“Do you think God can make me a good mom?”

The question came out of the blue, yet it made perfect sense in the midst of our conversation. “Bailey” had been talking for almost an hour, finally finding freedom in verbalizing the pent-up emotions that had been swirling in her head ever since taking a home pregnancy test.

Bailey and her fiancé had plans to get married in a few months, and the last thing on their radar was having a baby. Our conversation initially centered on the “presenting problems”—finances, housing, and health insurance—and the stress they were raising in conjunction with her pregnancy. But as I gave her space to talk and asked some follow-up questions, the conversation took a marked turn to begin discussing the underlying concerns, those deeply intimate fears and questions that Bailey had not yet begun to process.

She shared about traumatic abuse she suffered as a young girl and how the abuse she suffered had impacted her desire for children; she thought that by not having children she could protect herself and potential children from further suffering. But as she talked, she kept pivoting back to, as she put it, this “unexplainable joy” every time she thought about having a baby. Fear was so much at the center of our conversation, but the more she externalized what was previously just internalized, Bailey started to relax and even smiled periodically. By verbalizing her fears, she brought what was in the darkness into light. And as we all know, when we allow ourselves to bring our dark places into Jesus’ light, his light shines into the darkness and overcomes it. That is what I saw playing out in front of my very eyes during our conversation. It was that light overcoming darkness that suddenly brought her question to the forefront, “Do you think God can make me a good mom?”

It is God alone that makes any of us “good” mothers, and during the remainder of our appointment, Bailey and I talked about God’s grace and provision in our lives—how he sustains us on our hardest days, gives us strength to do things we never envisioned us doing, and redeems brokenness that once held us in bondage. By God’s grace, yes, God can equip Bailey [and me] to be a good mother.

Bailey and I covered more breadth and depth than some clients are ready to discuss in one meeting. She was so eager to learn and to receive what God had to offer through our services. As we closed our time in prayer, her whole face softened into a relaxed smiled, and she uttered a new word for the first time that day—hope! She left with the hope that through the grace of Jesus that we all cling to, she could receive healing and restoration and strength for the journey to be a strong and loving mother to her new baby.

Story by Keturah Johnson, Client Services Director