A Prayer for Moms on the Edge of Something – by Anna M. Guntlisbergen

For the Moms who’ve been given every prayer book and never found a prayer that counts.

This is a prayer for the moms of kids who cause a scene. Cause distress. Cause a neighbor to call the cops.

We are not the moms who kneel on the floor to pray beside our children’s beds. We are the moms who kneel on the floor to clean up the broken glass and broken doors and broken picture frames and broken lives.

Broken dreams.

We don’t have time to hide God’s word away in our hearts, but we’ve hidden sharp objects, knives, scissors, and screwdrivers. We’ve hidden ourselves. We’ve hidden from you.

We are the bone-tired moms. The might have a broken bone moms.
We are the moms picking bones with everyone hoping someday we aren’t the moms burying bones.

We are the too weary to cry anymore moms. The too calloused to feel anymore moms. The dear God keep my child safe in this monster of a world moms.

We are the moms who’ve marched in the streets. We’re the moms who’ve stood on the Capitol lawn. We’re the moms who’ve written all the letters and have still come up short. We’re the moms wondering if we’re short on time.

We are the moms who cringe when our phones ring. We are the moms wondering if one day a phone call will be the end of us. We are the moms with ice in our veins and ice waiting in the freezer. We’re the we’ll be fighting this fight until hell ices over moms.

We are the kicked out of mom’s group moms. The left the church because the church couldn’t contain us moms. We’re the moms whose faith is all that carries us on our wounded legs. We’re the moms they all call faithless.

We’re the moms who grew up surrounded by a big God. A grand God.
A fixes all your problems if you just believe God. We’re the where are you now then God moms. We’re the I’m going to keep shouting at God until he answers me moms.

We are the moms who have found and bound ourselves in friendship to the other moms like us. The I’ll stay up all night and wait until I hear from you moms.
The I’ll stand up for your kid no matter what moms.

The I know you’ll do the same for me moms.

We are the burnt out moms. The we’ll burn this all down if we have to moms. The moms with a flame in our guts. The moms with just a spark left. The moms igniting. We are the hail Mary moms. We are the moms baptizing ourselves.

We are the moms living on the edge of something.
We are the moms with something living on the edge of us.

This is a prayer for all these moms.
Dear God, I feel you as deep as the spark in my guts. As painful as the fire in my bones. When the world says we’re doing it wrong, when they say we’ve lost you, that our kids are far from you: smoke them out. Our scarred lungs can survive another burning.


Anna M. Guntlisbergen lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband, four kids, and a variety of animals. Anna received her MFA from Randolph College. She can usually be found working on her first fiction novel, drinking coffee, and learning about her children. She writes to shine a light on the way religious trauma is handed down through generations, and how individuals and communities can choose to disrupt the narrative of this collective wounding.