I originally wrote this letter to my husband two years ago on Mother’s Day. Last year, I modified and gave it to him again. And this year, lucky guy, he gets it again, with the appropriate edits to make it true for our life right now. (The beauty of it is that he won’t mind. Not a bit.)

Dearest Husband,

On Mother’s Day, I always think of you. We haven’t celebrated it very much yet – only four times – but I feel like it is our day, the day we made possible. Actually, I think of it as the day you and God conspired to make me the center of. This Mother’s Day, as our daughters run and jump and play, I can’t help but think about how I was never going to have children at all. That time seems so far away, and yet there is a part of me that remembers so well where my mind and heart were. There is a part of me that has tucked away the pain and the anger I was growing – tucked it away into a glass exhibit case, so that I may come back to it and see how far God has brought me. I look at this exhibit, which includes many things from my past, whenever I’m questioning what I’m “doing” with my life, whenever I have doubts about where I’m “going” in my life, whenever I wonder if I can do this thing.

Motherhood is a gift God gave me through you, dear husband. After I decided, with your gentle love, that perhaps I could be a mother, I thought for sure that I wouldn’t be able to be a mother – whether that would mean fertility problems or other challenges, I wasn’t sure, but I was convinced in my heart of the impossibility. Surely I was not worthy to join the ranks of mothers. Mothers, after all, are good people, people you hold up to the light and admire, the way you do a diamond. Mothers are amazing and resilient and nurturing.

How could I be any of these things?

In the last four-and-a-half years, God has led me, and you have held me, as I have found the answers. I’m no hero, and I’m none of the wonderful things I attribute to others (at least, not in my own eyes or from my vantage point in the wreckage of my own head), but I’m doing it. I’m a mother, thanks to the grace of God and the love of my husband.

Thank you, dear husband, for joining me on this journey, for encouraging me to stay strong, for bringing the miracle of life so intimately into my own.

With love,