Keeping Her Safe: Saints and Scripture Sunday

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Saints and Scripture Sunday

Psalm 91:11

For He will give his angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all you ways.

There’s a giant hole in my heart, and it’s one that I don’t talk about a lot, except to my closest friends.

My oldest daughter no longer lives with me. She’s been gone for a little over a year now, and is living with her father.

I don’t talk about it because:

It hurts — I hate being in conversation, mentioning that I have 4 children, then when the conversation turns to Abby, have to explain that she no longer lives with us.

It’s hard — try explaining to your 5 year old why her sister wanted to leave. It breaks my heart.

It’s embarrassing – if your own daughter makes the choice not to live with you, it probably knocks you out of the Mom of the Year running. It most definitely destroys the ‘I have it all together’ persona I like to emulate.

the kennedy girls

I’ve struggled with this, and it took many months (and a whole lot of therapy) for me to be a little more at peace with this situation. She made the decision to leave, and although it’s painful for me, she’s growing up, and capable of making choices regarding her life.

I love her to the depths of my soul, and I worry about her every day. I don’t know where she goes, don’t know who she hangs out with, and don’t know if she is aware of the dangers of everyday life.

As a mother, especially one not involved in her day to day life, what can I do?

I can worry — got that one under control, obviously.

The greater choice is prayer.

Sometimes prayer is a difficult road for me – because I am so Type A. I want to DO something, be physical, and move mountains. Sitting in prayer sometimes seems like such a waste to me.

I do pray for her, every day. And the result? It changes ME – it softens my heart, and eases my anxiety. When she makes the decision on her own to come and visit, it’s a glimmer of hope for me.

wooden saints bracelet

When I saw her wearing this, I about fell over. I took it as a little sign from God – “Relax. I have things under control.” It’s a reminder to me that He is guarding her, even when I can’t.

my girls Rachel Kennedy and Abigail Mattingly

I’m setting St Monica in my sights — once I finish the novena to Saint Joseph that I’ve been working on, I’ll be asking for her intercession as well.

Thanks to all of you who stopped by last week and linked up! I’ll be visiting you shortly.

Be sure and let me know how your week is shaping up, and what Saints or Scripture are on your mind.


  1. I’m so proud of you for writing this post. Since I cried when I read it I suspect you were practically dehydrated after writing it, but it is beautiful, loving, and inspiring.

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      You said it all here, hon. Thanks a bunch for listening incessantly over the years. Love you!

  2. This post hit close to home. I left my mom to go live with my dad when I was 15. There were many factors involved in my decision, and it was possibly the toughest one I’ve had to make in my life, but it truly was NOT about my mom (if that makes sense). I loved her then, and if it gives you any comfort, we are closer than ever today.

    I wish there was some way I could have prevented my mom from being so hurt and depressed by my leaving. That was a heavy emotional burden to bear as a teenager, but we both survived and have an absolutely wonderful relationship. God is good.

  3. Dianna Kennedy says

    Thanks so much for being so frank. As you may have guessed, I don’t have a solid relationship with my mother, which is another reason this cuts me so deeply.

    You echo a sentiment that I hear from a lot of women — the mother-daughter relationship was ROUGH during the teenage years, then ironed itself out later.

    With Abby, I can see the struggle in her — even when she was younger, I think that having to dividie her loyalty between her father and I was difficult for her. (does that make sense?) I believe that she thought that if she showed any allegience to one parent, the other would be hurt. Like you said, that’s SUCH a difficult cross to bear for anyone, especially a child.

    For right now, in her mind, it’s TOTALLY about me. I think that one day, she’ll understand that it was so much more than that – grief, growing and changing of family dynamics all played a part, and she wasn’t equipped to deal with it all.

    MUCH love and hugs to you — it is a comfort, and a gentle reminder to keep looking to the future.

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