This is the first of a five-part entry written by “Anonymous”.

Let me begin selfishly…by talking about me.

I am an only child. My parents divorced when I was 7. I lived with my mother throughout my childhood and watched both my mother and father marry and divorce multiple times, searching for happiness and fulfillment in another person. According to whichever study you care to follow, my path through adulthood should have followed a similar trajectory of failed relationships and familial brokenness. My father was not a figure in my life, but when he died three years ago, I was able to honestly forgive him for his negligence and mistakes and hurts he had carelessly or unknowingly inflicted on me over the years. With God’s grace – and it was a miraculous instance when it occurred, I assure you – I was able to. I could pick up those grievances no longer. I tried, but I just couldn’t. God had removed the burden from me. Those childhood wounds were healed. Scars remain to be sure, but they are not painful to the touch or to probing. They just…are. The Great Physician can heal in a deeper way than we can ever heal ourselves.

But today, I carry a different wound. Not one from childhood, but from adulthood. Indeed, it is one that has come precisely because of my vocation to married life and to motherhood.

When my husband and I married, both of us coming from broken families, we felt a true desire, a calling even, to stop the brokenness of our pasts. ‘NO!’ we said, ‘The buck stops here. With us. It will go no further.’ I suppose implying to ourselves that somehow, we would do better than our parents. We wouldn’t make those mistakes. Sure, we said, we knew we’d make our own, but in our blissful youth and ignorance, we figured they’d somehow be more acceptable, or golly, not half as bad as our parents’, right? I mean, we were turning out alright, so we could do even better and turn out terrific children, model adults who would love and cherish the faith, this faith we as converts chose. Our children could be saints even! We would just need to do things a certain way, and all would be well.

So why all this talk of woundedness and such? Sounds rather melodramatic indeed. I have come to realize though that I had not experienced heartache – true to the name heart-ache – as I have during the past three years. It is a wound that most of the time I prefer not to see, not to look at, to cover up and turn my eye from, to ignore so I can go about my daily business of caring for a home, teaching or being mother to my other children. It’s too painful. Too jagged and gaping. And no one wants to look long at that, for goodness’ sake. Today, at this moment, I am willing to uncover it, air it, probe its diameter and depth just a bit in order to share with you something that I have learned from it. And perhaps in the probing, there will be a bit of healing. For me as well as for you.

As a convert I realize more and more the less and less that I know about this audacious faith I am in. Daily I thank God for it. I have been told to look to St. Monica at this time of my life. And I am trying, honestly. I certainly made my choices as a young adult that led me far from Our Lord, and, with His Grace, made choices that brought me back to him. Much like the prodigal son. Only, daughter, in my case. Now, as a mother watching her child move further and further away from faith and family, experiencing the pain inflicted not only on my husband and I, but watching the ensuing pain brought on brothers and sisters who now also carry a secret sorrow, I can only say with the psalmist, ‘The waters have risen to my neck, and I have no foothold. Lord, save me from drowning.’ (ref: Psalm 69:1)

Read Part 2

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The opinions and experiences expressed in each blog entry in “The Upper Room” belong solely to the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Courage International, Inc. Some entries have been edited for length and clarity.