I have had this post floating around in my head for a while now and I need to get it out so here is my feeble attempt at putting thoughts into words.
I have this incredible daughter, Allie, who is growing up way too fast for me. While at my in-laws last week we were watching videos of Allie's first two years and it got me thinking about how much life has changed since then. And then I look at her at 14 years old and I remember me at that age. I remember when life was this huge expanse of time in front of me. Time to dream and think and be. All of this time to figure out who I wanted to become and all I wanted to accomplish. When Allie and I talk about her dreams and her future it makes me think of when I was full of hopes and dreams for myself. It felt like anything was possible. Do you remember those days?
What happens to us that makes us lose our dreams? I have been thinking about that because I miss the me I used to be so long ago. I miss the girl who believed in herself and in other people. I miss the innocense and the hope. Where did she go? The other day someone asked me what I like to do and I couldn't think of a real answer. I can think of things our family enjoys together but what do I like to do myself? When did I lose myself and where did I go?
As I have thought about this, I guess I have decided that it has been a slow process over many years. I guess I lost one piece at a time. I lost one piece of myself when I failed my first chemistry test in college and realized I wasn't the smartest one in the class. I lost another when I got involved in a bad and long relationship with someone who abused me and left me with a wounded heart. And then my world came crashing down around me when Emma was born. And again when she died. There are big pieces of me that died with her.
There are major life events that tear you apart but there are also little things like making bad choices or trusting the wrong people. Every time I try to please people I lose a piece of me because I always fail. Or when I put my faith in a person and they let me down. Or when I put my energy into my husband or children and forget myself in the process. All of these things can take the best parts of you and leave you with an empty shell of a person who can't remember what brings you joy or makes you happy or what kind of ice cream you like.
I know this sounds depressing but it is the reality of what this world does to us. We lose ourselves in the trying. Trying to please, perform, get ahead, fit in...
I don't want to be a pieced together person anymore. I want to see the whole picture of who I am and what I can do. Not on my own, but with Christ who is the author of my dreams, the one who knows me and loves me just as I am. No matter how many pieces of me there are, He can put me together again.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I have been struggling the past few days with so many emotions. I feel frustrated and lonely and angry and scared. I am holdong on by a thread tonight.
But then I read my friend, Sumi's, blog post and I gained a little perspective. She is remembering her precious Jenna who died a year ago today. Such sweet memories but such incredible pain in the remembering.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
When Emma was born, I started a journal. We were told her life would be short so I felt an urgency to record her days so I would remember the little things. I wrote it as a letter to her but I read it often. I find things that I forgot and I treasure those little tidbits of lost memories.
I was reading it recently and I found a paragraph that was written when she was about a year old. In it I talked about healing and what that had come to mean to me. I remember shortly after Emma's birth, while she was still in the NICU, we met a lady who gave me a "prayer book" full of prayers to read over Emma. She said that if I had enough faith, Emma would be healed. I remember looking at it and then throwing it in the trash. Part of me wanted to believe that reading a few prayers over her would make everything all better. I would have read all night and all day for as long as it took if I really believed that was the answer.
But I knew in my heart that chanting scripture and prayers doesn't make life the way we want it to be at all. I guess I am too much of a realist because I knew that Emma's life had been set in motion by someone bigger than me and He had made her exactly the way she was. I believed He had the power to heal her but I knew that there was a reason she was made the way she was. I could not change that with any amount of prayers. So, I accepted it and moved on. Don't get me wrong, I didn't like it. I cried. I pleaded. I fell apart on numerous occasions. But I always picked up the pieces and kept going. There was no other choice.
Somewhere along the way, though, I began to change. I realized that maybe Emma wasn't the one who needed the healing. Maybe it was me. Maybe I was so caught up in what the world labeled as whole or good or acceptable that I had missed the perfect gift that God had given to me. I began to see Emma's life as a miracle. I began to look at her and see this perfect creation of God's that had been given to me to love and hold and look after and I started to pray, "God, heal me.". I wanted to let go of the narrow view of perfection of this world. I wanted to see all of the miracles God had placed in my path. I wondered what I had missed already.
I wish that this world could change its perspective. I wish that people would see the potential of those around them. I wish they would look at others through God's eyes of grace. I know they would see so many beautiful miracles. The world would be a better place. I am so grateful for the gift of Emma. She just keeps on giving.
"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein