Are you a hurting mom? You are not alone!
by Elsemieke Wishart
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis
Are you a hurting mom? Have you been jolted out of the ordinary because your child is in trouble? This is not the common “have you finished your homework yet” or “clean up the mess in your room” kind of trouble. This is the terrible, horrifying trouble brought about by your child’s addiction, illicit drug use, excessive drinking, risky sexual behaviour, estrangement or dangerous criminal involvement. This kind of trouble can go on for years and it brings heartache to the family.
A mother’s anxiety
Pain invades a mother’s heart when her son or daughter spirals out of control. The anxious mom tries to figure out what is going on, hoping to stop them before it’s too late, thinking of the life-long consequences that may come as a result of the choices her child is making. A mother who finds herself in this situation hurts with a deep pain, she feels very alone; she isolates herself as she is ashamed to share her worries with other moms who could not imagine their kids ever getting into this kind of trouble.
My own journey, as a hurting mom, began 16 years ago and it has led me down a path of parenting that I never imagined I would travel as a mom. Over the years, the pain has increased, starting with sons in trouble during their teens where it seemed like I could still fix the problem. But then things got crazy and out of my control; there was trouble with police, substance use, addiction, mental health issues, and this affected me profoundly. My husband and I have had to question our own parenting decisions and our response to crises. We had to figure out when we were enabling and when was our ‘tough love’ too tough or not tough enough. It seemed like other moms around me had children growing up “normally”, making better choices for their future and moving forward in life.
Hurting Moms Mending Hearts
When The Hurting Moms Mending Hearts (HMMH) group showed up in my Facebook feed 2 years ago, it was at a particularly difficult time; a son had made plans to go to treatment and in the last minute, it didn’t happen – my hopes were dashed. I decided to join an online Breaking Free study group. I was amazed at the healing I found through the 10 weeks of lessons. I was no longer alone and I discovered there are many hurting moms out there, and even in my own circle of friends. I learned how to have a sense of peace by trusting God and His Word. Even though my sons have not changed their circumstances, I have found comfort in the fellowship of sharing my story with other moms.
If you are a hurting mom, this organization is a place where you can find healing for your pain. Hurting Moms Mending Hearts is a non-profit Christian community of moms – you can join with moms who understand your pain as together you share, search God’s Word and pray for each other.
Finding peace and comfort
HMMH brings moms together who are hurting over their children’s choices, and HMMH brings moms to God’s Word where they find hope and healing together.
Founder, Cathy Taylor is herself a hurting mom and in her book, The Story of a Hurting Mom: From Broken to Mended, she describes the journey that started when her daughter was getting into trouble at school and continued into years of destructive behaviours. In her pain, Taylor did not know where to turn until she found comfort, peace and healing from studying the Bible which is full of God’s promises and words of hope. She realized there must be other moms who are also hurting and decided to find a way to reach out to them.
In 2001, she asked her pastor if she could start a support group at their church. The first week, 14 moms attended! Those women became the leaders of the succeeding Hurting Moms groups. In 2002, Taylor wrote a 10-week Breaking Free curriculum that each group now works through. Lessons in the workbook include: phases of pain and grief, emotions, how to respond to our child, letting them go and praying for our child. Every week there is a key scripture, opportunities for sharing and time spent praying for each other. The healing comes as moms are able to share in a safe, non-judgmental and confidential environment. Moms learn to let go of their need to fix their child as they commit them to God in prayer.
Presently more than 1,000 moms have participated in Breaking Free groups in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Over 35,000 moms have connected with the Facebook group.
Chris, a hurting mom from California, writes: “Hurting Moms has provided a community of like-minded women which allow me to share openly without judgment, while providing a forum into which prayer needs are voiced with the assurance someone is partnering with you for that specific need. Through the Hurting Moms’ online community, many special relationships have been established with some amazing women throughout the US and Canada.”
Healing in community
Every mom has her own story and there are many reasons why a mom’s heart hurts; but the pain they feel is the same. Taylor says, “Nobody understands this pain but another hurting mom, someone who’s been through it. And so the best people to give hope and encouragement to each other are other hurting moms.” If you are a mom with a story of pain from your child’s choices, Hurting Moms Mending Hearts can help you find healing.
Join a group: groups.hurtingmoms.com/groups, online or local. Moms who join a group must purchase the HMMH workbook, otherwise joining a group is free.