Prayer Journal: Grasping for My Mother's Hand

Prayer Journal - Sally.png

By Sally Schwieterman

Years ago, a priest wisely told me, “Hold on to Mary’s hand. She will lead you as a wife and mother.”

Did I listen to these words? Did I clutch Mary tightly and lean on her?


Since then I have made baby steps towards growing in my faith. I’ve started to feel a deep calling from God, and I have finally figured out that I need this woman - because I am struggling. I am struggling in my vocation. I am struggling with parenting. I am struggling with my faults, my sinfulness, and my inability to measure up to my own perception of who I should be.

So I pray: “Mary, please take my hand. Lead me to your Son.”

I close my eyes, and I see in my mind Mary’s beautiful face. She is glorious! She is reaching out her hand to me, and I extend out my arm, desperately trying to grab her hand . . .

. . . but I can’t grab it. Her hand is there. I see it, but I can’t grasp it.

I sit in prayer. If only I could reach her hand. If only I could touch it. But I fail.

I sob.

How many times in my life has Mary been there, but I failed to see her? How many times have I thought that my struggles and sorrows were more than hers? How many times did I push her away because of my own self-reliance?

Mary, in all humility, leads us to her Son. I completely lack humility. I have a tendency to worship something else - myself. I am concerned for my comfort and my happiness. My sinfulness and my faults get in the way of my whole life. I sense in myself the stress of trying to do it all. Every moment I am striving to fix everything: my house, my kids, my husband, myself.

I let my tears fall down to the ground. I desperately pray, “Mary, my Mother, I beg of you to hold my hand, for I can not reach it without your help!”

I close my eyes, and I feel a hand close over mine.

Mary is always willing to come to our aid. She is our Mother. She ran in haste to help Elizabeth. This is her nature.

But how can she help someone who is prideful? How can she come to aid of someone who only wants to be fixed half-way? How can she come to me and offer help if I only want to fix all the people around me, while I won’t look at the problem that is myself?

I ask Mary to hold my hand and walk with me through this life. I drop my false sense of self-reliance, of being a fixer, and I let my Mother lead me to the One who ultimately will fix me.

Sally Schwieterman is a wife to her wonderful husband, Levi, and a mother to their three creative and crazy children. You can typically find her running after her toddler, homeschooling her two older children, and volunteering as co-director of The Daughters of Mary, usually with a cup of coffee in her hand. In her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family, preferably with lots of laughter and mimosas.