soul taking part in renewing and sanctifying yours.   Your child is not broken. God designs each individual uniquely, for a specific reason revealed to us in time. Yes, there are flaws and challenges each one of us must learn to conquer, but a learning difference, a developmental delay, or a struggle with a particular vice does not mean your child is fundamentally broken. It is a pathway to grace and the individual God desires him to become.   Your struggles are the image of Christ and His mother at the Cross. No one understands you and your sorrow better than Our Blessed Mother. Let her stand with you in your Calvary and walk with you toward the glory to come.   There will be grace, growth, and goodness. The fire of this challenge is refining all of you. Look for the graces you receive; for the virtues that grow within and around you through this process. Remark on the growth and the goodness and speak it. Praise God in everything - especially the storm.   Hold on to what brings you joy. The sunlight through the window. The curve of your kiddo’s check. The image of God as it flows from your son or daughter even in the midst of this difficulty. Keep your eyes fixed not on the moments that fill you with guilt and desperation, but on the beauty that reminds you of the heart of God.   So no, my friend. It’s not fair. It’s hard and it hurts and it’s the last thing you want to live through. But you are not alone. You never have been. You never will be. There are others of us out there walking the road to Calvary, standing with you -- and Mary -- at the foot of the cross.
Copyright 2019 Ginny Kochis