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A Mother’s Plight

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Shulanda J. Hastings

Ambassador Shulanda

Ambassador Shulanda

Shulanda J. Hastings is an inspirational writer, Christian counselor and an ambassador to the faith-based community; helping them break mental health barriers. She is the author of the Beauty of My Thorns novel series and of the memoirs, Keeping My Faith While Saving My Mind.

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My love is your love and my love is your love….sing Mommy!

I know I’m not the only one that recalls hearing that little sweet voice in the background that made her first ‘recording’. She, Bobbi Kristina, was so proud to be standing beside her legendary mother and indeed, Whitney Houston was a proud mother.
I have been an admirer of Whitney since I was five years old. She was my first public idol. I recall sneaking up late to imitate every video of hers in my grandmother’s living room. Oh how I loved fantasying about being her and strutting across the stage built just for me.

She was no doubt, my favorite singer and entertainer.

So of course I followed all of her life’s accomplishments and happenings. I recall being in shock when I learned she had married what my teenage mind knew to be “playboy” Bobby Brown. Even though I didn’t think he was good enough for ‘my’ Whitney, I got over it because I was a fan of his too; just not like I was of Whitney. We know the chaotic love relationship that they had.

God can bring forth the most beautiful creation from the most chaotic situation. You can reference Genesis for proof.
And with Whitney and Bobby, that is what he did. I recall being so excited that Whitney finally had her precious baby girl. I’m sure as Whitney did, I envisioned Bobbi Kristina doing so many great things including walking in her mother’s footsteps.

I just didn’t realize it would be so literary.

When Whitney’s personal problems started to make headlines, my heart ached so much. It was difficult to watch and hear of my idol since childhood be downgraded in the media’s eyes. The hardest part was understanding her suffering to a certain degree because it was around the time I myself was going through so much hurt that I couldn’t even use my therapeutic release which is writing. So during the times when Whitney was not singing or producing music, I knew her struggles were starting to cut deep.

When people place you on a pedestal, they expect you to stay up there. But when it gets shaky and unbalanced, they expect you to stand not fall. When you start falling from that high cliff, they stand by and watch every moment until you hit the ground.

No net. No help.
Only critics.

So can you imagine being a mother and having probably your biggest fear manifest; watching the same thing occur to your daughter. This too was once my fear. The only thing was that I had it way before my daughter was even thought to be born.

Because mood disorders such as depression seemed to have been traceable in my family, I secretly held on to the hope that I would probably never be able to have children as doctors had told me after a car accident. Sure, a part of me wanted my own child, especially a daughter. But I had experienced feeling like you had hit rock bottom and there was no hope to live. Even worse, I had experienced feeling like I was on an isolated island and while everyone flew over me or cruised by on their vacation cruise, they ignored my cry for help that was marked in the red dirt.

No mother would want her child to experience that.

But I had already filled my mind with negative self-talk that my daughter would not have a pleasant and abundant life full of joy and purpose as God had promised. My fear wanted to override God’s declarations.

I can only imagine how Whitney felt needing help and not being able to help Bobbi Kristina. I’m sure her mother instincts wanted to save her from the ruining of a hard life. I can’t even imagine how Whitney felt looking from the realm of the intangible, watching her daughter suffer and still be unable to help her and no one else was there as she took her last breath.

Today my daughter is a toddler. Yes, as a mother I do have some concerns about her future. Concern is a part of the package deal. But I trust that God has a plan for her life. If you are a mother that might be going through a rough period and starting to become overwhelmed and fearful about the well-being of your child’s future, I encourage you to reach out to help yourself. The best thing you can do for your child is to be there for them in a healthy way. If you know a mother that is experiencing difficulty and may not have motherhood figured out, instead of criticizing her, reach out to help her and encourage her .

Whatever you do…don’t watch her as she falls.


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