The truth is that I have been struggling with a lot of ingratitude lately. Obviously my life has changed significantly over the past few months, and I seem to be having a hard time adjusting to being pregnant. This has naturally created a challenging inward struggle… of course it is such a gift and a blessing to be preparing for the arrival of a new addition to our family, but it has also taken a fairly massive toll on me both physically and emotionally. And apparently I haven’t always done the best job of dealing with all of these wonderful new hormones!
I know that to some degree, this is all par for the course. Every woman goes through an adjustment period, because pregnancy is not easy for most of us! But I’ve been realizing over the past few weeks that my attitude and my life have become a little off course lately, and I desperately want to shift them back into line with as much intention as possible… BEFORE this little one comes into the world.
So, the best I can come up with right now is to focus on gratitude. I’ve seen the difference this can make in my life before, and I’m certain it will help. I mean, it can’t really hurt, right?!
Interestingly enough, I’ve been thinking about the past a lot over the last few days. A few nights ago I had a dream about a person that used to be very important in my life, but whom I haven’t seen or had contact with in well over a decade. Upon waking up, I couldn’t seem to get this vision from the past out of my mind, and started digging around in the archives of my brain to stir up some old memories from this time-gone-by in my life.
And while the memories are hazy, I did come up with a few. Scattered amongst only a few precious gems, most of these memories were like horror movies—pictures of myself in what now seems like an alternate universe. A young, sick, broken girl… a girl who couldn’t see that the best things in her life were right in front of her, so she constantly turned her back and ran away. A girl who pushed love, and goodness, and truth, as far and fast out of her life as she could possibly manage, simply so that she could hide in her tiny little world of self-imposed heartache and shame. A girl who was bent for destruction, and didn’t care who she hurt—or how big of a mess she made—as she was forging her own path in the dark wilderness of her life.
It seems rather gloomy to bring up such melancholy memories in a post that is supposed to be all about gratitude… but the truth is, that gratitude is what these memories have stirred in my heart. Sometimes I hurt for that little girl. And often I am sad, and utterly regretful, for the damage I did and the hearts that I hurt along the way. But most of all, I am grateful that I have been given a second chance a life.
I am grateful that my heart could heal from such a life of depravity and brokenness. I am grateful that I could come to a place where I now see my life as having so much purpose and meaning. I am grateful that God has reconstructed my heart to see the beauty in others and to care for them, rather than to push them away as a means of self-protection.
If you are one of those who was ever pushed out in one way or another… please accept this now as my deepest and most humble apology. And if you are someone who is living in this hurt and broken place where you can’t find it in your heart to let anyone in… please consider that your life is worth more than you can currently see. And people really DO care. And I guess you’re just going to have to trust me on that until one day you are able to see it for yourself!
And to all of you who are reading, please stop and take a moment right now to simply be thankful. Be thankful for something in your life… because when you think about it, even the sad, broken memories can give you a reason to celebrate!