About the Author

Heather Gemmen Wilson loves to laugh. She says, "Through all the circumstances of my life, I have gained more than I have lost ... and I'm not just talking weight." Heather is married to her best friend, Lawrence W. Wilson, a pastor, and they have a colorful blended family of...

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  1. It’s beautiful that you can already tell she’s amazing. That,s the kind of mom i have. And I love that you kissed the book. That’s adorable and yet very meaningful. I will pray for her and you.

  2. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to share this story yet (mostly because people can be judgmental); but lately I’ve run into so many parents whose teenagers (or older children) are breaking their hearts. As parents, we need to be able to hold each other up. And we need to pray for this generation of young people with power and strength. What good would it do for each of us to hide away in shame? So parents: Let me encourage you to be proud of your kids no matter what they’re going through, to love them constantly, even when you have to administer tough love, and never quit believing in them.

    • I have two teenage boys who are atheists. The ache is sometimes more than I can bear. But back in October, I read a post in a blog called “Please don’t ask about my kid”, at the blog “Hope for Parents of Prodigals”. I read how it’s important for us to share what we are going through, not necessarily for ourselves, not for our children, but so that others can know they are not alone in this struggle. It is so very easy to blame oneself, and people can and are judgmental. But you are right – we need to be able to hold each other up – and if we aren’t honest with what is going on, we can’t do that. This really spoke to me: “There are so many people in the pews every Sunday who have struggles going on at home who will never breathe a word of it at church—especially if that struggle involves a child questioning the faith. They not only know that many people will judge them as bad parents, they fear that judgment might just be correct. It’s all too much. So they will remain silent. But by you sharing the truth, and also proclaiming the fact that children have the ability to choose poorly often in spite of clearly loving parents, you put a small light at the end of a very big tunnel. You let them know that they’re not alone. You let them know that they can survive.” Thank you for sharing your struggle, and allowing us to partner with you in prayer.

    • Heather, I am so VERY glad you are sharing your story. I have a soon to be 23 yr old daughter, and my heart hurts for her. We go from talking some, to not at all for months at a time. But I can’t save her. I’ve tried {perhaps too much}. There is this shame of mommy-failure, but really I know, it’s only God who succeeds. Yet, I feel others will judge, why aren’t you doing more? They don’t know how I tried to control every little thing by doing more. Letting go, now, that was the hardest. And the hands-off, means faith must carry her to Jesus.

      • Amen. Amen. The letting go is much harder than doing more.

        It’s tough to be judged by others, but the opinion of people who have no idea what is going on simply has no bearing on what we have to do to protect our children. Caring about negative comments would be like brushing away a mosquito when a lion is attacking.

  3. What a hard post to share. I admire you, Heather. I pray the book blesses your girl and the other’s who need to know HOW AMAZING they are.
    God is always working…

  4. I know that sorrow of driving away from your child like that, though different circumstances. It was the most difficult thing I ever did. I wept with great sorrow for several days, and when I would think of him, I would tear up again…

    You did right by your daughter. You are preparing her to recognize she is amazing and heading in the right direction.

  5. Heather… your authenticity is stunning. Brilliant. I, too, was a mom that had to drop off her precious daughter at a ‘therapeutic boarding school’. The other airline passengers on that plane ride home had no idea the wailing they were in for. (Btw: did you know that it’s very hard to blow your nose with completely saturated tissues? I know you know what I mean! ) As the plane lifted into the air, I wanted to scream- wait! I think I just made the biggest mistake of my life, but then I remembered the cross the Lord painted in the sky for me the night we bought 3 plane tickets there and only 2 home. (tears) Our daughter has been drug free for 11 months. 🙂 We still really struggle with our relationship, but I believe our Father works best sometimes in the long suffering of life. Thank you so much for posting your story. And believing enough in the power and forgiveness of God and not given that power away to guilt, shame and condemnation. You didn’t let her decisions stunt your personal spiritual growth and development. Our Father is so proud of us when we get back up, even though we’re still trying to catch our spiritual breath. <3 Ali

    • Oh Ali! I know what you’re saying, and I can completely imagine your grief on the plane. It chokes me up just to think of it. Thank the Lord for his work in your daughter’s life, and I pray that over time you will bond again.

  6. Heather–
    I’m right there with you . . . in the place I call “the land of in-between.” I get so impatient to be *done* with this part of the trip, and sometimes I just plain hate that I’m even on it in the first place.

    But something powerful happens when people are unafraid to tell the truth about not yet having arrived. Your post reminds me first that I’m not the only one who isn’t “there” yet. And (maybe more importantly) that it’s okay to keep my eyes towards the horizon. That’s where redemption is gonna happen.

    Blessings to you and your daughter this day, and during your time together.
    Anne / shadowwonder

    • The land of in-between. I like that. It’s much easier to share a testimony once you’re through the trial. It takes faith to admit that though things are tough NOW, you have hope for the future.

  7. I don’t believe any of those tears were cried in vain, and will be tears of joy for your daughter in days/weeks/months/even years ahead, God gives us the grace for the hardest moments in our lives. You did the hard/right thing, and it is to help your daughter, thank goodness there are people and places equipped to handle what is beyond us, may God use them mightily in your daughter’s life. Thanks for sharing this with us. I know she will be blessed by Holley’s book, but maybe you might share this with her also? It is an earlier post on my site about seeing ourselves as God sees us.

    http://www.kathycheek.com/2012/02/masterpiece-in-mirror.html

  8. I too am sharing You’re Already Amazing with someone who I KNOW is Already AMAZING, but I feel she doesn’t know that yet herself, at least in the way that God sees her.

    It takes time to learn what the Father TRULY thinks of you, and that book was a huge help to me, and I hope and pray that it is a huge hope for your daughter and every pair of hopeful hands that capture it’s bound pages.

  9. Thank you, Heather, for boldly sharing your struggles … and hope … with others. When it comes to our children, mothers can be she-bears, not letting anybody close. Our journeys can only help those around us if we share. It is also a blessing to know how to lift others up in prayer. You’re inspiring!

  10. Heather,
    Thank you so much for your post. I was put in a situation where I had to decide whether or not to allow my daughter to go to foster care as we were becoming unable to care for her at home. My husband and I don’t agree about this decision and I am still not sure whether or not it was the right one. The whole situation is devistating and it is hard to see or feel that it may every be ok again.
    I appreciate that you shared your story and your pain. It is nice to know that I am not alone.

    • Oh Carolyn! I’m so sorry. May the Lord be near to you at this very moment, giving you courage and wisdom and love and peace and unity and strength. I don’t know the circumstances you are facing, but I know the agony. You truly are not alone—and not just because I and some other parents can relate, but because our heavenly Father sees exactly where you are and is holding you in his hands. Draw very close to him in this time and let him direct your paths—then you can’t go wrong no matter what you decide. Much love.

  11. Thanks for sharing a most personal and heartwarming story! The book’s timing is most certainly Heavenly divine! God knows our needs and how best to meet them!

  12. I am a non-mom posting but I couldn’t help but read the post, comments and replies and cry. It hard when you feel you have failed as a parent, especially when your child tries to confirm it in their worst times. 🙁 My parents took in foster children for most of my growing up years…troubled teens. Ones that started fires, tried to beat up their parents and others, and those that had found drugs or alcohol to be the answer so far in their lives. My parents weren’t perfect and they couldn’t help everyone but a couple things I learned from watching them was #1- love hurts. #2 – in this day and age it’s almost supposed too. #3 – And though we can’t see it now…God is there and watching, helping and loving…you and them. Some of the children that stayed went back with their parents to a happy ending; others had that and then got sidetracked by the world again; some lived; some died but each child that my parents took in, they fell in love with unconditionally. And they were’n’t their parents! So I’ve seen first hand the judgements that people have about parents that have troubled children and teens – a lot of my parent’s friends didn’t get it very well. I pray that the Lord will strengthen each heart that has posted here, either the parent or the child. The world is so quick to judge people without walking in their shoes. I think it is a huge blessing to see parents hurt enough for their children to take steps to help them. Ultimately it is the child’s decision but…had you not cared enough to step in, they might not have had a chance to make a decision. My heart and prayers go out to all.

  13. I just wanted to offer my prayers & love to you. As the mama of a 16yo girl, I truly can’t even fathom what you must have gone through, what you’re still experiencing.

    Please know that your family and you will be in my prayers. I’m so happy to read that things are already improving.