Girls Aren’t Safe Here (the post I was afraid to write about the granddaughter I was afraid to have)

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"Sometimes sacred and scared get mixed up." S. Kim Henson

“Sometimes sacred and scared get mixed up.”
S. Kim Henson

“It’s a girl.”

The nurse announced the baby’s sex while Mom, Dad, both sets of grandparents (this is where I come in), and the baby’s uncle-to-be looked at the ultrasound on a big screen TV. I held my daughter Kelly’s hand during that sacred moment of seeing my granddaughter for the first time.

“Were you shaking?” she asked when it was over. “I couldn’t tell if you were excited or upset.”

I wasn’t sure either. The pain and excitement (the scaredness and the sacredness) came in waves well into the evening.

I finally broke down in the grocery store parking lot, where I wished I’d been twirling with happiness, and bawled. The report said healthy baby girl in July and I was sobbing like her birth came with the wrath of God.

“I feel like God is punishing us. He knew we wanted a boy. Would that have been so hard for him?” I said while sobbing.

Twenty minutes and a half a box of Kleenex later, I glanced in the car mirror to check my mascara. I hardly recognized myself all wet and splotchy.

What was wrong with me? I thought.

“Bringing another little girl into our family seems cruel. God should know better. The timing is all wrong,” I said.

My husband, John, did his best to reassure me Claire (the name of our granddaughter-to-be) would be okay in our family, but he’s also well aware of my family’s generational patterns that dishonor girls. He has watched me repeat some, but thankfully not the most damaging, of these patterns with Kelly. He’s witnessed the two of us struggle against my family’s demons, and sometimes against each other. He’s hurt with us when topics like sexual abuse tore apart relationships with my parents, Kelly’s grandparents.

He understood, as does Kelly, why I felt shaken by the news of a granddaughter.

When Kelly and her husband announced her pregnancy, I announced to God, “We aren’t ready for a girl. Girls aren’t safe here.”

Even though Kelly and I have worked for years to right the wrongs and to share lunch dates, shopping and late-night girl talks, I still thought …

We aren’t ready for a girl. Girls aren’t safe here.

Even though Kelly and I want a daughter and granddaughter to dance around the living room, dance on stage in ballet recitals, and dance in her daddy’s arms at her wedding, I still thought …

We aren’t ready for a girl. Girls aren’t safe here.

Even though Kelly deserves a daughter to tell her (like she told me) that she is the world’s best mom, even when she doesn’t feel like it, I still thought …

We aren’t ready for a girl. Girls aren’t safe here.

Or are we ready?

“I can see the three of us doing craft projects, going to the beach together, and baking cookies,” said Kelly. “I can’t wait.”

I guess if anyone should know if we’re ready, it would be Kelly.

And God, of course.

Have you ever had a scared reaction to a sacred moment? If so, what happened afterwards?

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WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – I’m more convinced everyday (and once again) that God knows exactly what he’s doing. Welcome to our family, Claire. We’re going to make sure you’re safe here.

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On the side: Sort of like all the begetting in the Bible … Kelly wasn’t safe in our home because I wasn’t safe in Mom’s home because Mom wasn’t safe in her home because her mom wasn’t safe in her home. Our family hopes this post helps others who are stuck in generational patterns to find hope and help.

Our son is also aware and helping. Right after buying Claire a wardrobe, he said, “It’s time this all changes. It is changing.”

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28 responses »

      • I absolutely second what my mom said! Y’all are ready (only because God has helped and will continue to help you through it.) Thank you for sharing such a candid and personal struggle. I teared up. May your family be blessed with perfect healing through the joy of Claire!

      • I’ve gotten through all the comments without crying, Katie Beth – until yours. That’s what we want, perfect healing and joy. I so appreciate your wish for our family. I hope Claire and Ali Beth get to play together one day. We prefer the beach to the snow, but we’re flexible. 🙂 Love you and your mom!

  1. Kim, you think that you are the one that will have to protect Claire, but that’s not the case! God will protect her because He will honor the prayers you pray for her. Claire is coming into this world to rescue you. Change you. Grow you. Give you hope. Give you peace. Help you reconcile with the past and look forward to the future! Claire will be your heroine…just as God has planned all along! Can’t wait to meet her!

    • Melissa, your comment is full of insight and hope. You are so right. She’s our gift from God.

      I can’t wait for you to meet her either. I’m sure she’ll become a regular in my stories. Maybe, one day, she’ll even keep me company on the ride to Word Weavers. 🙂

  2. Kim, by far your most powerful post yet! Thank you for your transparency and willingness to share your past pain and fears. God has brought you through much, the enemy has been exposed and defeated! You are going to be such a wonderful Grandma and you will have the time of your life with your precious granddaughter! Granddaughters are awesome!

    • You know all about awesome granddaughters and being a wonderful grandma, Beth. Watching you makes me feel more confident about Claire’s future.

      How is the duck? If he wasn’t brought around, I hope your granddaughter took the news gently.

    • Thank you so much, Andy. Keep those prayers coming. I know you will. You’ll be hearing a lot about Claire – she may even be the character in a book someday. Who knows?

      Love you for loving us!

    • Marilyn, I couldn’t agree more. I think Claire is coming with a strong purpose even as a baby – she’s coming for closure. The past is in the past.

      Our family has made great strides. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I tear up over dinner (that’s our time to recap the day and week). We often talk about how proud and grateful we are for the choices made by our son and daughter. God used them to save us, and, in turn, we’ve all talked about and believe Claire is one more step towards health, healing and wholeness.

      Thank you! Love having you as a reader.

      • Thank you, Marilyn. Love hearing about your granddaughter. Maybe Claire’s middle name should be Joy. I think she’s going to be a bundle of it.

  3. I get this. We don’t have a family history like yours but I get this because on so many levels, I feel the same way. I struggled with this issue with my three children because…children aren’t safe here. The world is getting worse and worse, the dangers and insipid evil is far more than when I was a child. And now with my work with Destiny Rescue, I know more than ever that the world is not safe.
    And yet.
    Another life brings hope. Another life brings the promise of change. Another life brings restoration.
    You will be amazed at what this girl baby will do for you, for your daughter, for your family. For her world.
    She is God’s plan and he never makes mistakes, never trips up or is taken by surprise.
    You, your daughter and this new life are going to be just fine. Just you wait and see xo

  4. Susannah, I love “Another life brings restoration.” It does. It really, really does. Your comment is full of hope, and that sentence sums it up.

    Thanks for understanding. You’re an important part of this blog!

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  6. Kim, I don’t know where I was when you wrote this post, but I’m so glad you included a link to it in your July 22nd post. I am so encouraged by your honest writing because God has clearly invited you to participate with Him in His ministry of healing and redemption. He has gifted you and prepared you for this beautiful work, I am so glad you are engaged in it.

    • Thanks, Dave. I hope it’s helping others half as much as it’s freeing and healing me. A friend used to say, “If you do what’s best for you, it’s best for everyone.” Her quote has never been truer than now, probably because I’m actually living it. I appreciate your continued support.

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