For Empty Arms and Breaking Hearts

There was this mother. She carried secret life close to her heart. She dreamed of promise.

One day, these dreams had to change. You see, her promise would bud but not flower.

With strength of steel this mother dared to love anyway. Life grew, protected within her as shadows darkened above her.

Life cries out into the gathering shadows.

Mother picks up her precious bundle and cradles it to her heart, just above a wound that is opening. She begins the difficult journey into the valley. Blood from her wound marks the way; tears scar her face.

One day, she enters the valley and this brave mother surrenders her precious bundle to the cold ground. The wound gushes red, filling paths carved by tears.  She wanders.

Slowly this wound, though bleeding always, gushes less. Hesitantly the sun’s rays push through the shadows. She is brave enough to step into them.

She begins to climb out of the valley. Scarred, but climbing.

A new secret. Promise renewed.  Carried close.


Hope born. Joy released.  Emptiness satiated.

Then a heinous tearing, screaming and blackness.  No slow descent but a mad tumble back into the valley.  Blood hemorrhages from the gaping wound.

How can this mother endure a second journey? How does she push dirt over a new mound?  How will her screams be silenced?  Can light penetrate so deep a darkness?


What happens when the weight is too much and the bending becomes the breaking?



From where does hope rise?

hope rising3

Will she know that while she carried her babies into the valley, her Father carried her?

Perhaps all that remains is the prayer that when her fists cease pounding His chest, she will be able to lean against it and rest.

3 thoughts on “For Empty Arms and Breaking Hearts

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  2. Hi Arlene….I am the mother that you wrote about. I have tears streaming down my face right now as I reread your words. I read it sometime ago but the grief was too heavy yet to respond. And yes, there was a lot of wailing for a long time. And a lot of beating on God’s door. I am not yet at that point where I can rest against His chest, although I wish I could. You described my pain of having to bury yet another child, perfectly. Thank-you for entering into our pain


    1. I am crying as I read your comment. There are no words for what you have had to endure. My attempts feel hollow. Just know, that I have cried and sat silent and wordless, wishing the burden could be shared; terrified, thinking I could not endure if it was.


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