The War Within the Walls of My Heart

We share a son-we don’t really, but we do.

You gave him life, I’m giving him living.

This wasn’t the way any of this was meant to be. He was formed inside of you and birthed into your arms. Then he came home from the sterile walls of the hospital to mine. You were so deep into your addiction that you couldn’t choose the very thing that could free you from it all.

You couldn’t choose him. So I did.

And with that choosing came unexpected encounters with the deepest places of my heart.

People have said things about you to me. They’ve told me you’re worthless, deserve less and shouldn’t be given a second chance. Folks have said you should be fixed so you don’t dump any more kids on society. What a burden. I hear the words of strangers and even those of friends I love as they judge you and your decisions and my soul rages for a second. I want to raise my fist in solidarity because of the pain your choices have brought on the boy I love.

But that split second of condemnation is stolen as I see your face in my mind and mercy rushes in and compassion captivates my conclusions. I see you in my mind and the memories of our moments together slow the life in front of me and the conversation that I’m in. I recall your words and the anguish of your plight and bitterness of your own betrayal. You say you love him but you keep chasing the temporary highs and lows this fleeing life tosses your way.

Our relationship has to have boundaries, I tell myself, and I’m guarded in the most vulnerable way with you. For a moment, I’ll risk it all-my reputation, the heartache and the ground I’ve gained in the mental game to show you that I care. But I also want you to know you can’t manipulate me. I’m found doubting myself and the sand I’m standing firmly on.

I judge you.

I second guess you.

I blame you.

Then I forgive you.

I wrestle with all that’s holding you down as my heart presses paradoxically with all the emotions. There’s a war within the walls of my heart and sometimes I can’t tell which side is going to win.

I’ll defend you while I build a case against you. Sometimes I see just another mama. Sometimes I see the one thing standing in my way. I have great hope for you but I also find myself believing you’ll never really change. It’s confusing to my mind and exhausting to my ego.

I decipher text messages from you, searching for the real meaning behind the words you use. I wonder if you really mean what you say when you tell me you’re thankful for me and the love I give your boy. Then I read your lines again and my heart turns on me as I protect my deepest places of mama love for my boy…he’s mine and when you claim him as your own, the battle begins again.

I’ll keep fighting and figuring out how to navigate it all.

I have to, because this is a war worth winning. I’ll fight for mercy and grace and all the good to replace whatever it is my human heart wants to cling to. Sometimes I’ll settle on a side that feels safe. Or maybe I won’t. But whatever I do, know I’ll keep coming back to love a boy we both love and the baby I call mine.




  1. Jessica | 6th Dec 16

    Isn’t it so crazy how two truths can exist at the same time? With my baby, I try to stay away from yours or mine, and think that both her mother and I both both belong to her…

    • Kristy Sutton | 15th Dec 16

      yes-2 truths that are so at odds. praying for you and your journey!

  2. Carlos Reyes | 6th Dec 16

    That is deep stuff!!

  3. Nicole H | 12th Dec 16

    Wow, I could have written the same thing, almost word for word. You can’t understand it unless you’ve been there. Thank you for sharing your heart with the rest of us.

  4. Kristy Sutton | 10th Apr 17

    Gosh Anna. You’re so welcome!!! Praying for your emotions and heart in all the turmoil.

  5. Sharon Worman | 10th Feb 18

    This was beautifully expressed. This was me,till December 27,2017 when The Call came. At the moment part of me died,my precious son was out of pain and struggling. My prayer had been answered,not in my plan,but God’s plan,Jesus had taken him home. I know Djs home as he had been on his knees Christmas Eve thanking God for loving him so much. The pain of watching him loose so much to his addiction is over,replaced with memories of who he really was,sadness of what he could have had and the going forward without him

  6. Missy Clark | 10th Feb 18

    You know our journeys are so similar.i love her Mom. I feel Connected to her. I worried during the hurricane if she would find safety. I take the calls and text messages that ask for money, right after telling me thank you for raising her daughter. No she’s ours. I still pray for the day that we both sit along side this brave, fierce little girl arm and arm and both get to be her Mom. Jesus wins and love wins. I pray one day she is freed from her addiction.

  7. Missy Clark | 10th Feb 18

    Love your heart.

  8. Amber Phillips | 27th Sep 18

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this so difficult issue. I can relate on multiple levels as someone who currently works with foster children and I used to work with addicts. Your article captures the complexity of these issues and it’s very validating!

  9. Kelly | 14th Mar 19

    Oh. This.
    Words to my past months. The war is exhausting. The war hurts. The war is hard.
    The war within the walls of my heart. Perfect description!

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