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Look for the blessings

Apr 19, 2010 - 6 comments

This journal is not a new concept.  We are all told to look for the blessings in our lives.  These are just a few examples from my own life.  The blessings are how the events affected me.

With every ounce of my being, I can say that I am very blessed.  I am lucky beyond belief for what I've experienced in my life and what I've learned from it.  At times I've had to dig deep to see what blessing was at hand or perhaps it took some time for me to become aware of it.  I've always found the blessing though as it is always there.

Growing up, my family moved a fair amount.  We were very transient with my father's job taking us to many different locations.  I think he saw it as an adventure that we would get to experience different types of geography and explore what it had to offer.  As a shy girl, I saw it as misery.  Every time I would get settled and start to feel comfortable, my parents would sit me down to discuss our next move.  When you are just a little kid, you can blend in easily enough.  When I was a child, kids played outside all of the time and in a manner that I could only describe as carefree.  You could join in a game of kick ball or ride your bike with the group and friendships easily grew.  As the years went on, the moving became more and more difficult.  The ritual of saying goodbye to friends and moving on to start the whole process of settling in grew very taxing.  The last move we made when I was in high school was the worst.  It was a monster school with a massive student body and to walk into the lunchroom with no one to sit with as the new girl in a sea of faces was such a lost feeling.  The first day I spent the whole lunch period in the bathroom just hiding out.  I was so sad and lonely at that moment and would never understand the blessing given by all of these moves until later.  Having moved so frequently and suffering the loss of many friendships, as an adult I value friendship in a profound way.   However, the true blessing from growing up as I did is that I can now always spot that face in a sea of people that needs reassurance and a friendly and welcoming smile.  Making others feel comfortable is something I have to offer those I come across in life.  

Perhaps with all of the moves, I became even closer to my mother.  She made me feel safe and loved and as if all would be fine in the world as long as you had your family.  She died at a young age and in a tragic way. It was an event of monumental proportions to me.  While I had hit the adult years when it happened, the day she died I was finally a grown up.  I don't really think words can express the level of loss I felt and still feel to this day.  It was the kind of thing that someone would offhandedly describe as their worst nightmare.  But you wake up from nightmares and this had no end.  I had to live with this loss and found it very difficult.  I walked around as if I were a  zombie in a state that fluctuated between despair and numbness.   I went through the motions of life but felt very distant from it.  I was blessed to have had such a relationship in my life that gave me so much joy that it caused so much pain when it ended.  However, I realized the blessing that came from my mother's death about a year after it occurred.  I dealt with people that went through deep despair in my professional life and was with someone when they began talking of their sense of loss.  It was at that moment that I realized the great gift of complete empathy I'd been given.  I can understand other's pain on a deep level which allows me to comfort others in a true sense.  This is a blessing when you look into the eyes of someone whose heart is breaking and you can find the words to help them heal.

After losing my mother, the idea of family became even more important.  But I wanted my own.  I set out on the mission of finding someone to share my life with.  I met my now husband and things progressed to marriage.  We both wanted children and made plans for the family we wanted to have.  As with many couples, it was easier said than done.  I didn't realize something like having a child could be such hard work and can now fully appreciate what a miracle conception is.  After a couple of years, we were successful and I couldn't have been happier.  My pregnancy flew by with me being as about as neurotic as a pregnant woman could be.  On the day my son was born, my heart soared with joy.  He was beautiful in every way.  Once home with him, I nurtured him and cared for him with such relish that I might have been slightly obnoxious.  But I didn't care--------  he was my baby boy and I loved him dearly!  As he grew, various things started to become apparent.  It was suggested that I have him evaluated by some specialists to tell us what was going on.  My beautiful boy has a developmental delay.  I'll write no more about the specifics of it but will say that our lives changed from that point on.  Oh, I had a hard time with this.  I felt desperate for answers----  how, why and what now.  I was a little mad.  Okay, I was a lot mad.  I had some serious talks with God which I am hoping to be forgiven for.  I spent countless sleepless nights and I pushed everyone away during the day.  I would look at my sweet little toddler smiling at me and think what would happen to him in this world.  Would anyone but me be able to see what a unique, smart, fun loving character he was?  And then I had my epiphany.  A diagnosis did not matter one bit.  I loved my child just as he was and would never wish him to be different.  And at that moment, I thanked God for the blessing of my first born and all that he has brought to our lives.  From there on out, I made it my mission to educate myself on how to help him fit into this world he is a part of.  I've suffered the mortification of a bad outing in which judgemental eyes stare at us.  I've endured the comments others feel it is their right to make about my son.  I take it all in with a smile because they matter not.  What matters is my child and how I can help him.  I've been given the humbling blessing of perspective.  I have the blessing of a thick skin and a strong inner core.  I know what is important.  I also have the blessing of compassion for others who struggle.  

I didn't write this to suggest I'm any kind of great person.  That was not my intent.  I only wanted to acknowledge how some difficult things in my life have turned into positive parts of my being.  And I hope that all can look for the blessings through their difficult times.

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973741 tn?1342346373
by specialmom, Apr 20, 2010
As proof that I married the right person . . .  today we had an issue surface with our business that is tricky.  We tend to have a lot of issues surface at our business and I might add that for my husband it is his "side" business.  As I was getting ready to leave my job when we had our child, we started our company while he continued to work full time.  He said to me today that he was afraid when I became a stay at home mother about what that would mean.  He worried about what the large deduction in income would mean for us and our financial future.  So, the business sounded like a good idea.  Wrongo.  It is hard work running a company . . . go figure.  And in this economy it is just tough to stay afloat.  But what he said to me today was a man looking for the blessings in a sitution.  He said that he would never again think that money is most important.  That he knows the extra time this business takes of his and mine would be better spent enjoying our boys and each other.  He has learned the lesson of priorities and that is a blessing to his wife.

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by April2, Apr 20, 2010
Specialmom, this is such a wonderful reminder to me to look for the blessings in all things. Sometimes it can be so hard when it seems like everything is caving in on you and all you can see is darkness and you keep going through one trial after another. These last few years have been very hard on me. It's been one thing after another with some pretty major, heavy duty things. But every time I thought I couldn't take any more and would cry out to God He always provided just enough hope and relief to get me to the next step. Even recently providing me with a song which I posted on here in a journal. I had been driving around crying and praying and told God I couldn't take anymore and this song came on, "There will be a day" by Jeremy Camp. When I got home I looked up the lyrics and was amazed at how right on the words were with how I was feeling and I felt like it was God's way of comforting me. It was too coincidental.
As much as I hate the trials I've noticed they have made me stronger and built up my faith and have caused me to cling to Him in a way I never did before. It showed me what was really important in this life. It helped me to get my eyes on Him for all my needs and to put Him first and really mean it. I've learned so much. I have more compassion on hurting people, especially teenagers. I notice more. I've learned how precious life is and what's really important, which is God, family and good friends, not things and the pleasures of this world. Sure, they're nice but it's not the most important thing.
All of these trials really opened my eyes to what's really important and caused me to draw closer to God. I don't want to go through any of that again but I'm grateful to my Lord for being patient and loving and forgiving me even though I don't deserve it. I'm grateful that He doesn't give up on us even when it seems to take a really long time to learn some of these lessons! All of this has caused me to only deepen my love for Him.

Last Sunday at church our pastor talked about Jesus being the vine and us being the branches and even though I've heard that preached before I looked at it with new eyes because I realize I can do nothing without Him and I don't even want to! He means everything to me and I draw my strength through Him.
It's a growing experience and we're all on this faith journey and what I love is how we all help each other along the way. I am blessed to have all the Lord has given me but my biggest blessing is having Him in my life. I wouldn't trade it for the world!

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by wonderlnd, May 15, 2010
Hi.  I really don't know how I got to this because I was on this site researching back surgery for my mother-in-law...go figure!  When I read your post, I felt inspired in a way...not like I feel the need to say much, just one thing.  I was like you, but with a different outcome, and you are lucky to be able to feel those blessings.  Just like you, I was thrilled beyond belief with the birth of my first son.  Such love!  I poured my love and affection over him as well and I like the term "obnoxious" that you used.  I did everything "right" from breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact to reading up on all the activities we should be doing together.  I also got a diagnosis - of sorts.  He had delays as well, but without a syndrome or condition, so it was all an unknown.  I still remember the shock and sitting outside the hospital coming to terms with it.  I had a very important moment where I decided that I would (like you) dedicate myself to making his life as fulfilling as the next person's in whatever way that he needed that to happen.  We would be fine, and if it meant that I would have to hold him in my arms and rock him to sleep when he was 30, so be it.  What other mother would be so lucky as me?  To be able to do that and cuddle her son for all his life?  We would be fine, and I was up for whatever.  I can tell you, I was not up for his passing a few months later.  It was just awful.  No words.  This was 6 and a half years ago and I am just now starting to feel like I can have control over my grief.  When I see a child with delays or other health problems, it seems to trigger more sadness than seeing a healthy child for some reason.  I guess it is because I saw it as such an honor to be able to mother him, to be the one chosen with that difficult task.  I guess I just wanted you to know that there was this woman out there who was touched by your story and who hopes that you cherish your little guy, as I am sure you do.  

973741 tn?1342346373
by specialmom, May 15, 2010
Wonderlnd, I was surprised to see someone had posted on this journal this morning.  You speak of a tragedy to the heart that only a few can really know.  I don't.  I know deep love though so I know how much this has crushed you.  The cruelty of life is hard to explain.  In fact, I don't try.  I have found blessings in my own pain but I would never presume that others will find it in theirs.  Some things just are not fair.  I know a little of what you speak that even after years of a devastating loss it can hurt like it was yesterday.  I was in shock for I don't know how long after my mother's death and so many years later, at random and odd times I will get the "lump" and the tears will come.  I will probably carry that with me forever.  I was thinking about that and the only good thing about this hole in my heart and the pain I feel is that it is a reminder of the love I had.  I want to remember that love.  The pain represents it.  Does that make sense?  
Living through the loss of a beloved child is like nothing else.  I have no words of wisdom to help.  I will just say that your son was blessed to have you as a loving mother that grieves deeply for him and you were blessed to have him and love him as you did.  May your life be filled with happy times to distract you from the pain and may you eventually know peace.  Someday I believe I will be reunited with my passed loved ones and that will be a glorious day.

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by adgal, May 15, 2010
Do you know what I love most about reading these words?  Your amazing outlook on life.  Whenever we are faced with any sort of challenge we can choose to sink or swim.  Your a swimmer!!!  I bet your children are incredibly proud to call you their mother.  Your truly a beautiful person with a wonderful outlook on life!!  And you express yourself incredibly well.

996699 tn?1447233481
by raquelplus2, May 15, 2010
special mom im glad you posted this and i read it because you made me relize by jus reading it. as you no for the past yr my lifes been in tragedy and hardship i almost couldnt bare it. but now that ive preogressed and heald alot more than before i too can see the blessings that came out of my kids father abanding us. i depended on him sooo much for evrythng n didnt have to realy do anything hard it was tooken care of. now that i do everything on my own by myself for the kids too he made me stronger wiser independent. yess its hard yes i cry but not for him but jus the evryday struggles that take a toll on me and the occasional y me n y he did this to us but i seem to always come out of it. but reading your post i realized 1 blessing i overlooked. when my children get older n thyr adults n have thyr own famlies thyr gonna be strong hardworking n independent because mom was....they saw me work evryday to support them n provide for them n care for thm alone n thyr gonna take that with them for the rest of thyr lives... they will say even though mom was by herself with all of us she always gave us good birthdays holidays trips and always loved us and cared for us no matter what...and that is the blessing. they saw me go from depending on dad for evrything driving laundry cleaning to driving with a license and my own suv being independent wtout dad... thats a blessing  thyr dad leaving made me strong and im a survivor for that...and reading your post made me see alot. thanks special mom! <3  

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