So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

Have you ever gone silent?

Not while giving the silent treatment, not suddenly mute, not quiet in thought . . . Silent as in that inner prayerful voice accustomed to a constant dialogue with God has shocked you and fallen still. It feels lost . . . the words that usually knit themselves together so easily, smothered. That voice that speaks your soul, that in other times of trial has bolstered you up and held you together, has left you in silence

When I was 26-weeks pregnant with what would be our first children, twins, I went into pre-term labor. I was put into an ambulance directly from my doctor’s office and rushed to the nearest large hospital. My husband and I were thrust into a stream of medical professionals working to try and slow the labor, while NICU doctors stood over us explaining what it would mean to deliver so prematurely.

A wave of overwhelming grim statistics crashed over us. 

Later that night, medical interventions were able to control the labor but came with stern warnings that it was just a temporary fix. We were moved into a shared room with another couple experiencing the same preterm labor and even the same number of weeks pregnant. Bonding came easily while living out such similar, intense circumstances.

RELATED: 10 Ways to Support Parents of Preemies

And then, the fears and the statistics and the warnings that had blanketed over our room, now weighed down so heavily the air was hard to find. This sweet couple who had been beside us, heavy with the same prayers for their little one, bore the worst . . . they delivered, and their precious baby was lost. 

And I guess that’s about when it happened.

Leading up to this point, the road to motherhood had already been marked with potholes and obstacles, but still my heart felt loud and full with ever-present prayer and chatter to God.

Before this pregnancy, I’d had the joy of celebrating three other pregnancies, and sadly each followed with the heartache of miscarriage. When we found out we were expecting again, and this time with twins, there was joy but in truth also great trepidation. As the pregnancy progressed, no matter what I may be doing or saying outwardly, my heart and soul were running a continuous ticker of thoughts, pleas, and prayer over these babies. 

Until they weren’t.

Until it just all became silent.

Until the fears and the heartache from our own losses met the grief and terror rained down by the loss of our roommates’ little one, leaving that inner voice squashed, exhausted, and numb. 

RELATED: When You Don’t Know What to Pray, God Still Hears

During this time, as our network of family and friends became aware of our situation, a wonderful thing began to happen.

Our village started to show up and speak up. 

People I didn’t even realize were in my villageco-workers I barely knew previously, people from my hometown I’d lost contact with, voices across the world that were connected to us solely through a church prayer chain, a nurse at the hospital who for whatever reason scooped us up right under her wing, and of course dear family and friends. Emails, letters, cards, messages, small gestures or little gifts, and comforting visits.

No matter the form, the village voices began to fill in the space where my silence lay. 

I remember receiving a card with a tiny infant sock tucked inside it. My friend shared how she used to keep this little sock inside her purse and pocket during the time in her life when she was going through the trials of adoption. It was a tangible and visible reminder to hang on and keep going because the goal is worth it.

RELATED: It Takes a Village to Raise a Preemie; Thank You For Being Part of Ours

Another woman who was just an acquaintance at the time, now a friend, had been through a similar experience except with triplets. She took the time to write an understanding and knowing note. Along with it, she included a box of lip gloss. She remembered the feelings of losing herself, becoming simply a baby growing vessel that seemed to be defective. She knew moms needed to be seen and cared for, too. The lip gloss was a sweet symbol of that.   

And I distinctly remember one phrase that appeared in the notes repeatedly.  “Holding you up in prayer.” It may be simple, maybe you even think it cliché, but each time my eyes rolled over those words, it was healing to my own lost, prayerful voice. I’d gone numb with fear, and my soul quieted of its regular dialogue. But this village, they were praying the words I felt inept to string together.

I truly did feel held up and comforted that even if I was silent, other voices were filling in.

We came out of that trial. Our babies were born healthy and thriving. But I will never forget what my village of voices meant to me. I’ve learned how important it is to show up for others. When those around us are struggling, grieving, fearful, exhausted, overwhelmed, facing illness themselves or of a loved one, whatever their battle may be . . . be their village.

It doesn’t take much It doesn’t have to feel so deep or difficult or complicated that you talk yourself out of it.  The smallest of gestures, the shortest of notes, can make a lasting healing impact. If you don’t know them very well but know they are struggling, maybe you even personally connect to their battlereach out. Think you know them so well you don’t need to make a special effort, reach out. Speak up, show up, be a voice in their village. Your voice just may fill their silence. 

Emily Roussell

Emily Roussell is author of the tender children's book for new babies and moms, ‘Rock You Tonight.’ It reads like a lullaby, while telling the story of a tired and distracted mom who slows to fully embrace the wonder of and love for her baby. This book was penned when her first children, twins, were just months old. Life was exhausting, upside down, and …blissful. Find it in hard copy or kindle edition on Amazon! Emily and her husband gratefully enjoy a happy circus of life with four children. You can find her at

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Jesus Helps Me Smile Through the Weary Moments of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler girl, color photo

“Mom, why aren’t you smiling?” My 4-year-old took one look at my face, and like an open book, she could read me. Sometimes I wish I could hide it better, tucked behind an infinite smile or a pasted-on happy face. Sometimes I wish my beautiful children—so young, free, and fun—wouldn’t see my face on a day like today. RELATED: Motherhood is Hard, But Loving You is the Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Done You see, it’s just so hard—all of it. And I am just so tired. Between working a job, trying to keep up with being a supportive wife and...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.