By Brenda Yoder
When my daughter was born, she was all I ever dreamed up. I was excited to be a stay at home mom. I was going to teach her things my heart said were necessary for raising a beautiful godly woman. I took the assignment seriously. I faithfully listened to teachers on Christian radio on raising children. From the first day, I poured into this little girl and daydreamed of our idyllic life together.
She was fifteen months old when the ideal picture was more like a scene from the Bad Mommy Chronicles. One day when I picked her up from her grandma’s house, she looked at me and threw herself on the ground saying “No, No, I no go home!” After trying to calm her down, distracting her, and disciplining her, I finally left my mother-in-law’s house, defeated, angry and humiliated.
“How dare she act that way in front of my mother-in-law. What was I doing wrong that she acted this way” were thoughts running through my mind as I left with her kicking and screaming under my arm.
I didn’t expect to feel angry at my beautiful little girl. Moms aren’t supposed to feel that way. As she grew older, I didn’t know how to handle her temperament, and the beautiful mother-daughter relationship I dreamed up became a relationship of conflict and turmoil during her adolescent years. Pain, not peace was our routine, anger and hurt was normal for us.
I often wondered why God gave me only one girl and designed our temperaments, wills, and birth order to be at odds with each other. It wasn’t fair. I didn’t struggle this way with my sons. Hadn’t I walked in God’s ways, pursued Him, and served Him? Why would He allow us to be at odds with each other?
He didn’t answer that question in the pit of despair. But as she and I continued to pursue Him, He changed both of us. Out of our brokenness, He’s called both of us to ministry – her to the fatherless and me to give hope to others when life doesn’t fit the storybook image. As we’ve walked from hurt to healing, God has proven Himself a tangible presence of Hope and Healing in our family.
I’ve learned to fight for what the enemy tried to steal. I’ve learned to ask and give forgiveness, to be humble and full of grace when things aren’t going well. I’ve learned to be honest, to be strong, and to choose God in brokenness.
It’s a privilege to give hope and encouragement to mothers and daughters at Whatever Girls. The journey I’ve walked is hard, beautiful and grace-filled at every turn. It’s my hope and prayer as I write here that I can encourage both moms and daughters who may be hurting individually, who may be at odds with each other, or who may need hope in their unspeakable pain. This space here is for you. How can we encourage here?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, or questions about your struggle as a mom, a daughter, or as a teen. I’ll do my best to share professional and personal insight through a Christ-centered lens. We want you to know you’re not alone. How are you struggling today?
Broken and Beautiful: Brenda has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and a BA in Education. As a Parent, Counselor and Educator her ministry is helping moms and daughters navigate the tough stuff of life. Have a question for Brenda? Email her at [email protected]