Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Dear husband,

I know it hasn’t been easy stepping into our lives. So much happened before you came along—so much you don’t understand, so much you don’t agree with, so much that hurts you, so much you wish you could have protected us from.

I know it hasn’t been easy because so much of this is foreign to you. So much of it is new territory you never thought you’d experience. I know because of this, you constantly second guess yourself. I know you think you fall short, that things don’t always go as you had planned, and that your inexperience makes you inadequate.

But husband, although you struggle to make sense of it all, it’s important to remember that sometimes we aren’t meant to understand everything.

Sometimes God chooses to reveal partial details with the aim of protecting us. Even though I walked that trying time alone, there are some details He spared even me from. I believe He withheld for my protection, just as He has done so for you. I know it hasn’t been easy for you because you don’t agree with the way I’ve been treated and the hand I have seemingly been dealt. I know it pains you to learn of my previous hurts. But, my love, God is the author of our stories. Every event in my life, whether it be a tragedy or an injustice, God has worked out for good. None of it was in vain, it has all, in one way or another, been for His ultimate glory.

I wouldn’t be here today as your beloved if I hadn’t previously walked those roads and if I didn’t choose to confidently rest in His sovereignty.

I know as the lover of my soul, you wish you could have shielded us and protected us from it all, but that wasn’t your job. It isn’t your job. My love, your job isn’t to be our savior—we already have a Savior who died for us, a Savior who died for you, too.

My dear husband, while so much of this is new, foreign territory for you, no one would ever know it. Though you had given up hope of a family of your own, God clearly had other plans for you. My love, you are a natural. You were meant to be my partner just as you were meant to be their father.

Things may not have happened the way you planned them, and even on a day-to-day basis they may not happen how you plan them, but one thing is certain: they happen the way He has planned. I hope you remember His way always works out better than anything we could ever plan.

I watch you interact with them. I watch you treat them as your own. I see your love for them in the way you take pleasure even in the mundane. I see how you cherish the moments and don’t take them for granted. I hear your love for them in the way you talk about them to others. although you may feel that your inexperience somehow makes you inadequate, although you may second guess yourself, I look into their eyes as they look at you. I see you as they see you. And my darling, you have it all wrong. There is no fooling them. Their pure hearts see things as they are. The way they look at you screams it. The way they hug you and express their affections confirms it, too.

In our eyes, you are more than enough.

So, my beloved, I want you to know that although it hasn’t been easy, although you may feel like you’re lacking—you’re doing an incredible job. You are a natural. You were made for this. You’re imperfectly perfect for us. You are more than enough, and we thank God for the blessing that is you. We love you today. We love you tomorrow. We love you always.

You may also like:

To the Stepparents Who Love Their Bonus Kids So Well—Thank You

To My Husband: Thank You For Being A Great Man

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jessika Sanders

Jessika is the founder and president of Praying Through ministries, a nonprofit that aims to equip and embolden men, women, and children with Biblical Truth as they journey through the difficult seasons of the NICU, PICU, and Child Loss. She is also a published writer who has been featured in Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Hope When Your Heart is Heavy devotional (2021), Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. magazine (2022), and Tyndale’s So God Made a Mother (2023). Jessika regularly writes for the Praying Through blog.

The Only Fights I Regret Are the Ones We Never Had

In: Living, Marriage
Couple at the end of a hallway fighting

You packed up your things and left last night. There are details to work out and lawyers to call, but the first step in a new journey has started. I feel equal parts sad, angry, scared, and relieved. There’s nothing left to fix. There’s no reconciliation to pursue. And I’m left thinking about the fights we never had. I came down the stairs today and adjusted the thermostat to a comfortable temperature for me. It’s a fight I didn’t consider worth having before even though I was the one living in the home 24 hours a day while you were...

Keep Reading

He’s Not the Man I Married, but I Love the Man He’s Become

In: Marriage
Husband and wife, posed color photo

There is a long-standing joke in our family about my first husband. It goes something like this, “My first husband never watched football.” This is said on the rare occasion when my guy decides to sit down and watch a college football game. We both laugh because neither of us has been married more than once. Instead, this joke is aimed at all the ways we have changed over the years of being together. We married very young—I was 15 and he was just a week past his 17th birthday. Life was difficult with both of us still in high...

Keep Reading

Thank You for This Sacrificial Love

In: Marriage
Bride and groom, color photo

To lay down one’s life, according to the Bible, is the greatest expression of love. Jesus laid down His life for us by dying on the cross. God loves us so much that He sent His only son to die for humanity. As Jesus laid down his life for us, so Scripture commands husbands to lay down their lives for their wives. It’s a heavy responsibility placed on the husband to die to himself, to his desires, to his flesh, to love and serve his wife. A husband ought to love sacrificially, and that is exactly the man I married....

Keep Reading

I Hope Heaven Looks like 3128 Harper Road

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Marriage
Husband and wife, posed older color photo

Jeannine Ann Eddings Morris grew up in western Kentucky as the oldest daughter of hard-working parents, who both worked at the Merritt Clothing factory. Jeannine was the oldest of 23 grandchildren who proudly belonged to John B. and Celeste Hardeman. John B. was a well-known preacher who traveled all over the South to share the gospel. Life as a child was as humble as one might expect for the 1940s. Jeannine was the oldest of four children, spanning a 13-year age range. To hear her talk, her childhood and teenage memories consisted of mostly reading every book she could find...

Keep Reading

Overcoming Conflict Builds a Marriage that Lasts

In: Marriage
Couple sitting together on couch, color photo

I would never have admitted to being afraid of conflict back then. Not in my marriage anyway. I’d read all the books about how marriage is hard work and conflict is normal and I knew we were definitely the exception. But then at some point that first year, I realized two things: we were not the world’s most exceptional couple after all, and I was, indeed, afraid of conflict.  If we argued, even after I’d apologized a million times, I was very afraid I had failed. Like I had torn a little piece off our marriage that couldn’t ever go back. So...

Keep Reading

We Didn’t Go to Counseling Because Our Marriage Had Failed, We Went to Make It Stronger

In: Marriage
Hands holding across the table

There were three of us in the windowless room with its faded yellow walls. We were sitting in a triangle, my husband closest to the door, I in the farthest corner of the room, and the man whom I had specifically sought out, smiling serenely across the table from both of us. It was my idea to be here. After yet another heated discussion with my husband about the same issue we’ve been discussing for the past 10 years, something in me just broke. “I can’t do this anymore,” I said out loud to no one in particular. “We need...

Keep Reading

We Built a Rock-Solid Foundation in Our Little Home

In: Living, Marriage
Couple on front porch

I found my brand-new husband, sitting on the floor of the only bedroom in our brand-new house. His back propped against the wall, muscular legs extending from his khaki shorts, bare feet overlapping at the ankles. His arms were crossed in a gesture of defiance and there was an unfamiliar, challenging scowl on his face. Plopping down beside him on the scratchy harvest gold carpeting, I asked, “What’s wrong?” “This is it?” he mumbled. “This is what we used our savings for?” I stood up, tugging on his bent elbows in a vain attempt to get him to his feet....

Keep Reading

To the Woman Navigating Divorce: You Will Get Through This

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman with eyes closed standing outside, profile shot

On May 4th, 2023 I was delivered devastating news. My husband no longer loved me, and he wanted to end our marriage. This was the last thing I expected. I tried to get him to work things out, but he was firm on the decision that we were done. My heart broke for my children and what I thought I wanted for my life. As it turns out though, this separation and soon-to-be divorce is probably one of the best things that could have happened to me. It has given me a new appreciation for myself, brought me closer to...

Keep Reading

We Got Married Young and We Don’t Regret It

In: Marriage
Bride and groom in church, color photo

In a world that tells you divorce is inevitable if you get married young, I did the unthinkable: I got married at 22 . . . straight out of college. We had no money and lived off love for the first couple of years in a cheap apartment in the worst part of the city. Black specks came out of our water pipes sometimes. Occasionally we had to take back roads to get to our apartment because police had the nearby roads blocked off for searches. Regardless, we were happy. RELATED: We Married Young and I Don’t Regret it For...

Keep Reading

But God, I Can’t Forgive That

In: Faith, Marriage
Woman holding arms and walking by water

Surrender is scary. Giving in feels like defeat. Even when I know it’s the right thing, yielding everything to God is scary. It also feels impossible. The weight of all I’m thinking and feeling is just so dang big and ugly. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes I cling so tightly to my fear I don’t even recognize it for what it is. Bondage. Oppression. Lack of trust. Oh, and then there’s that other thing—pride. Pride keeps me from seeing straight, and it twists all of my perceptions. It makes asking for help so difficult that I forget that...

Keep Reading