It's interesting when I come to a birthday or an anniversary how it creates in me a spirit of reflection. I tend to think about the past. What happened then and where I'm at now. I then stop to think about the future. One of the ways I tend to do that is to think about our life plan... where we want to be in a year, in five, in 25.
It's somewhat ridiculous in that every single plan Mike and I have made has kind of blown up in our face. And yet having some kind of purpose and singular vision can be good, I think.
In looking at our future I can't help but look our present square in the face. It's definitely not what we thought it would be. And to be honest I still think we're reeling from Samuel's cancer treatment. It was almost a year ago and it's taken a while to breathe and reflect and process. Having small children leads to very little time to just be. To absorb and process emotions and feelings... especially of loss, grief, and pain.
When my sister Libby died I was pregnant. Six months after her death I had my daughter, Libby. I really haven't had a moment since then to stop. And it's a blessing in a way. You're too busy to think. You have to move forward. There's someone who needs you and depends on you to feed them, change their diapers, bathe them, play with them. And it helps. But it's also hard. You tend to shove your feelings down until one day the cork pops open and everything comes spilling out. And yet I haven't actually had a technical mental break-down. Kind of surprising. Or maybe that's why I have counseling every week. To process my life. And to avoid utter collapse.
I'm sure when you look at your life it's not what you imagined it to be. Maybe you married young (like me) when you thought you'd wait til you were older. Maybe you're not married yet and you imagined you would be. Maybe you thought you wouldn't have kids, or that you have more kids than you can imagine, or you haven't been able to have kids.
Maybe you thought you'd have a different career. A different kind of spouse. You imagined your life looking different. Your house. Your car. Your body. Life isn't often what we thought it would be.
And yet, I think, that even though my life has followed some painful paths I'm thankful. I wouldn't be the same person I am today if it wasn't for these shaping tools of trials, suffering, loss. And as I write this, I think, oh heavens, but can I bear more? I'm not longing for more pain. I'm not masochistic. I still have a ways to go.
I'm trying to release myself to letting God have his way with me. I am His. He can use me as He wants. I hope and pray that my life can be an encouragement to others. I don't know what that will look like or how it will play out... but I'm not the potter. I'm just the clay. And He's not finished yet...