Friday, December 30, 2022

On Losing and Finding Yourself Along the Way

It's fascinating how time can change a person. And how that change can be simple - or extraordinary. Planned or unexpected. The result of intention and routine, or the reaction to circumstances beyond our control. 

I know I've changed a lot in the decade since I last decided to share my notes here on this internet home of mine. So much life has happened in such a relatively short period of time, and I think if I were to be standing here today as the same person, none of it really would have had all that much value. 

Ten years ago, I was a newlywed twenty-something at the start of my career, planning and hoping and optimistically wondering where life would lead. 

Today, I'm ten years in to a beautiful marriage, with two gorgeous children and more blessings than I ever could have imagined back then. But I've also seen a lot more heartbreak and struggle than I ever thought I would. 

I never imagined myself trying to survive medical motherhood. I would venture to say that's probably true of any parent who has ever experienced the heartache of a complicated diagnosis. I know not one person who has ever stepped gracefully into the role, like a ballerina entering from stage left. Instead, I think for most, the transition is a powerful thrust that takes the wind from our lungs and so often threatens to overwhelm us into an endless free fall with no clear vision of the bottom. 

But I also know not one person who hasn't - while simultaneously holding back tears in their eyes and a lump in their throat - become more resilient for it, even if only for the sake of our children. It's nearly impossible to watch your child's daily challenges and not resolve to become stronger for them. We become better advocates for those who can't advocate for themselves. We become more empathetic to others because we've been introduced to a world that was completely unbeknownst to us before. Our eyes have been opened to these hidden worlds, and it makes us more cognizant of the hidden realities that others may face.

In the process of change, I found we often lose ourselves for a time. We lose ourselves in the to-do list, and in the transition, and in the insane amount of new information that we are processing on a day-to-day basis. But at some point along the way - and this could take years (God knows I'm still in the midst of this journey) - we find a new version of ourselves. We walk through our journey with new priorities, a new outlook, a new ability to loosen our grip on the circumstances of our life, and hopefully find that we are a better and stronger person because of it. 

Time has changed me - I am still changing and growing and becoming. There are days I can feel myself simply surviving - wanting to retreat into an old version of me that is no longer there to back into. There are days I am able to more confidently step in to the woman I am becoming. But my hope is that with each passing day, each passing week, each passing year, I am closer and closer to who HE created me to be. 

Join me here as I grow with grace.