Dear Jeremiah

     I was re-arranging stuff in our living room tonight, which is something I rarely do...ahem...and I found my old journal I had been keeping during my pregnancy with Jeremiah. I flipped it open and there between the pink lined pages was a letter I had penned on May 7th, 2009 to Jeremiah. He was still all cuddled up in my oh-so-cozy womb, growing like a flower and kicking at my spleen. I was in an odd place then...odd only because I look back on that season with a more healed heart. I can remember vividly the scene I was writing about...
     "As the steaming water pounded my back, my head sank low. Hot tears mixed with falling water. Sobs came in rapid succession. As I held my bulging stomach, I cried for so many different reasons. There were tears for my heart, my heart that yearns so desperately to be free from the pain it's carried hidden for years. Tears for my child-self, for the horrors I had to face, ready or not, day after day. And tears for my unborn child, every fiber of my being wanting to protect him from what I had to go through. Maybe allwent through means my baby will get a break from such pain? I'd go through it all again to ensure my baby doesn't face the same. Even though I regret nothing that happened to me, please God, spare my child..."
     Deep within the Mother there is this fierce, passionate desire to protect our young. I have been through many types of hell in my life, and as I stood in that shower, sobbing and cradling my bulging stomach, all I could think about was how I wanted to be a good Mommy for Jeremiah. How I wanted to give him the security and peace I never had growing up. He is my first born, and my soul encircled his growing body with so much love and protection I often grieved him being on the outside, unsafe and apart.
     Those feelings of passionate protection haven't gone away. I see him pick up a penny off the ground and go to eat it, and I instantly run and grab it away. I see him go to touch the running fan and I run to pull his precious baby hands out of harms way. I see him standing up on the edge of the couch and I catch him and make him sit. He doesn't like it. He doesn't like being told what to do. Kind of sounds like his Mommy. 
     But I want to give my child more. I want to give him more than just the ability to judge whether or not something is dangerous.
     I want to give him unconditional love. I want to give him a safe refuge from the world's atrocities. I want him to know without a doubt that I discipline him out of love, not out of anger or frustration. I want him to see a healthy relationship between his parents, full of love and joy and contentment. I want him to know that God loves him even more than I do and I want him to hear the gospel first at home. 
     The Accuser likes to throw thoughts in every now and then. 

"You're just like her, you know?"
"That wasn't very loving Marybeth. You're a bad Mom."
"Jeremiah is going to be screwed up because he has you as a Mom."

     Yep. Thoughts like that sneak in. Terrible thoughts. Untrue thoughts. Very untrue thoughts. He's a liar. I stand on the Truth of who I am and Who's I am.

     Dear Jeremiah...

          I love you. I have loved you since I was in high school and wrote your name on my folder. When I found out I was pregnant with you, I felt complete. You are my son, and I adore you. 
          You are 16 months old. You are starting to throw tantrums, but they are cute and you catch me smiling at you. You are pushing three molars in at once, and sometimes your crankiness just about does me in. But then I remember, and I hold you and smooth your soft baby hair away from your tear streaked face, and I rock you like we used to do when you were so much littler. 
           I catch myself staring at you, seeing you as a 2 month old, all toothless and bubbly smiles. Secretly, I desperately want those days back. The days before solid food, teeth, talking, and tantrums. I love this season we are in now, but my heart misses you. I'm not sure what happened. I thought I was relishing, soaking it all in. Yet here I am, not quite believing you are sleeping in a toddler bed and feeding yourself. Am I really needed anymore?
            Oh but I am. You have those moments where you fall and I see it in your crying eyes, "Mama, hold me. Protect me. Love me. Make it better." And I try. I rock you, sweet one, and I try to rock away the pain. And I pray over you that this is all the pain you will ever endure. But I know better, for to be human is to hurt. So I just rock you and pray showers of love over you, and you quiet down and push me away, and are off again. 
            I am doing the best with what I've got. I love you more than all the trees in the forest, all the whales in the sea, all the stars in the milky way. I love you so much it hurts, I love you so much it heals. Precious baby boy you are safe and so very cherished. 
Love, Mama




  1. Just so you know this made me cry. :)
    A mother's heart, one can understand it only when we become mothers ourselves. Of course, some of us got the worst end of the deal with our mothers or fathers.

    Such sweet words. I hope he reads them when he is a teenager. :) I hear that's the age the kids decide that we, mothers, do nothing but try to ruin their lives. :)

  2. This is a great post. I have the sense your kids will grow up knowing they were loved, cared for, and protected. Our kids are grown and out on their own now but it is totally amazing what they remember about growing up and what they are truly appreciative for.
    Also, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.


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