For anyone letting the past define them today.

I had given up on being a mother.

Not for the same reasons so many do.

There was no infertility.
There was no obstinate choice.
There was nothing inherently wrong, but I had resigned to the fact that I never would be.

And I didn’t dwell on it, because there was no use.

I had made choices in my life that left me barren and broken.

A broken marriage.
Broken families.
A broken self.
A barren soul.

And I found myself in a relationship I didn’t want to end, but I wasn’t sure how I could stay. It was wrong.

I turned to wine and “good times” to numb the pain inside from all the pain I had caused.

And a week after a gluttonous Christmas party, sitting alone but now not alone, my life shifted focus. Forever.

Those three sticks with baby blue lines were telling me I would be a mother. And it would turn out it was a baby boy.

Ready or not. Right or wrong. And of course it was right, because God doesn’t make mistakes and of course, I wasn’t ready, because I do.

I shook in fear.
And I cried.
Tears of unbelief.
And tears of joy.

And in the nine months between the delivery of the news and the delivery of my son, his father and I got married. Together we started a new life as the new life inside me formed.

And in those nine months God awakened my soul to my need for a Savior and I found Him through His son and my own.

I was brought up in church and I was baptized at the age of twelve, but when I was baptized again at the age of twenty-nine and eight months pregnant, I was truly washed and free. Oh. So. Free.

For so long I had lived letting my past define me. Now I was ready to live letting my God define me.

Then grace. 

Grace covered what I had been trying to cover so I could finally let it go. And in the aftermath, God began to work good through all the pain and hurt and sin that had once defined me. Because that’s what He does for those who love him.

He works it all out for good. ALL of it. 

As my doctor delivered my crying, helpless new life into my arms, my Savior delivered my crying, helpless self into His.

My life now had purpose.
My life now had direction.
My life was now whole.

A tiny human that was half me was in my arms and even though I did not have a clue what to do with him, I knew we would be okay.

Even in the fear of the unknown, I knew that there was now Hope.

I was a mother.

I was a mother and I was going to be okay.
We were going to be okay.


I had often wondered how my mother would have responded to the sinful choices I had made and had even uttered the words in my soul, and maybe even out loud, that I was glad she wasn’t here to see me make them.

Now I took those words back.

Oh, how I wished she was here to meet her grandson.
How I wished she was here to tell me what in the world to do with him.
How I wished she was here to tell me that everything I was feeling and experiencing was normal and that she had been the exact. same. way.

But she wasn’t here.

She wasn’t here for my son’s birth and she wasn’t here for my daughter’s birth three years later.

And I didn’t know at the age of twenty-two that I needed to ask her the things that I so wish I could ask her now.

Things that my dad doesn’t remember or know because he’s my dad. And only a mother can relate to a mother.

I say none of this to belittle any woman’s agony of not being able to have children for whatever reason and wanting them so desperately. I cannot relate to that agony because I have not been there. But I can and I do grieve with you. For the void of a life that you so desperately want to bear.

And I have no words of empathy, because I have not walked your same path. But I do believe that God is sovereign and that in His time and His will and His way He is making all things new. Even your broken heart.

I can only truly relate to the motherless mother. Because that is who I am.

And thirteen years later it hurts as much as it did the day I became a motherless daughter.

The day I sat alone in a crowd, hunched over rocking back and forth on my sofa repeating, “Not my mom. Not my mom. Not my mom.”

But it was my mom. And there will always be unanswered questions. Until we are in Glory together and then they won’t matter anymore.

Mothers…today you matter. Whether you feel like it or not. You matter.

Your life matters to your children and your husband and your families. Your life matters to your Father. He made you to matter.

You matter. For His Glory. You matter.

And if I could just take you right now and hug you the way my grandmother would wrap me with her whole sweet southern being, I would whisper that in your ear.

Listen to me…You matter…

And whatever that thing is in your past that is telling you that don’t matter and you can’t move forward and you can’t be loved and you can’t be forgiven…that is just. plain. wrong.

I’m living proof. And it’s a good place to be. On the other side of forgiveness.

I am now defined by my identity in Christ, not my identity in the world.

There is a beautiful difference there. The difference grace makes.

For His Glory,

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28


17 thoughts on “For anyone letting the past define them today.

  1. Thank you Meredith. This is so beautiful.
    “I had often wondered how my mother would have responded to the sinful choices I had made and had even uttered the words in my soul, and maybe even out loud, that I was glad she wasn’t here to see me make them.”
    This thought tugged at me. I have been without my dad for 22 years and I find myself still trying to please him sometimes. I can imagine our parents sitting in heaven wanting nothing more than to open us up and pour their love in. I am so thankful for our God who pursues us. Beautiful testimony.

    • I’m sorry for your loss as a young woman, too, Kasey. I love your thought that our parents are in heaven wanting us to open up so they can pour love in. THAT is beautiful. Blessings, Meredith

  2. Meredith, thank you for sharing your story. I know it wasn’t easy. But what a testimony to the redeeming grace of God! Praying special blessings on you this Mother’s Day! Love you!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story, Meredith. Such a powerful picture of redemption and how God works all things for the good of those who love Him. Our stories are so similar. I dedicated my life to Christ around the same age, though it was after my son was born and I had a long bout with postpartum depression. Before I had kids, I, too went down the wrong path for so many years I didn’t think I’d ever find my way back. But God is so faithful, isn’t He? Loved this: “I am now defined by my identity in Christ, not my identity in the world.” Powerful stuff. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Such beautiful words Meredith. My heart just soared through your words, and I also remembered my own moment staring down at a little stick and seeing how ready or not, my life was going to change, and it would be for the better.
    I loved this part: “…sitting alone but now not alone, my life shifted focus. Forever.”
    Alone but not alone in so many ways! God was with you and of course your beautiful son.
    Thank you for sharing your story with such honesty and beauty. Thank you for sharing encouragement and love for all us moms out there and all of us daughters.
    Love to you, my friend.

    Kelly 🙂

  5. Meredith,
    Wow..beautiful testimony of God’s grace in your life and how He changed your view of yourself..Thank you…what a sweet photo of you and your son…praying you have a very blessed Mother’s Day this weekend…and God comforts your heart when you miss your mom.

  6. Meredith, your transparency through your story will reach to others in ways you will never know. May God use your story powerfully for His good and for His glory. Hugs to you, dear sister. Praising God we share the same faith in Jesus today! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Echoing Katie’s comment, thank you for bravely sharing your story. You matter. Your story matters and God will use it. I love your beautiful heart, Meredith. So grateful to have connected with you. {Hugs}

  8. How special that you came to know the Lord while you were pregnant! God is merciful. Mother’s Day must be bittersweet for you. May the Lord show himself to be your Father AND your Mother.

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