Everyone Has a Story
By Kathy Schallert
Well, needless to say, I was floored....I never dreamed I would hear those words from my precious daughter. As a very young single mother (17 when I had her) we had sort of grown up together. It was a constant struggle to make ends meet and provide for her and her little sister, and things weren't always as they should have been. It was hard for me and I know it must have been very hard for her too.
Now at this crossroads, my little girl who is actually older than I was when I had her, is a young woman, ready to go out and meet life with all of it's challenges and successes, and I am not ready to let her go...
As the argument heated up, suddenly something came over me and I heard myself saying these words: "I am always going to love you, and I'll always be here for you...and I am always going to be your Mama."
With that she got so angry and jumped into her car and drove off, leaving me standing there wondering when I would see her again. I went into the house and started seeing all the memories of a lifetime come to life before my eyes. Those first steps, first words, peek-a-boo and Sesame Street, birthday parties, stray cats and puppy dogs, the time she single handedly nursed a baby turtle back to life, best friends, boy friends, broken hearts, dress up and pony tails, laughter in the halls, hide and seek, and all those pictures on the walls...I began to cry and I fell to my knees. "How Lord, am I supposed to get through this? What am I supposed to do now? My daughters are my life, what shall I do?"
Quietly the Lord spoke to my brokeness. "I know how you are feeling...I have many children too...I know the trials of being a single parent better than you might think...don't give up....go get your guitar, I have something special for you and your daughter...."
So I got my guitar and sat down and wrote this song, "Mama". My daughter came home later that day and for the next two weeks we barely spoke to each other. Then the morning of her 18th birthday I called her out to the living room. She brought her sleepy little self out and when I saw her I realized that growing up and letting go was hard for her too. Here she was, eighteen years old, 'all grown up', and snuggled up in my big purple bathrobe, she looked like my baby girl, and in many ways she was still a little girl, but I hadn't really noticed just how grown up she had become. It was time to trust that the Lord had done all He could through my feeble self as her parent (what was He thinking?) to prepare her for life and now I needed to let her go. There was so much I should have done and so many things I shouldn't have done, and now here she is, already eighteen years old...and it's time to let go.
So I told her I had a birthday present for her and she looked at me sitting there with my guitar in hand and said, "You're not going to sing me a song are you?" Well, yes, as a matter of fact I am", I said. So I did, and the Lord poured over us like a healing balm. We cried together and said we were sorry, and as we held each other in that precious moment I realized that no matter how old she gets, or how far away she may be, or how much she thinks she knows, she will always be my baby.....and I will always be her Mama.
She and I have come to this same crossroads many times since that day and every time it's just as hard to let her go. As a mother you want to fix everything and you may even know what's the best thing to do in some situations. You tend to judge your children without realizing it and it's not your place to do that. If you show your children that they are important and tell them often that you love them, and you do the best you can, with God's help, it will be enough. My daughters are now 30 and 33 years old and I am still learning to trust the Lord with my precious children....and now even with my grandchildren.
I learned some other very valuable lessons the day I played this song for my own mother, and then again just for my father. My mother passed away last November and my father just died a month ago. I am so thankful that by the Lord's goodness and grace I was able to love and care for them in their old age and to be at both their sides as they breathed their last.
The greatest lesson I have learned so far in this life is that there are huge blessings that await us as we work through the challenges of family relationships. May the Lord bless you with humility, forgiveness, honesty, joy, peace, and genuine love in all of your relationships.
"Thus says the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border." Jeremiah 31:16, 17
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
Listen to Kathy's song, Mama.
Kathy Schallert lives in Northern California. For information on Kathy's music ministry click here. All rights reserved © 2011 StoryHarvest.org. Click here for content usage information.