In honor of Mothers’ Day, here is a letter Isabella published in an 1895 issue of The Pansy magazine:
Dear Young People:
I notice that the Juniors all over the country are going to talk about “Troubles” at one of their [Christian Endeavor] meetings this month. Some people think that boys and girls never have troubles. I know better.
I remember distinctly when I was twelve years old, I had a very large trouble one day. I wanted to take a ride with my brother, and mother thought it was too cold for me to go out. I coaxed a good deal, until father told me in a very decided tone to say no more about it; that of course I could not go.
I remember I went upstairs to my room, which was not warmed, and sat down in a dreary little heap in the corner and cried. I told myself that I was a most unfortunate little girl; that I could never go anywhere nor do anything like other girls, because my mother and father were always afraid of my taking cold. I said I wished I was old enough to do as I liked; and I should be too happy to live when the day arrived that I could do as I pleased, and have nobody say, “You cannot go here, or do this, or that.”
Poor silly me! Did you ever know a girl who acted like that? But I honestly thought it was real trouble. Let me tell you something. A good many years have passed since then. Mother and father have long since gone away where I cannot hear their voices. Nobody says to me now, “You cannot go to such a place, or wear such a thing.” I am free to do as I please, so far as words are concerned; but sometimes I sit and think it all over, and it seems to me I would give almost anything I have in the world, just to hear my dear mother’s voice saying, “No, my daughter, you cannot go this morning.”
Do you get my thought? Some of the things which we call troubles, grow in after-years into blessings which we miss and mourn.
Another thing, out of my imaginary trouble I made a real one. I sat in that chilly room brooding over my wrongs until I took cold, and was ill for days. Mother had to watch with me at night, and father had to go more than once over the long cold road for the doctor. I have seen people since who made their troubles for themselves.
All the same, I know that young people have real troubles, sometimes; and whether real or imaginary, they want, every one of them, to be taken to the same great Physician. Pity the boy or girl who does not know Him well enough to call upon Him for help.