Mamas, Stronger Together – Guest Series: A Mother’s Love Letter to Her Daughter

Mamas, Stronger Together – Guest Series: Christian mothers have such a strength when we let down our guard and get real with each other, stop comparing ourselves to other mothers, when we stop making motherhood a competition, and instead build each other up as fellow mothers! Over the next 10+ weeks, we will hear from various Christian mamas who are each brave, beautiful, and strong in sharing the messages God has placed on their hearts. Enjoy the below message of encouragement from Kimberly Phinney.

We are on the eve of our precious daughter’s sixth birthday, and I can’t help but to be overwhelmed with unbelievable gratitude. She is the daughter we weren’t supposed to have. And here she is. She is the child we learned to let go of after ten years of infertility and loss. Yet here she is.

Quite simply put, she is the impossible staring us in the face. She is God on display. She is the child breathed to life by our prayers—made room for in my broken womb.

And trust me, you never get over it.

When she wakes us in the morning, peering over our downy covers to see our sleeping faces, she is full of sweet songs and whimsy. In fact, she sings more than she talks, and she dances more than she walks.

She is silly and pensive with the quickest wit. It takes her forever to do anything because she is always finding something beautiful to distract her—like the little butterfly hiding along the garden path or the flower bud that fell onto the sidewalk at school. She finds God in the iridescent light splayed on the ground through her pinwheel or in the sad eyes of a lonely schoolmate she extends her hand to.

She is too old and wise for her age after watching her mother fight to survive sepsis and the hell that was 2021 and 2022. No doubt, it changed her. She still talks about the time she took a nap and woke up to Nana—instead of Mommy and Daddy.

“Where are they? Where are they?” she cried.

Nana had to explain to her that Mommy went back to the hospital with Daddy.

No goodbyes. No snuggles.

The sepsis was back.  

I didn’t come home for several days—and when I did, I couldn’t even lift my head.

She remembers.

She reads like crazy, too. Maybe that’s because her mommy is an English teacher and writer. But more so, I think it’s because we spent hours reading classics in my bed because that’s about all we could when I was sick. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Magician’s Nephew, Black Beauty, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little… We read them all. Oh, and the poetry of Robert Frost, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, and Walt Whitman! And just in case you were wondering, Mary Oliver is her favorite. They are great friends now.

You also need to know she has her father’s sharp mind, strong will, and attention for detail. And she has her mother’s tender heart, romantic spirit, and artistic sensibilities. And she truly lives up to her namesake: Hadley Rose—or a field of flowers (beautiful lavender heather fields to be exact—with a rose on top).

If she was anything but a little girl, she’d most definitely be a flower. As for me, I’d be a butterfly so I could visit her often.


I remember trying to be okay with God right before I knew I was pregnant with her. I told him in the shower one morning in 2016, shortly after Hillary Scott’s song, “Thy Will,” came out on the radio, that if he needed me to let go of becoming a mother, I would do it. “Thy will be done,” I whispered. “Thy will be done.”

Well, when I got in the car to drive to work that same morning, “Thy Will” played on the radio. Of course, I thought, as it played on: “I know you see me. I know you hear me, Lord. Your plans are for me. Goodness you have in store…”

I cried the rest of the way into work.

After the long drive to school, I wiped my tears, pulled myself together and taught my students with all I had so I could escape the heaviness of being infertile at 33.

But the song continued in my head: “I know you’re good, but this don’t feel good right now… And I’ve gotta remember you’re God, and I am not.”

I remember falling into bed absolutely exhausted that night. I was too tired to feel broken—too tired to think. I slept deeply and woke the next day determined to start letting go. I didn’t have the energy anymore.

But God knew two miraculous things I did not know that day:

1) “Thy Will,” the song that allowed me to trust and release and played on the radio that day was written about Hillary Scott’s miscarriage and infertility journey, and I had no idea.

2) I was four weeks pregnant with our precious daughter, who will be turning six this week, and I had no idea.

God was ministering to me and healing me all at once. And he was about to answer our most desperate prayers…

While I was mourning and fighting my surrendering, he was busy making miracles in me.

Even when I couldn’t see him.

Even when I couldn’t feel him.



I share this story to tell you that if he can do that for me in my brokenness (and trust me I was very broken), he can do that for YOU—and he will. It won’t look the same. It won’t be on your timeline. It might even hurt quite a bit. But that process is what is required to grow you, stretch you, and prepare you for what he will one day deliver to you. For me, it was my precious, one-and-only child. My little girl, my angel, my friend.

For you, it will be something else.

Now that I have borne part of my heart with you, I want to share the letter I wrote to my daughter when I was about four months pregnant with her. (I think I will read it to her on her sixth birthday for the first time because I think she will finally understand.)

It was a dream that came to me while I was sleeping. And when I woke, I wrote down everything I could remember as fast as I could. The letter below is what came out on the “first take.”

It’s another God-wink, if you ask me. It is my whole heart, but I can hardly take credit for the words.

I have kept this letter ever so close over the past six and a half years, and I hope it might bless you—whether you are a parent or not. Because I think we all have something that we have cared for or birthed—as artists, believers, writers, and dreamers.


Thank you for making me a mother and for making me better in every single way. Mommy loves you 10,001 muches.


Dear You,

I dreamed what I would first say to you on a hot night in August. I woke up with the words on my tongue and felt a strange sense of knowing about them. Since there are millions of words and an infinite way to arrange them, it was intensely important that my first words (ones you won’t read for years) actually said something. I needed to be sure before I struck pen to paper, and this waking dream was my sign.

I guess this strange experience of dreaming my best thoughts isn’t something very new at all. Paul McCartney dreamed the melody of “Yesterday” and took to the piano as soon as his feet touched the ground. And they say Salvador Dali dreamt much of his surrealist art, which makes perfect sense to me. But, seriously, can you believe it? It seems like a magician’s trick. And yet, it is so much more than that for me now. In many ways I feel like I dreamed you, sweet one, into a reality. I can say, now, that I am no different than the artistic greats.

Of course, you will see me in just one way for the next twenty or so years. You will simply see me as Mommy. And that is completely okay with me. When you are born, I will have waited 34 years for that honor. I just want you to know I thought of myself as a bit of an artistic soul before you—reading, writing, photographing, teaching, strumming my guitar, and wandering on the mountainsides. But no matter what I wrote or what I photographed, I was always in a state of restlessness with my art, looking desperately for my real “masterpiece.” But, as you grow inside me now, lulled by the gentle pound of my heart and the whooshing of my breath, I have realized I finally found it: my masterpiece. And it’s you.

Artists far more talented than me—the ones who make a grand living on their creations—know that there are two parts to the artistic process. First, there is a time of incubation and creation. This is the artist’s time. They are the creator in a fiercely hidden process, be it the construction of prose on a page or the splatter of paint on a canvas. These artists work tirelessly and with unrelenting passion as they birth their masterpiece in the ancient dance of inspiration. But what happens next, as they push their creation into the world, has very little to do with them at all.

The next step in the artistic process is to brave the second life the masterpiece takes on as it is shared with the world. You see, in many ways, once the artist shares her masterpiece with the world, it is no longer solely hers. It takes on a life of its own. Others are allowed to experience it, as wholly or partially as they please. They may call it theirs, for better or worse. Or see it just as she had intended—or not. Perhaps her masterpiece may have more to say and do in the world than the artist ever knew it would. There will be times she may celebrate in that reception. And without doubt, there will be times when she hungers to shelter her masterpiece from the penetrating eyes of spectators. But, nonetheless, her masterpiece will speak to the world as it pleases or as it must.

And yet—in all of this new life and despite sharing her precious masterpiece with the loud glare of the masses—the artist knows the masterpiece in intimate ways no one else will ever know. And it is love. So much so, that one day, the artist will sit back and remember the quiet, unseen nights when it was only her and her paintbrushes or pen— just her and her dreams. And she will smile sweetly when no one is around, as her masterpiece hangs far from home in The Guggenheim or is reprinted for its third run to fill the bookshelves of millions, and she will have a knowing:

There will be a searing gratitude burning in her chest because she was able to bear witness, that she was the one picked by God to have a dream that became a reality that turned into the masterpiece she didn’t even know was possible or that she was even capable of creating herself.

And she will be left in awe.

Already in awe of you,



Dearest Reader,

I pray you, too, birth many masterpieces into this world. And that your dreams manifest. And that you see God’s fingerprints in every step of the way. Rest assured, you may be hurting, you may be mourning—or scared to death… But God is working in you and around you still. Just wait for it.

I have an almost six-year-old singing and dancing in our music room right now as proof.

You belong here,


Kimberly Phinney is a national award-winning AP English instructor and professional photographer. She’s been published in Ruminate, Ekstasis, Wild Roof, Fathom, The Dewdrop, Amethyst Review, Calla Press, and The Write Launch, among many others. She has her M.Ed. in English and studied at Goddard’s MFA program in Creative Writing. She is a poetry editor with Agape Review. After almost dying from severe illness in 2021, she’s earning her doctorate in counseling to help the marginalized and suffering. Visit her literary community at and on Instagram @thewayback2ourselves.

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