Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Letter to Myself

Dear Self,

I know things have been kind of rough lately, but please remember to have patience. And grace, lots of grace. I know it's hard for you to hear people complain about their difficult pregnancies due to nausea or gaining weight. I know you cringe when you see people saying how miserable they are at 40 weeks and they just want their baby out. I know you want to scream "At least you have your kids!" when you hear people complain about their children. I know things didn't go the way you wanted to. You would give anything to be the person who only knew a "hard" pregnancy as one in which you had morning sickness or swollen ankles.

I know you have to try really hard not to sigh when people define their "bad days" as ones in which their car breaks down or they are late to work. You know that those people are lucky. I know that you wish those were your worst days. I know you wish that you could tell those people "Things could be so much worse!"

But you know what? As irritating as it can be, just remember, to those people those are the worst things they know. And in a weird way, I am happy for them. I'm glad more people don't know this pain. You know you would never wish for anyone else to know these feelings. Those people, they don't know any different. It's not their fault. Yes, they are lucky that their crappy days are bad hair days or running out of gas. And, yes, maybe they don't know how lucky they are. You have been through a lot I know sometimes you just want to delete people off of your facebook or send them anonymous messages telling them to be grateful and that things could be a lot worse, but that wouldn't help anything.

You used to be that person, too. What you have been through has changed your perspective. Your ideas of things that are important and things that aren't have changed. You define "bad" and "worst day ever" and "joy" differently now because of the things that you have been through, just as other people's definitions are based on the things they have been through. For some reason, you were chosen to walk this journey. And also, just as people don't know what you are going through, you may not know what they are going through either.

Keep thinking about what kind of legacy you want to leave for Carter and for yourself. Surely it's not one of bitterness and envy. It's not the kind where you always have the worst "sob story" and feel sorry for yourself. Hopefully it is one of love, faith, and hope even in the midst of pain. A story of God's grace, mercy, and strength in trials. You have things to be thankful for, too. You have two sons and a wonderful husband. You have an incredibly supportive family.

And, just in case you aren't perfect either. You have been shown grace and forgiveness and it is up to you to choose to show those to others as well. Keep working on patience, and grace, and forgiveness. I know you, and I know you will mess up and put your foot in your mouth a few times, but keep trying. And pray, a LOT.

Love, Jana

1 comment:

  1. Jana,
    This is so great! So honest. You perfectly nailed many of the same feelings I wrestle with. However, in times when I start to feel self-pity (and oh are they ever so often!) I find myself remembering the many moms like you-- those who do have it tougher than me. The ones who have to face not only parenting a preemie, but also do so while grieving the loss of a child. I admire your strength, honesty and faith! Praying for you as you walk this difficult journey.