Sunday, May 13, 2012

It's Not Hallmark Around Here, but That's OK

It's Not Hallmark Around Here, but That's OK

I try to sleep as long as I can
I pull the covers over my head
I pray there's some way
That life could skip a day to Monday
( lyrics Mother's Day by Kellie Pickler))

Can you relate to a Mother's Day that is not "picture perfect?" As women, I'm sure we all wish we had the picture perfect families that Hallmark portrays, but that is not reality for some. As I read many letters full of pain online on several support groups, I pray, "Lord, please be with that hurting mother and help her child." 
There is Hope and last Saturday I was talking to "two sisters among us, with the same story and worse that some of your children are living and they are now clean and sober and living a decent life. .
Long ago, before there was The Addict's Mom and Somebody's Mother Online Prayer Support Group, I was a mother, with a daughter on the streets, bearing a lot of pain for myself, my daughter and all the other members of our family alone. Although in saying that I was never really alone as I had my heavenly Father who drew me, comforted me and led me through many, many years. I had a burden for the daughters that were addicted and thought that was supposed to be my ministry; to get the word out that they were out there and needy and maybe it wasn't their fault they were sick and addicted. I wrote "A Sister Among You" with some thoughts along that line. 
But then as the years and the tears continued I began to have the burden for the mothers of the addicts. Once when my daughter was in jail, she told me about a friend of hers who was worried about her mom. I decided to go see that mother, a stranger to me but a sister to me, also, in heart.
After the visit, this mother who had lost her only son to suicide and didn't have much hope for her daughter wrote me a letter. She was so grateful for someone to reach out to her, although I really didn't do anything special. For some reason I kept that letter. This mother died soon after, but I was able to give the letter she wrote me to her daughter afterwards via my own daughter.
I met this woman's daughter Saturday. She hugged me and was clean and sober. She said "That letter is the only thing I have from my mother. Her husband left and took everything, not giving me anything to remember her by. I knew your daughter way back when; we were both on the streets. I never believed I could ever live a life that I am living now. Look at us!"
She told me that she tried several times to get sober "for her mom" but it wasn't until five years after her mom died that she was able to do it for herself. That is the key, the timing and the work has to be done for yourself. I also believe as I mentioned recently that the chapter of our book that the Lord wrote before the foundation of time is in His hands. We may not like the chapter we are in as mothers, but we must go through it to get to the last chapter and hopefully a happy ending.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them. Psalm 139:13-16
We had a big sandwich hug, this young woman, my oldest daughter and me. They were both in town to be a part of a NA convention, staying on the beach, partaking of a good life. There is Hope!
Recovery may not be all that we hope and dream as mothers. When they were in our wombs we never pictured that we as mothers, or they, as our beloved children, would walk some of the paths that we have walked. Some people may have their whole families restored; some may not. But we can cling and adhere to a our heavenly Father who does love us, love our children and has a plan to make the tattered and soiled fragments of our lives into a beautiful tapestry one day.
Our tears are of great value and will water a beautiful garden of souls and flowers in the garden of the Lord. There will be beauty that we never imagined we would see and feel one day as we let go and let God, one day at a time. He is near us to help us and will never leave us and what more can we ask but that. Together we are strong and I pray for each of you with love, hope and prayers, every day in every way. And as always I pray that the Lord be with that mother who is hurting the most, knowing only He knows which one that is. One thing I have always believed is this, "I may not be able to help my own daughter, or your daughter, but I'll be able at some point to help "Somebody's Daughter." And hopefully, Somebody's Mother, too!
We welcome all mothers over at Somebody's Mother Online Prayer Support Group. 
Donna Collins Tinsley
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  1. Thank you for this post, Donna. I'm with you....Hallmark, we're not! But hope springs eternal. I am so encouraged by the story you shared about the addict who got clean after her mother's death. G-d answers prayer.

  2. And thank you for the ministry of Somebody's Mother - it is a blessing.

  3. Your thoughts are poignant and your sharing is so warm and welcome. Blessings to you from another not-Hallmark mom

  4. I noted this on FB and also wrote, that while I know I am hardly solo, I now know I'm not alone. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your thoughts as you do.

  5. You are a walking miracle, proving our God is able!