I know she’s yours, God – and so is her sister – and I know she’s entrusted to me for such a short time, first in the safety of me and then in the nest of our home. These children are not mine, were never intended to be. I am a steward, a gardener, a partner in this adventure and vocation of motherhood. I need to let go more, give my children more fully to you by releasing my grasping worries and clutching dreams for them. They are yours. You love them far more than I do, and far better. You hold them so tenderly and you gaze on them with such devotion – how could I dare to interfere with your plans? How can I think that the intimacy of nine months, the bond of nursing, the hardship of growing them up is anything compared to the sacrifice you so freely gave? How could I look at them, Lord, and not see your love for me clearly written; how could I not hear the song of joy from heaven; how could I not feel you holding me? In giving me the gift of motherhood, God, you have given me so much more than I expected or deserved. You have entrusted these little lives to me and then you’ve leaned down to hold me in the trials that inevitably come my way.

They have never been mine, Lord. But I don’t need them to be. I only need you to keep me in your hands as I try to do the job you’ve given me.