Dear sweet baby girl,
One day I’ll tell you.
The secret, between you and me.
A secret I always carry with me.
From when I was carrying you.
A secret I’ve told no one else in the world.
And I fully intended to keep it that way.
A secret that has followed and haunted me.
As I get lost in awe of keeping up with you.
You see, sweet baby girl, during the time I decided to keep this secret, I didn’t realize that how you saved me, may very well save someone else.
I didn’t realize that sharing our little secret might allow someone else to share theirs as well. To not feel so guilty and ashamed, as I have felt for so many years.
As hard as it is to share, beautiful darling, Mommy had a very secret struggle I was too scared to make known. An ongoing, lifelong battle with a seven-letter thief that had stolen so much of life’s joy from me. I hated it, my anxiety. Because all too often, it led me straight to its counterpart: depression. And when you were growing so strong and beautifully within Mommy’s belly, both anxiety and depression paid me a very unwelcome visit.
So, one late-fall evening, hands covering you in protection, tears streaming down, falling right where your feet were playing around, I hit one of my lowest points ever in this 30-some-year battle. I felt as though the weight of the world was just too much, and Mommy had a tremendously difficult time pushing away these two liars, swirling around me, like the perfect storm. They told me so many things that were completely untrue. Complete and utter lies. But, Mommy was so tired of battling them, that I almost gave up.
And there as I found myself, sitting with my back against Mommy and Daddy’s bed, they almost won the battle. They almost defeated you and me both, precious girl
. Because, together, they conjured up the biggest lie yet—the world would be better of without me. Your sisters and your daddy would be better too.
My heart knew it wasn’t true, but my mind convinced me otherwise.
At that moment, I did the only thing I could, sweet baby girl. I cried out to our God with my loudest whisper. I asked Him to please save us. I asked Him to please come sit with me. Right there on the hard, bedroom floor. I asked Him to please wrap you and me both in His complete protection. And, I asked Him to fight. To fight for me. To fight for you. To fight with all His might, for both of us.
And as those tears cane streaming, my beautiful love, I felt you move around more than ever. And I knew, He was reminding me . . . that we are worth it. That He still had, and has, such an incredibly powerful purpose for both of us. To let those other precious mamas, with the same deflating and hopeless feelings, know He is sitting right there with them during every second of their pain. Sheltered under His all-encompassing wings, surrounding them with His stunning truth—every one of His children, and most especially His beloved mamas, is so completely precious and sacred, not only to Him but to the entire world.
As I carefully picked myself up from the carpet below and headed to the hallway bathroom to wash my face, I found myself staring back at a mama’s soul in the dimly-lit mirror, teetering between despair and relief. And then, I saw His face, overshadowing mine. Staring me face-to-face in the mirror. Your sisters sound asleep, just footsteps away. Suddenly, I imagined your face. Every single tiny detail. Knowing there was no way on Earth I could miss absorbing every inch of your beauty, the first time you would be laid on my chest.
Almost too weary to muster the energy back down the hallway and into bed, I felt Him carry me. As I was carrying you.
And I knew He tucked us in nice and tightly that night, sweet baby girl. He kissed us both, right then and there, and He knelt right down in that very same spot on the floor where we found ourselves moments before to pray over us. Praying for life. Praying for this story to share. Praying we would use this moment in time to one day help other mamas, finding themselves lost in the same unexplainable despair. Reminding them they too are made in His image. They too have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind purpose to fulfill. They too can find hope, courage, and peace in Him.
Maybe with counseling.
And maybe with a weary and vulnerable call for worldly help.
Possibly with a combination of His powers, plus all of these above.
That night was the lowest of lows for Mommy, precious.
But within those crushing, hopeless moments of my life’s worth, flickering in and out, like a light bulb burning out, He reminded me you were going to be one very special and beautiful source of light in my life. And that when my own light begins to dim, your love would reignite mine. Not only mine but that your light would carry beauty in the lives of so very many others, as well. Before you were born, you did just that. With His spirit wrapping us both in His safe embrace, He reminded me that we weren’t done. Together, we had so much for which to live.
More than anything, to share our raw, uncensored, beautiful truth, wrapped in His unconditional love, with other mommies and babies out there, drowning in the same riptide of lies.
Because you, darling girl . . .
You deserve the world.
And it was, and is, my job to give it to you.
It was, and always will be, my job to keep myself in His embrace.
It was, and forever will be, my job to give myself to Him, so He can carry us both.
And I thank God above each and every day that He did. That He still does. Carry us through those moments of feeling like giving up. Completely surrendering.
I thank Him for your gorgeous, huge, brown eyes that melt my heart every time.
I thank Him for your pure sweetness, straight from your heart of gold.
I thank Him for allowing you to be the best big sister ever.
And above all, I thank Him for the endless gift of being your mom.
One day, sweet baby girl.
I will tell you.
While I was carrying you.
I will tell you of the evening He saved us both.
I will tell you of the incredibly grand purpose He has for you.
As you continue to be a shining light for me.
And the entire world to come.
Liz is a former elementary teacher and now a stay-at-home mama to six little ones. She writes as an inspiration and encouragement to other women, and most especially mothers on her blog, www.gracefullywoven.net (where you can subscribe and receive her free Five-Day Mini-Motherhood Devotional!). Liz loves spending with her family, outside as often as possible, as well as sneaking a few moments to herself with a run, dark chocolate and writing, with her faith as her greatest motivation.