“Have you written a poem about motherhood?” you asked
in your email today.
I answer in mind, “No, because it is beyond my abilities,
to capture all motherhood encompasses
in any satisfying, articulate way.”
The mothering journey begins with a physical pregnancy
which you feel and know.
Little does it prepare you, though, for the emotional and spiritual ties
which will slowly grow.
From your child’s birth until your death, that you are a mother,
now your identity will always forego.
Before a woman gives birth, she frets about
the event to come:
Will she be able to handle the pain? Will the birth be
Will she be a good mother? What if the baby is
missing a thumb?
Trepidation mingles with joy and anticipation
from the very onset,
already revealing the complexities of trying to explain motherhood
for few other roles in life arouse as much intensity as
mothering will beget.
Time stands still as you hold your baby for the first time and
look into his tiny eyes.
Your very breath and heartbeat cease at the sound of
her first anguished cries.
What powerful language has the ability to bring scenes
such as these alive?
As a mother your eyes will open to how you’re selfish and cruel
and in need of a Savior;
but you’ll also perform those surprising selfless acts, revealing that
God’s love can truly soar.
Are mere words enough to show all the work upon your soul
motherhood has in store?
Can I adequately explain that both the best and worst of you
you’ll as a mother dispense?
Or even comprehend myself the disparity between my most brilliant moments
of compassion and defense
being revealed to the same children who have quailed at
my wrath over an irrelevant offense?
As a mother you’ll experience depths of self-doubt, uncertainty,
but you’ll also reach peaks filled with joy and satisfaction,
a most true confession.
Speech alone seems so inadequate to express the affect
of such a lesson.
How can I convey the visceral agony you will feel as you pray
for your child in pain?
Or the intense desire to trade places, so for your child only
peace would remain?
Or the swelling tide of rejoicing when the ordeal finally
ceases to be a bane?
What words can paint a picture of mothers timelessly seeking
God’s wisdom as their own?
Of mothers on their knees, praying for their children again and again
before His throne,
persevering through years of both good and bad, until their children
are fully grown?
Would I dare to write a poem, my insufficient words to you,
my dear friend,
would be that motherhood is a joyous, difficult, life-long journey
which I highly recommend.
You will not regret the giving of this gift to you when finally
to heaven you ascend.
That I could not more adequately bestow what motherhood is,
I can only end by saying that I myself have come
that God has used the lessons of motherhood to help me become
more gracious, Godly, and wise.