Opening My Eyes and Realizing I’m Still Hanging On
Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m living my own life. Looking back through photographs or get caught in reflections of memories gone by, I have to kick-start my brain to remember that that was and is my life.
(I hope this doesn’t sound too strange.)
(Does anyone else ever feel this way?)
I went to drop something off today for work, and as I was walking up the steps to the building I was at, I looked up to see these trees, heavy with white blossoms that were bending under the weight of the rain. Though being battered by the wind, littering the ground with their petals, those flowers still hung on. The petals were ground into the pavement by many pairs of careless feet, including mine, but yet there was still something hopeful about them. They wouldn’t be beaten. Even bruised and scattered across concrete, they were still an expression of courage.
I was looking through photos at my parents’ house the other day, and I came across my baby pictures. I was 2 1/2 months premature and barely topped two pounds when I was born. I suppose I’ve never thought about it much, being that I grew up without any health problems or disabilities (which for preemies is amazing). But looking at these Polaroids of this tiny baby, naked, unable to even fit into diapers, hooked up to tubes, it hit me. At one point in my life, I relied on machines to breathe. At one time, my parents weren’t sure if I would live through the night. In those days, it was a celebration when I topped three pounds and my mother could finally hold me without an incubator between us.
(Note: That is not me — I don’t have any scanned photos of me when I was born.)
I always joke that I looked like E.T. (and I did…I was a brown, wrinkly little thing). But when I saw how incredibly tiny my hand was on my dad’s, or how you could count every rib in my chest…it was sobering. My grandma always tells me (and tears up) that she remembers coming to see me in the hospital, and telling my parents that I would grow up to be such a pretty girl and that she was sure that God had special plans for me. She knew I would stubbornly fight through those weeks of uncertainty and come out on the other end. I suppose I’ve always shrugged that off as “grandma-talk,” because other people are meant for special things, not me. I’m just me, aren’t I? And perhaps I am. But that doesn’t mean that my life cannot be extraordinary (and really, it already is, in many ways).
I met my best friend, Sandra, for lunch/bookstore wandering time last Friday in Lansing. As we sat with coffee and talked, she talked about how she wants to see me doing something special with myself and my passions. It’s not to say that I’m doing nothing now (because she knows that I am), but that she sees potential in me that I haven’t quite caught sight of yet. I am thankful for her and her courage to push me, even when I dig in my heels and resist. I feel so very small, like that tiny, gasping baby, in the face of that “something.” I need to be reminded that living your passion isn’t just something to talk about and write about, but something to live (which is so much harder, even when you love something).
…and I’m figuring that out.
P.S. The day after I wrote this, I read this. He doesn’t need me, He loves me. And I need to just let Him.