Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” For years, I questioned this scripture. I just didn’t see how it was going to manifest in my life. I questioned my parenting skills and I wondered if I would ever be a great mom. After all, I was pregnant with my 1st child, Gabi, at 19-years-old. As a single mom, I went into the military to be able to take care of the both of us. I dated great guys, but none wanted to be a part of my daughter’s life.
Seven years later, I married my husband who thought he was up for the challenge of raising another man’s child. We had so many ups and downs and I wondered, “Am I sacrificing being a great mom for being a wife?” Shortly after the wedding, I was pregnant, unemployed and on bed-rest.
From there, I was a stay-at-home mom for several years. My kids went from public school, to homeschooling, back to public school, then to private school and now back to public school. I did all of this because I felt that as a great mom, my kids needed to have the best education possible. I was my daughters’ Girl Scout troop leader, cheer coach, track/soccer/football team mom and the list goes on. I truly believed that if I did all of this, my kids would be awesome and not get into stuff like I did.
Well, when our oldest daughter was a teenager, I found out she was cutting (Google it this is still very painful for me to talk about.) A year later, she was arrested and sent to jail for theft at her mall job; she was a few months out of high school and a few months from shipping out in the Navy. I almost had a nervous breakdown when she was put in jail for 3 days. I felt like I could never show my face in town again.
After this, she decided to live with several boyfriends and their mamas (I promise she was raised in church, y’all!) as well as with the neighbor across the street. She paid them rent, cooked and cleaned the house. Where do they do that at? Then I found out via Facebook that she was married. Talk about a blow to your mothering self-esteem.
Eight years later, I found myself going through even worse with my youngest daughter. I had to deal with bad grades, a bad attitude, more cutting and yes, even a fight video (I cried for days and just knew my mom career was over. – BUT GOD!!!) I found myself actually staying away from social media any time report cards were issued. I felt like an utter and complete failure. I blamed myself for both of my daughters’ poor choices.
One day God reminded me that I had done all I could and that He was still in control. I thanked Him and decided I was going to trust Him with my children.
Saturday, my 16-year-old daughter had an opportunity to hang with friends. I knew she was looking forward to hanging out with her friends for a while since she had been on punishment for what seemed like forever. Since this was the first time she has all As and 2 Bs since 5th grade, my husband and I let her go. Instead of going to the movies with them, she decided to search the mall for a gift for me….
Proverbs 31:28, “Her children arise and call her blessed.”
It took everything within me not to cut a praise step when she gave it to me. She even hugged me! She thanked me for being a great mom to her. So, I encourage you to trust that God is faithful! I am finally seeing the results of what I put into my kids.
In 2017, I will walk with my head held high and remind myself that I am a Great Mom!
BMWK – Have your children gone off track? Did you blame yourself? How did you handle it?