for comfort

To my sweet girls,

Almost every day, I look at each of you and can still hardly believe that I am a mother. I know my birthday is coming and the number isn’t getting any smaller. People may look at the number and think I should have had you both ten years ago. But I feel as though I should be wiser at this age, or as wise as someone at least ten years beyond me, before I can feel like a legitimate mom. When I watch the world news and see what I see at my workplace, the responsibility to nurture and guide you through this crazy world feels so daunting. Some days, I wish I could keep you in this innocent baby and toddler stage forever. Somehow it feels safer for us all that way.

There is something about the way you each look at me. Your inherent recognition that I and your Daddy are more than just your primary caregivers. We are connected in a way that goes unspeakably deeper than all the shared days and nights under the same roof. You lived inside of me, your heart and lungs and brain and fingers and toes grew inside of me until I could see that you were in fact a whole and living person, all at once unique from me but absolutely connected to me in every sense of the word. We are family, the four of us. We will learn from each other how to have healthy relationships, God-willing. We will learn respect and hurt and forgiveness and sharing and boundaries and togetherness and individuality. We will learn love and the depths of joy and pain that come together with love. We will learn about Jesus and struggle through the hard questions about God and life together. I’m on this journey with you, sweet girls. I still can hardly believe that I am on this journey with you as your mama.

I took care of a patient the other day that made me think so much of both of you. Through the partially closed blinds, I watched her mama sway, slowly back and forth, holding her baby so tenderly with all the love and ache that could not be contained by a hospital room for a precious sick baby. The doctor’s orders said it was ok to put the baby at mama’s breast for comfort. For comfort. They meant for the baby but it was for mama too. I knew she couldn’t put her baby down. She needed to hold her. She needed to comfort her. I couldn’t stay in the room. I didn’t know how to help prepare a mama for the hardest days ahead without falling apart myself. I thought of both of you girls and wanted to hold you both to my breast so tightly that night. For comfort.

I want you to know, I am your mama, but I am not your Savior. I won’t be here on this earth forever with you. There will be days, perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently, when I cannot hold you to my breast for comfort. I want you to know Jesus, sweet girls. Our Heavenly Father gave up His Son, gave up His only Son, to take our suffering and our death, so that all the hurt you will experience from within and from with-out in the course of your life, will one day be wiped away in the perfection and ultimate healing of Heaven. I want you to know the One who will always love you perfectly when I fail you. I want you to know the One who will teach us to love and forgive each other when we have hurt each other. I want you to know the One whose tender and strong hands put your heart and lungs and fingers and toes together in my womb with a skill that no accidental science could ever dictate. This is Love who put you together. I want you to know Him, sweet girls. He knows you and loves you so much. He is your forever Comfort. I want to take you to my breast and bring you to Him. This is what I want more than anything to do for you as your mama. For comfort. Because He is good. He is so, so good.