Plastering a fake smile on my face, I joined my Thursday morning small group. I had been in this Bible study of over 50 women for a couple of years, but the leader had decided to change things up two weeks before, placing us in random small groups. Of course, I ended up in a group with mostly people I didn’t know. Ugh! I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be here. I enjoyed the comfort of the way things were.

“With the way I am feeling today, maybe this is a good thing,” I thought to myself. “No one in this group would need to know my true story. Maybe it would be easier to put on a persona with these women rather than share the raw feelings of being an inept mother. Today I could pretend…”

“Isn’t that what you always do?” I heard the small voice from somewhere in my brain. “No one knows who you really are anyway.”

I sighed as my thoughts continued. “Guess I’m getting pretty good at playing the imposter. No one in this church would want to have anything to do with me, especially if they knew what was going on in our home.”

As the morning progressed, we started sharing in our small groups. I was amazed at the depth of pain Carrie shared as she told how her husband had left her and their three sons. I found it unbelievable that she was not crying, not angry, not bitter…she seemed at peace. “Wow, the strength of this woman.”

Laura was the next to speak. “Pray for my 22 year old daughter. The guy she is living with has recently been diagnosed with…”

“Oh, my, I can’t believe she said that out loud,” rattled through my head. A guy her daughter is living with…whoa! Carrie quickly comforted Laura with her words as I sat wondering how much Laura and I might be able to relate to each other. We both had daughters who seemed to be struggling.

092812_2055_Pretender1.jpgAs my turn came around, just as I had started to share a little about my wonderful family, my cell phone started to vibrate. I ignored it.
I continued my story…the cell phone continued to vibrate. I attempted to ignore it again.

By the third time, I mumbled, “I better take this. One of my teens is home sick today.”

I didn’t recognize the number, but as I heard the other voice on the phone, I began to shake uncontrollably. All my fears came rushing to the forefront of my mind. Quickly, I left the room so I could talk in private.

“I just wanted to call to make sure you are home,” the voice echoed from the other end. I was shocked! It was her voice…the voice of my daughter’s latest boyfriend’s mother. “How did she get my number?” I wondered. I wasn’t exactly thrilled that my daughter was dating her son. I had lots of concerns…no, major concerns!

“Well, uh, no, I’m not. Tamara, is there a problem?”

“I just think you should be home if you can. I’m at work already. I understand that both of our kids are home sick today. I just thought they might be up to something…”

“Thanks for letting me know. I’ll head home now.” I muttered as tears started falling uncontrollably. Quickly, I headed back to my group to get my purse and keys. The ladies were praying…praying for me!

As I quietly sat down to reach my purse, tears still streaming down my face, they all looked up with expectancy. I didn’t have a chance to hide. I was too emotional to even think about putting my mask back on. It was the moment of truth when I shared…really shared…my thoughts…my pain…my ineptness as a mother…and now my most recent concerns…

With tears streaming down my face, tissues were being placed into my shaking hands. Several women had tears in their eyes…especially Laura. I realized that she could relate to my pain the most. She put her arms around me and began praying as the others joined in. Calm began to replace my churning stomach. Peace began to fill my mind.

“You need to go now, sweetie,” they chorused. “We’ll be praying. See you next week.”

I prayed all the way home bracing myself for what I might find and rehearsing how I’d react if I found them together.

 As I entered the house, all was quiet. I tiptoed upstairs as my daughter walked out of her room. “Oh, did you go somewhere?” she mumbled wiping sleep from her eyes.

“I went to Bible study.”

“Oh, I just woke up. I really feel awful,” she sniffled.

“Did you know that Brad was home sick today?” I asked.

“No,” she replied. “How do you know?”

As I later replayed the events of the day on my knees, it occurred to me that I was living my life in fear. Fear of what my kids were doing, fear of their choices, fear of what people might think…of them…of me. Honestly, I was afraid of being judged as a parent…therefore, the mask.

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13.

BOTTOM LINE: If we continue to wear the mask, living in fear, we lose the opportunity of being strengthened by others that God has already refined who have walked before us in the parenting process.

Dare you to ask God for a friend with whom you can share your parenting woes.

Double dare you to schedule a time to meet with the friend.

Bravely walking the journey with you…without the mask…

“Let go and let God…”


6 replies
  1. Melonie
    Melonie says:

    wow, thanks for the reminder. I’ve already raised 3 of my 8 children but the oldest that is still at home keeps me on my toes. Let me say she’s a great kid but she graduated a year early and we didn’t encourage college due to the lack a maturity. Now, however, she has found friends who are unchurched and don’t want to be churched. Trying to find the balance between encouraging your teen to reach out to the lost without the fear of them following the lost is not easy. I needed to be reminded that God has this in His hand. I know as parents we still have the right to guide her but bottom line we have to not fear but trust God that He can speak to our children as well. Thanks again!

    • debbiehitchcock
      debbiehitchcock says:

      Melonie, my heart goes out to you. It is so hard to watch our children walk a path that we know can lead them into trouble. For me, it keeps me on my knees knowing that I’m not in control, but He is. Praying for you, friend.

  2. Cheri-CreationScience4Kids
    Cheri-CreationScience4Kids says:

    My mom has been there, done that. It is a lie to keep us from the help we need to try to hold everything inside and keep our prayer sisters in the dark. I’m very glad that you have more ladies walking with you each day as you go through this.
    My own brood is too young to cause big worries yet, but every time I think of the future I have to remind myself to turn it all over to the God who is there.

    • debbiehitchcock
      debbiehitchcock says:

      Cheri, having walked both sides of the fence, it saddens me when I hear stories about women who’ve never learned to share their struggles. You are right, it is one of the lies that many hold on to. Hoping to reach other parents with the truth and am glad there are others out there like you who are learning while their kids are young.

  3. realmom59
    realmom59 says:

    Thank you for this article. For the most part I have known nothing but mom’s who think they are better than others and not the kind of “Christians” you would share prayer requests with, certainly not about any trouble that your kids are causing you! It does my heart good to see that someone somewhere prays with each other with sincere Christian love and caring. That is rare, hang onto it! Raising Children is hard especially without prayer support from other mothers. I treasure the few older saints I have had over the years that I could call and pour my heart out to and pray. I would be happy to do that for others!

    • debbiehitchcock
      debbiehitchcock says:

      You are so right. Unfortunately, too many moms get their identity from the illusion of their “perfect” children they try to create. Yeah, for having a few older saints to pour your heart out to. I would encourage you to test the waters and share with a few others that might have kids similar in age as yours as well. Sometimes it only takes one or two times of being real on your part that opens the doors for other moms to share. Blessings to you!


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