Held in the Mire


I looked Sheryl in the eye, face to face with her weather-worn skin, and with despair dripping from my voice I confessed, “I can’t do this. I can’t do motherhood. This is too hard.”

She stroked my hair and put her palms to my cheeks. I know. I know. But you can do this. We’re praying for you.

Tension started to leave my body at her touch, my shoulders visibly relaxed just a bit. I received her comfort, and for a moment I didn’t have to be composed or strong or any of the other impossible qualities we women manage to summon up in the cobwebbed corners of our days. Sheryl put her arms around me, and I allowed myself to be nurtured.

There are few women in this world (besides my own mama) from whom I have felt such maternal love.

Sheryl has a prison record. She has a sordid past and addictions that insist on following her like a shadow. She loves Jesus, but isn’t one of those “saved, sealed, delivered” stories we like so much to hear.


Read the rest at (in)courage!

Someday, the light will shine like a sun through my skin & they will say, 'what have you done with your life?' & though there are many moments I think I'll remember, in the end, I will be proud to say, I was one of us.

(Brian Andreas, Storypeople)