To the woman who is waiting on a child to call her own someday:
Draw as close to your Savior and Creator as possible. Motherhood is no joke. You will need the strength of that relationship, the one you cultivated with a broken heart, the one you lovingly and faithfully tended, the one you faltered and failed in, to raise your children. That relationship, that fortitude, that faithfulness, will help you mother your children--no mater how they come to be yours. Be joyous in time with your husband. Enjoy eachother. Do things you never thought you would do. Do not make him feel like he isn't enough--because even though he isn't, neither is a child. Only God will do. This time is aching, heart breaking, and suffocating. There may be moments of lightness, only for emotions to cave in on you, going through the cycle of "hope" and "hopelessness each and every month. I get it. I understand.
To the woman who just had a baby:
Love your baby, but love God more. You will feel overwhelmed. You will probably feel like a failure. You may feel like God has entrusted you with this new life, and you are anything but prepared, or even good enough for it. God will carry you through. I am not going to tell you to cherish these moments, because these moments are hard. The exhaustion. The feedings. The diapers. The rinse and repeat. The crying for seemingly no reason. The feeling that you are ill equipped. You are NOT. You are equipped for THIS child--God chose YOU to be this child's mother, and for good reason. This child needed YOU.
To the woman who feels guilty:
Right now, you may be looking down at this new life and wondering why you aren't happy they are here. You may feel nothingness, or worse yet, guilt. You may feel like you can't do this, but you have to because you are, after all, this child's mother. You may be battling constant feelings of darkness, and wondering why in the world you cannot seem to shake it. Do not succumb to the temptation to do nothing. You WILL get through this. Do not succumb to the temptation to keep it to yourself. You WILL get through this. Motherhood is hard, but feeling like you don't want to be a mother even though you are, is even harder. Trust that God will carry you through this, maybe through a friend, maybe through a counselor. Speak what is happening out loud. There is freedom in honesty. It may be a long road to find the joy, BUT YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS--I know this because we have an everlasting Father who does not deal in guilt. He deals in joy. Let Him (and others) help you.
To the woman of multiple littles:
This is hard, isn't it? I promise that it will continue being hard until one day...it's a little bit easier. Then another day, it's even easier than the one before. During this time, you may need to learn the art of saying "no" and the art of asking "please?". These are important. Do not let your feelings of being overwhelmed, nor pridefulness get in your way. As believers, we are there to help each other. The art of saying "no" does not mean you will never do anything every again--it means, that maybe, just for now, your family comes first--that's okay. Better to be raising sharp arrows than to be too busy to sharpen them. Asking for help does not indicate weakness. It indicates strength. Many follow pride, for that is not difficult. However, those who humble themselves are wise indeed. As you go through this time, remember your children are learning, watching. What do you want to teach them? How to not ask for help? How to always be busy? Or how to value time and each other? How to value humility and asking. Asking will create a heart of understanding and giving for when you are out of this time, or even when there are breaks in this time of motherhood. Trust the Father, and trust His truth.
To the woman who has had to say goodbye to her child/children:
I am so sorry. There are no words that can solve, soothe, or cure your aching heart. There is nothing that will help, but for a short time. Time will help, but the problem with time is that it seemingly takes so long to help. Another child may help, but they are not a replacement. Ultimately, rest assured that God will carry you through even this. Even when your legs may fail and your steps falter, yes, He will carry you through even this. There is no burden too great for Him to carry. No grief too large for Him to grieve with you. Know this. THIS was NOT His plan! He may use it for the betterment of you and others, but this, in no way, was a part of HIS PLAN. Rest in Him. Be still in Him. Don't try to impress others with a face a "deep faith" that does not get shaken (although, if it isn't, that's good). Don't try to rush your grief. Like your child's DNA is unique to them and them alone, so is your grief to you. You will never be done grieving, you may even, at some time feel guilty for being happy, for forgetting about them, but don't. Just like death isn't in our Creator's plan, nor is guilt for this reason. May you find freedom and joy in our Lord, regardless of your circumstances.
*I know that this doesn't pertain to everyone, but if there is something that I have learned from my married life it's these themes. I am no great wordsmith, nor am I extremely wise--I do after all, have quite a bit more learning to do. I do wish, however, that had I known and been gently given these words, I might have known that someone was with me. Standing with me. Knew what I was going through. Vocalized what I was going through. I do not want to be silent, because silence can create isolation, and we are not beings who need perfection from other struggling beings. We are beings who need encouragement, love, laughter, exhortation, and above all--fellowship. This doesn't mean "go to church and sit and listen" it means carrying each other's burdens and carrying their joys. So...that's what I am aiming to do I guess.*