Papel Picado

Papel Picado

Monday, January 19, 2015

Nothing to Prove: Important lessons from my 2lb daughter.

I sometimes feel like I am the least ambitious person I know. I once told a friend all I really wanted was to be married and raise a family. It was mostly true at that point in my life. After I made the decision to go to mission school she then told me how relieved she was. She admitted to me that she felt so sad that I didn't have dreams other than being a wife and mother.
The thing is, in my life I have dreamed of being and doing a lot of things, but for one reason or another I hadn't accomplished very many of these things. I broke away from journalism because of an unsupportive mentor. I left college because I couldn't find my niche in photography, and even when I went back and completed my degree with supportive professors, I felt like I lost my passion when photography went mostly digital. (I really, really loved darkroom photography.)
The fact that I applied for mission school was huge for me and put me way out of my comfort zone. While I definitely came up against some opposition, I had an overwhelming amount of people (and finances!) supporting my decision.
When I left mission school I felt like I was going to do some great things. I had an ambition I had never had before, and knew I was going to do great things. Minus a few small trips and failed attempts at missions, I kind of ended up back where I began. Even when I offered what little resources I had, I felt inadequate and once again allowed myself to withdraw from persuing any opportunities out there.
And then we received the most exciting news of our lives. We were going to be parents. A dream come true!
The thing is, while this task has seemingly proved to be very simple for some, It was anything but simple for me.
At 6 weeks I was told I miscarried. But at 7 weeks (and after a lot of prayer and resting) something happened. Misdiagnosing miscarriages happens, but not often. My doctor rejoicing with us was enough to tell me how rare it was. This was the first time I realized my child was ambitious. The doctor found her heartbeat at a very early stage of pregnancy. She wanted us all to know she was there and not going anywhere.
At 20 weeks, when my water broke I can't describe how scared I was. At one appointment my doctor even looked as though he wanted to cry with me, but he said something that will always stick with me about Olive: ''it's as if she doesn't even know that something is coming against her.''  It was said that she wouldn't grow much as babies in her situation usually don't, but she stayed at least a week ahead of the growth charts.
They said so many things about Olive that had they been said to me, I probably would have given up, but I learned something from her. What others say or believe isn't what defines Olive. How God sees her is what defines her.
Another thing I have learned from Olive is that I have nothing to prove. So many times things have not worked out the way I wanted, or I haven't had the support I desired, and I have given up. Not Olive. She has taught me that I can live my life and do great things by just being me. That I don't need someone elses approval to more than just dream.
I don't know what the future holds for Olive, Matt and myself, but I can't help but dream without limits. Whether I go into business, I decide to write full time or I decide to teach again, I am going to make big plans and enjoy life, and I have my 2 lb daughter to thank for that.
On a side note, there is no such thing as "just a wife and mother." :)

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