I wrote this mother letter at the request of a fellow blogger that I've never met. He wants to give the letters to his wife for Christmas. Here is my contribution.
I was not prepared for the onslaught of emotion that overtook my body when they placed Kenly in my arms. I felt joy and pure love, but the emotion that surprised me the most was fear. I know that sounds crazy, but the overwhelming responsibility of providing for her and protecting her filled me with crazy, body-numbing fear. This isn’t a fear that keeps you from acting; it’s a fear that drives you to protect, to nurture, and to sacrifice yourself to make this little screaming, gassy bundle of loveliness happy. I’d do anything to ease her pain, to make her life just a little better. I wish I had a super power to protect her from the pain of gas, from the struggle of constipation, and from the many unnamed hurts that loom in her future.
How will I keep myself from destroying the first child who makes her cry in playgroup? How will I keep myself from maiming the first boy who breaks her heart? How will I deal with myself when I have to break her heart by refusing her something that “she’s just got to have?”
She’s only four months old now, but her little hurts have already brought me to tears on multiple occasions. What will I do when she really hurts? I can’t even begin to prepare for when she sits in my lap and sobs over things I can’t heal or fix. I can’t protect her from every harm, and that one little thought terrifies me and plagues my heart. My heart is now on her tiny sleeve, and she will carry it out into the world. She’ll expose it to great happiness and to many thrills. She’ll teach my heart to love the little things, all the miniscule wonders of the world. I’ll see things new again because she’s teaching my heart to stop and pay attention. BUT, she’ll also hurt my heart in ways she can’t even imagine. She won’t mean to. Most of the time, the pain will be from watching her hurt, from longing to protect. But sometimes she’ll hurt me no purpose, and that thought slays my heart.
So, when the fear of raising this child gets to be too much to bear, I remember that I don’t have to carry it. God gave her to Adam and me as a gift, and he promises that he won’t give us more than we can bear. Most of all, I remember that He loves me with the same fierce, uncontrollable love that I feel for Kenly. I have to remind my heart that God has a plan for me, for Adam, and for Kenly, and that plan is “to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future.” Job 23:10 says that he knows the ways we take, and when he has tried us, we will come forth as gold. I have to remember that every pain that I bear, every pain that Kenly bears—it’s all for a purpose. The most beautiful thing is that God will hold us in His protective hands and feel the pain with us so that we are not alone.