Before I knew I was pregnant. When two lines showed up even though that second one was faint. When I texted our midwife with the happy news even though it was early.
I’ve learned there’s no such thing as “early.”
You the whole time.
And when you were smaller than you “should” have been, it was you fully there. You the whole time. Your strong heartbeat the best sound in your mother’s world.
The whole time.
There was a night I thought I might be losing you. I was scared out of my mind. Desperate, “I WANT THIS BABY!”
And that baby was you.
You the whole time.
And praise God, you were well! Strong. And all of you there, here with me, the whole time.
Conception. Week 7. Week 13. Week 20. Week 35. Last of summer, all of fall and winter, early spring, 39 Weeks, 5 Days. . .
it was you the whole time.
And now I get to hold you in my arms, see your face, treasure every bigger-than-life smile, calm your cries, run my thumb gentle across your forehead. There is wonder in finally holding the reality of you after carrying you for so long. You who has been you the whole time. Since before I knew! Since before I saw. Before I heard. Before I felt. Before I held.
It’s just always been you.
The whole time.
No such thing as early. Just wonderful, radiant, miraculous you.
I’m crying in the kitchen, but I love you. And I still want you in my life!
I want to enjoy mothering, but I feel like a machine.
Yes, I want to enjoy mothering, but I feel like a machine.
And I want to go outside with you, but I don’t know how to get us all there.
You are gold, but the treasure of you feels like weight. . .breathtaking, chest-constricting. Mommy’s still learning how to hold you.
And I love that you’re in my life, but sometimes I can’t see the life inside my days. Don’t worry, mommy has Hope, is asking God for help. He always gives it.
I want to play with you in the water, but mommy is still trying to get out of the deep end. And Mommy hasn’t forgotten how to play. It just takes time for water to be playful again.
And I’ll keep the music going. Mommy can’t wait to dance with you, but she’s healing. And that’s no waltz. But soon. She still remembers the steps.
I love you.
And Mommy is human, but I’m here no matter what.
I am here!
No matter how long it takes for me to laugh in the kitchen instead of cry. Or for the machinery to stop humming while we break free in the great outdoors beneath the sun. No matter how hard it is to hold the weight of gold, or notice the life of life, or come back to shore and splash in the water, and dance to the steps you’ve made up for me.
No matter what.
No matter how long.
I’m human. But I’m here.
And God is here with me.
So, we’re going to be okay.
And pretty soon,
we’re going to be great.
I can’t wait.
Speaking of which. Did you feel that lovely garden breeze? Me too.
Should you become a mother, yes you can give birth in happiness, with celebration though a generation asks why would you ever bring a child into this world? And you look at the world you’re living in with a broken heart while your whole heart beats with hope and love and joy for this child.
And so should you become a mother, the child in question was never a question for you.
Or for God.
(And aren’t you glad the mothers before us did not heed that age-old question? For here we are. Thank you, Mom. Thank you, God.)
Should you become a mother, yes you can breathe with your heart outside your body. Yes, you can sleep without fear for their breathing. Yes, you can hold little hands and be held like a child too. God is with you. God is with you!
Should you become a mother, yes you can be taken up with wonder while tangled in exhaustion and lists. Yes, you can laugh with your child while the world falls apart and wars rage and dark alleys exist. Yes, you can turn the music loud and live in the song of goodness through tears, with grief.
Should you become a mother, yes you can let go and truly enjoy your kids growing up. Even if it feels too fast. No overwhelming burden of “only this little once,” only this, only that,” and all the onlys you can think of. Exhale! Because should you become a mother, you are their mother for life. Take it one brilliantly fast, wonderful, hard season at a time. And let it take you! All your love. All your life. A mother forever. So let them grow. And love the days that feel like years, the years that feel like seconds. You’ll lose. And win. All at once.
Should you become a mother, yes, you will be in the thick of it, stretched thin, feeling like you’re disappearing into thin air. But the magic is you reappear over and over as your child laughs, falls asleep safe and peaceful in your arms, talks to you without end, explores the world in wonder, little arms tight around your neck. And you’ll remember that, magic aside, you can ask God for strength. Of which you will receive. And thin air becomes fresh air as you become more mother, more child. More of both at once.
Should you become a mother, yes, you can hide under God’s wings as you run through fields with pervasive weeds and poisonous snakes, showing your children where all the wildflowers are, where goodness and beauty dwell, where feet are safe to go, where laugher overflows, where green pastures and still waters always outrun the valley of the shadow of death.
Should you become a mother, yes, you will forever be becoming. So, let your guard down and grow tall into your motherhood needy as God’s child.
This is a love story two-fold.
Mother of your child.
Mother, child of God.
You are safe to be as you become.
What a love story.
So, may you and us all, go forth breathing, laughing, enjoying, reappearing, asking, leading, singing, sleeping, resting, being, belonging, becoming.
And may our children see us as children of God. And how wonderful it is to belong to Him as we be and become.
There are wildflowers in these fields to pick. Life to gather. A love story to live.
In 2020, while a child grew in me, I returned to the thing I had loved to do as a child. Writing poetry. And I wrote the years down. Infertility. My silent screaming. God’s history of love to me. My grief. The garden. The starkness of the bathroom floor. The healing. The escape from the grave. Hope Gives a Eulogy. How thoroughly God gives life! His miracles are many. His presence is everything.
It’s been one year since I published Hope Gives a Eulogy. What a gift to learn I could love God with all of me, fully trust Him and live in hope from Him without ever trying to make infertility the good thing. I could hate the pain without bitterness, grieve the loss extensively, and still completely love and be loved by God. I could experience His kindness without contorting His kindness into the brokeness of infertility. Anything good I experienced during infertility is because God changed it. He made the childless story different. He gave the barren woman LIFE. He didn’t let infertility stay the story.
This is a story I’ll be telling forever. To my children, and should God give them, my children’s children. “Come and hear, all you who fear God,and I will tell what he has done for my soul.” Psalm 66:16
Truly God has kept my soul among the living! (Psalm 66:8)
It has been a profound journey of hope and healing. God turned my life into spring and then He gave me two children and expanded that springtime in huge ways. I know this story of God’s love and glory is far from over. I’m glad to have part of it written down. To have shared it with you. And here we are one year later.
To celebrate one year of Hope Gives a Eulogy out in the world, you can purchase this personal collection of 96 poems for half off the original price! This is the best deal to date and the offer goes through Mother’s Day should you find yourself or know a friend who is in a spring-less season this Mother’s Day. May these poems meet you wherever you are. Let me wait with you for however long it takes spring to burst in your soul again. And then some.💕
Perhaps the eulogy is, indeed, a prelude for new life.