The Thorn I Can’t Bare

Recently I put a plea out on Facebook, looking for help.

“I am on a mission and I need someone’s help. I’m looking for a program that teaches how to have a positive body image to teen girls.

I don’t have one myself, so there is no possible way that I can teach this to my daughter.

So I need help. Anyone know of a program, or have any suggestions?”

I think some people may not have understood what I’m looking for.

I’m not looking for leadership skills, or self-worth seminars.

I’m looking for something where my daughter can learn to look in a mirror, and be happy with what she sees.

Yes, I absolutely believe the best thing for her, is to work on this myself. I completely agree.  But the fact of the matter is, I’ve struggled with this since I was in the fourth grade. I haven’t figured it out yet and in the mean time, I’m teaching my daughter what I don’t want her to learn. I don’t know how not to do that, and I don’t want to do that.

I have more confidence in myself now, than I have ever had my entire life. But all I have to do, is look in a mirror, or even worse, see a picture of myself, and I become nothing.

What’s worse than nothing? I become that. It hurts.

I have been in verbally and emotionally abusive relationships, but no one has beat me up more than myself.

It does not matter if I lose weight. In fact, it makes it worse. When I do, and I always do, I start to taunt myself.

– You think you look good, don’t you. Well just wait. Wait a year, maybe two, then let’s see how good you look. Why are you doing this to yourself? You’re a fat girl. You’ll always be a fat girl.

What the hell is wrong with being a fat girl?

Why can’t I be happy with being myself, the shape I am now?

I understand the health risks that come with obesity, really I do. But I can also assure you when I look at a picture of myself, I’m not thinking, “Oh my, you look like a diabetic.”

That’s not what fills my head with dread.

– You’re gross. You’re disgusting. Have you no self-control? How lazy you’ve become.

I stand here and tell my daughter she’s beautiful and she’s not fat. She’s 11. Of course she’s not fat.

But then what? What do I tell her if a day does come that she does start to gain weight?

– You’re not fat. You’re beautiful. I’m not, but you are.

Here I am losing weight, gaining weight, eating, not eating. Crying, not crying.

I DON’T WANT THAT FOR HER!
I don’t want to teach her that, consciously or unconsciously.

God, help me!

Surely, there has got to be an answer out there somewhere.

I’m wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Beautiful is fleeting. (Proverbs 31:30)

I can totally understand and appreciate that God’s grace is enough. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I have accepted that this is the thorn that is meant to bring me to my knees before God until the day I die. I’m okay with that.

But not for my daughter.

I can’t pass this on to her. Not this.

I am so intentional about teaching her many things, but this I can’t control.

So I’m here, on my knees asking,

God, save my daughter from this. The pain is too great for me. I don’t think I can bare it.

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Day 30 of 30: A Mother’s Prayer

Today is the day. Day 30 of 30. I may stop posting my prayers here, but I will never give up praying for my son.

Lord, thank you for being so faithful. Thank you for carrying me through these first 30 days. I know I can get through them all, now.

His life is just beginning.

May this be the first of the many times you hold us up. Keep us close, Lord. Keep us close to you.

Forever, hear me stand at the door, and yell your name. I still pray for the day he hears me too.

Lord, I thank you that you never sleep. Because even though I grow weary, I know you stand tall. Your love endures forever.

I hope you never grow tired of my Mother’s Prayer.

Please keep him safe. Please help him make wise decisions. Please help him learn and grow wise. May he fear you. May he cry out to you when he’s in trouble. May I one day become safe for him. May he always know he is loved and he has a home. Please build up his self-esteem. May he understand his worth. May he know he is yours.

It is this, Lord, and so much more that I pray, in your son’s holy name, amen.

Day 29 of 30: A Mother’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

It looks like he’s doing well. He has a plan. His grades are up. He’s getting to school. From the outside he really looks like he has it all together.

However, it may all be a facade. If it is, and he needs help…well, you know what is best. May your will prevail.

I know he has a little sister here who misses him terribly. A momma too.

Help us, Lord. Help us to accept your will, if this is how you want things to go. If he would be better off in somebody else’s home, then let it be.

Help us fill his void with anticipation of great things to come for him. Help us be happy for his decisions.

Help me to remain supportive and not judgmental. Help me to remain in the background, but able to step up when and if he needs something.

May I still be used to educate him. May he see me as someone is safe and feels comfortable to come home.

I expect great things from him, Lord. Just like I expect great things from you. I put my trust in you.

Amen.

Day 28 of 30: A Mother’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord, tonight I ask that you not only provide him with opportunities, but gift him with the motivation to pursue them as well.

He needs help with being a self starter. Don’t let him ignore this. And in everything he does, let it be his best.

Don’t leave him alone. Let him even have motivation to spare. Let him be a blessing to his friends, as well.

May his eyes be open to the dangers that surround him. Let him become wise to what has come about because of you.

For your glory, God. Amen.

Day 27 of 30: A Mother’s Prayer

Lord, he’s so close to graduating, and yet just so far away. Lord, please let a recent message from his past be something to launch him into his future.

He started strong, help him find the will to end it just the same.

Let him see the significance for this day to come. Show him it is not the end of his childhood, but actually the beginning of his adult life.

Let it be something he anticipates with great eagerness. Let him not be afraid of the unknown of what’s to come, but confident in the opportunities that lies ahead.

Help him see the support he has around him. Let him know he never has to go through anything alone.

Light a fire within his belly, Lord. And may it burn to do well with everything he does.

He can do this, Lord. Let him know it too.

Day 26 of 30: A Mother’s Prayer

Lord,

If he must go, please don’t let him forget how he was raised. I know he wasn’t raised like his friends. I know he probably resents me for that. But Lord, when the time comes, let him remember.

Let it be a safe haven for him. Let it ultimately give him hope, when things are dark. Let it be a reminder to him, that he is always welcome to come back.

When that day comes, let him not feel guilt or shame, but instead comfort.

He was raised to put his trust in you. He was raised to love other because you first loved him. He was raised to sing your praises because you are our rock and our foundation.

You bring hope, not condemnation.

So Lord, when he grows tired may he find new strength. May he soar high on wings like eagles. May he run and not grow weary. May he walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

This is how he was raised, Lord.

And even though he’s acting like he doesn’t know, we both know who’s he belongs to. Let him one day remember too.

It’s never too late to come back home. It’s never too late to come back where he belongs.

In our Savior’s name, Amen!

Day 25 of 30: A Mother’s Prayer

I don’t think he’s coming back, Lord. This makes me really sad. I guess, some things he has to learn for himself. I am discouraged he is in such a hurry to grow up.

I don’t understand his motivation.

For this reason I ask that you give him direction. Help him make a plan for the course he wants to go, even if I don’t understand it.

Please give me peace of mind.

If he is truly so ready to leave, then please make me ready to let him go.

Surround me with others who have gone before me. May I learn from their wisdom and be encouraged by their stories.

Help me learn how to parent beside him, instead of parenting over him. This job never ends, only changes.

You changed me into the mom he needed when he was once born. I’m now asking you to change me into the mom he needs now.

With a loving, grieving heart,
Amen.