I am coming up on a big milestone in my life. My oldest daughter is getting ready to turn 18. I became her mama under the most unfortunate of circumstances. I was a young, unwed, teenage girl with no money and honestly no clue. What makes the story a little more complicated is that she was born not well. I was only 24 weeks pregnant when she made her very small and very quiet way into the world. I think we can all agree that even under the best circumstances having a baby is hard and having a sick baby is super hard.
The past several months has had me being very reflective. Looking back on that hard first year and the subsequent years that were still a little hard but mostly joyful. I keep thinking on all the things I should of done and the things I could of done better. I look at her now, a senior in high school, enjoying a life much different than my own.
I was the youngest in a blended family of five, actually I was a big oops! My older siblings really gave my parents a run for their money. It seemed one big problem kept overlapping the next. I was often told to go play and probably unintentionally overlooked because I wasn’t causing any problems. Fast forward to the really formative years of my life and I was still alone. I was left to navigate these years with only destructive bahavior patterns leftover from my now grown but still incapable siblings. It was now my legacy and I didn’t disappoint. The only difference is that being left alone for so long, I was good at hiding in the shadows, therfore, I was able to avoid real trouble.
I really missed out on healthy behaviors being modeled for me. When I became a mama, I ferociosly loved my baby girl with all that I had. I didn’t know what being a good parent looked like but I knew that I wanted to be one. The first years were trial and error. What I really lacked and really craved for was a woman who I could look up to and someone who could encourage me. Self pity is an expesive trip to take and I certainly maxed out. A time came where at a cross road I had to decide once and for all the path I would take. Since I didn’t have the people I needed I could become the type of person I needed. I love that even though I didn’t know God, He still had His hand on me.
Thus, the journey began. So here, 18 years later, I reflect on the journey and all that I’ve learned. That the brokenness of your past does not have to be the legacy of your future. It is never too late to keep trying again. That with God nothing is truly broken, that all the past wounds, heartaches, disappointments etc..are all God shaped.
So here we are. I look over at the one who made me a mama and thank God for our journey this far. She is learning to navigate this complicated world as a young woman with dreams and desires and she is trying to make a mark for herself despite the physical limitations of Cerebral Palsy. She is walking with the one who loves her most and because of that she is OK and so am I.
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
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