I, just this very morning, finished reading Kayla Aimee’s brand new book, Anchored. I have to admit, that if I hadn’t known her personally through my MOPS group, I might have passed this one over because of its subject matter. Even though it’s got quite a lovely cover and I have a thing for pretty books. And I know you should never judge a book by it’s cover. But I still love pretty books.
And I would have missed out on such very much.
Let me explain why. You see, this book is Kayla’s personal story of her journey into motherhood, her infertility and the birth of her baby girl at just 25 weeks. It’s about mothering a micro-preemie. And that’s not a journey I’ve ever had to take. (I’m pretty sure, unless God has a really big sense of humor, that my uterus is off limits to any more babies. My youngest is almost 12, and once your kids reach that level of independence you just really don’t want to go back.)
But I’m learning something about stories. There should always be room in our stories for others and Kayla made more than enough room for me in hers. While I have never struggled with infertility, unless you count the fact that it took me a year to get pregnant for both of my pregnancies, I know what it is like to have hopes and prayers that feel as if they are blocked at the gates of Heaven. I have never suffered a miscarriage or had a premature baby, but my life is not unmarked by loss that feels too great to bear.
As I read Kayla’s book I cried. A lot. Because she story was so very vulnerable, and so much more than any one of us should ever have to carry and my heart broke for her. Her struggle to find hope and the retelling of those moments were intensely captured and gave me all the feels.
And I also laughed. A lot. This may be because I know her and can practically hear her telling all her little bits of snark and silly moments and picture how she would be talking with her hands. She is actually that funny in real life. I loved that she used her humor to keep her story light enough to sit and read straight through the book. Which I did.
When I got to the chapter called “The Scarlette-Lettered Stories” I thought to myself, “Self, this should be a fun chapter to read.” If you follow Kayla Aimee’s blog, you will know that she often shares what she calls #stuffscarlettesays. Her daughter Scarlette is quite precocious and that hashtag regularly makes me actually laugh out loud, which rarely happens when I scroll through Facebook these days. When I saw the title of that chapter, I thought that it was sure to have some funny moments wrapped up in it. And it did. But the chapter was really about how motherhood is sanctifying, which is not funny at all. In fact it’s downright convicting.
Sanctify means to set apart or to make something holy. Jesus is the only holy person to walk the face of this earth. Let that rest on your brain for just a minute. Motherhood makes you more like Jesus. I’ve been a mom for nearly 15 years now. What do I have to say about that statement? Yes and Amen and Selah.
It was not until I became a mother that I truly understood what sacrificial, unconditional, completely selfless love felt like. That first time my daughter dared to tell me that she had a better idea…well, let’s just say I might not have behaved like Jesus when I responded. And that moment that we entered the cancer ward at Children’s hospital to hopefully receive the one and only good diagnosis involved when your child’s white blood cell count bottoms out, I truly understood what it felt like to love so completely that I would have laid down my life if it would have meant hers could be saved.
While I couldn’t identify with all of Kayla’s experiences throughout the book, I could most definitely identify with her struggle to hold on to her faith and find hope in the darkest times.
This post was inspired by Kayla Aimee’s new book, Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected. You can win it by entering the giveaway below, or keep scrolling to find out how to purchase your own copy.
Order your copy of #AnchoredHope today (affiliate link: Buy Anchored Hope) and receive this printable as a free gift by clicking here! Or give it as a gift to your local NICU or a friend who might find hope in Kayla’s story. Click here to get free printable dedication bookplates.