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Earlier this year I blogged about my goals/bucket list, which included all of the things I wanted to accomplish during my 30th year on this earth (with many being completed by the end of 2020). One of the things I wanted to do was talk to God more. Now that I am a mere nine weeks away from meeting my baby girl face to face, I have been plagued with a lot of unrest. First there was COVID-19; never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be planning to give birth during a global pandemic. Now, yet again, the Black community has become the target of more injustice.
I woke up this morning with a lot on my mind, so I prayed. I prayed hard. Probably one of the hardest, deliberate prayers I can remember praying in a long time, and I felt it would be healing to share. It went something like this…
Thank you for the growing life inside of me. Thank you for allowing me to see another day. Thank you for my Black life, my Black family and the privilege to come to you in prayer no matter the time or circumstance.
This is no ordinary prayer, Lord. Today I pray over my daughter’s life. Not just for continuous breath in her body, but the chance to live. To live without fear of repercussions solely based off the color of her skin.
As she kicks in my womb, I have this overwhelming responsibility to protect her, but fear that my ability to do that is limited in ways that I didn’t think would be a factor years after slavery and the Civil Rights Movement have ended. I pray she never encounters injustice, prejudice, racism, or civil unrest, but its 2020 and here we are. We are reliving the texts in the history books we read as children, except now it’s on camera and we don’t have to wait 20-30 years to read a “version” of the truth in a book in a classroom surrounded by those who may not respect nor understand our plight nor our culture.
As an expecting mother I am afraid, Lord; riddled with anxiety topped with parental paranoia to bring her into a world that won’t see her as the gem she is or love and respect her as much as I do. I pray that she never knows the pain of having her father taken away from her at the hands of senseless violence and blatant racism. I pray that her name never ends up being a hashtag just because she’s growing up in a country that wasn’t designed for her to win.
I pray that she has a kind heart. I pray that she doesn’t live in fear of the ones she’ll be taught to call on when she’s in trouble, danger or when things simply “don’t feel right.” I pray that she has the opportunity to unequivocally live in her blackness. To never apologize for the black and brown blood that flows through her veins. To embrace the coils and curls of her hair. To stand up for her rights. To be strong minded. To seek the truth. To know the difference between an ally and an oppressor. To ask questions and to never settle for the status quo.
I pray that she is blessed with the gift to teach any of her future friends that being black is not a crime, but a privilege. That driving while black, learning while black, singing, dancing, playing, eating, living while black does not make her a threat, it makes her a human being.
When she is out of my body and becomes too big to be cradled in my arms, I ask that you protect her when I can’t. Order her steps to greatness, Lord. Cloak her in faith and submerge her in your grace.
Lastly, I pray for peace. Peace of mind. Peace in this country. Peace in every heart that is just as unsettled as mine. I say this prayer for my unborn daughter, her future siblings, my future grandchildren, her cousins, friends, classmates and beyond.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.