On the night before motherhood: a blessing

A mother’s love begins long before birth and now, as you approach the precipice of meeting its lifelong object, here is a blessing.

Feel the slow rise and fall of your chest as your heart sustains another. You are breathing life into you and into the new life you are about to meet. You, fearfully and wonderfully made, have done this life-giving act over 31 million times as you’ve carried this child, fearfully and wonderfully made, over the last 9 months.

As you think of the past, may you look back with fondness and thankfulness for how you yourself have been carried throughout the journey.

As you think to the future, remember this: you have carried and have been carried. You will carry and will be carried.

You join a long line of mothers who have sparked history into life since the beginning of time. Welcome to the company, be a part of the tribe. You are not and will never be alone.

For now, you have thought about and dreamed of and prayed for this child perhaps even before they came into being. You have walked a long road. You have weathered stormy seas and now, in this moment, you are here. Let it be.

You are tired, excited, joyful, fearful, impatient, giddy, nervous, overwhelmed, calm, thankful, grieving, ready, loving. You aren’t sure what to do with all of the thoughts and feelings that you are giving birth to: that is ok. You are ok. Acknowledge what you feel and let it go when you are ready.

Today, may you know the staff of the Shepherd who gently leads those who are with young. May still waters and divine goodness surround you – the two of you.

Two in one: your body – a vessel, powerful, capable, purposed. Theirs – carefully grown, fragile but strong, ready for the world. May the Great Physician who designed and sustains you both draw near in these next moments.

May His hand guide and inspire those in whose care you are. Give thanks for them and confidently lean into their skill.

Like Mary, may you have much to treasure deep in your heart as the coming hours, days and years unfold.

May your body know strength. May your mind know peace. And may your spirit know presence.

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