I am a good person, this was not supposed to happen!
Let's face it, life just isn't fair. Many of the things that I have gone through I certainly didn't wish for or pray for. At a very young age, I began to visualize and dream of the type of life I wanted to have when I grew up. As a girl I dreamt of the perfect family, perfect husband, perfect kids, perfect house, perfect career and of course, I am CEO of this amazing company that created the cure for cancer ( I wanted to be a scientist). You get the point.
I DON'T DESERVE THIS
I grew up and, well, not exactly what I envisioned to say the least. Didn't make it college, had to work to help pay bills. When things didn't go my way, when crisis started to show it's ugly head, when people started to hurt me and my loved ones, my inmediate go-to emotions were anger and frustration. The feeling that I am being dealt with unjustly, after all, what did I do wrong? I'm not a bad person. I have tried to follow all the rules since a very young age, I was the good girl, the eldest, had to be the example. I tried to be kind, nice and loving. I loved the Lord since I was 14, tried to live the right way, went to church, taught sunday school, sang on worship team. "Lord, I think you might be mistaken, you have the wrong person, my life is supposed to be good and easy, because I'm your daughter". Why in the world has my life taken a direction of pain and crisis? I don't deserve this!
THREE PREEMIES (not triplets)
I didn't ask for all three of my babies to have to fight for their lives at birth, too tiny to even breathe on their own, there first months in a hospital being poked and tested what seemed like every half hour. Yes, three preemies! 3-4 years apart born in same hospital. Many of the nurses that tended to my 1lb first baby, also were there for my 3lb second baby and 2lb third baby. By my third preemie, most of them had jokes and I wasn't laughing. They would say things like "Oh Mrs. A must love us, she keeps coming back" or "You need to stop having babies" or "We will always have work as long as Mrs. A has babies", oh, and my "favorite" when baby was being discharged "see you next time". I know they were trying to be funny, but by my third preemie I was in a state of total defeat, discouragement and failure. I needed a hug, not jokes.
TO BURN OR PURIFY, IT WAS MY CHOICE
During these difficult times during the tears and pain I cried out to and at God. "Why God, Why?" Sound familiar? Until one day on the couch, it was 3 am and I was holding my first born screaming son. There was a time when he didn't sleep for a whole month, with the exception of 20 minute cat naps through out the day and night. My husband had just started working night shifts, which was a real shock. Not only to I have to take care of a preemie, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but i have to do it at night all by myself. One night, I was up with the baby, it was 3am, I was rocking and crying, crying and rocking. The TV was on but I couldn't even see through my tears, I was in total desperation, crying out my "why's" to God. During this middle of the night crisis, someone knocks on the door, it's 3 am so I assume it's a murderer, maybe to come put me out my misery. It was my husband, he said, God prompted him to leave work, pick up a couple of cheeseburgers, fries and soda and come home. It was like seeing an angel, with greasy fast food bags in his hands. He walked in, put the food down, took the baby out of my arms. We sat on the floor, eating cheeseburgers while trying to calm our boy. In that moment I look at my husband with a new found hope and said "baby, we can either allow this to make us or break us, there is no other way around it". He looked at me, and it was as if God had given me the answer to my "why". This fire and the fires to come have a purpose: to make us, to purify us; if we allow it. I have experienced the being burned up by the fire, by allowing self-pity, anger, bitterness to do me in, and I have also experienced those moments of purification, learning lessons, growing emotionally and spiritually, being an example for others who are also going through the fire.
THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS (A New beginning in 2015)
"I came running when I heard the crash". Those words echo deeply in my heart, soul, mind and even body. No one saw when my son hit the ground. No one saw when his head slammed against the playground asphalt TWICE causing a brain bleed! No one saw his face of horror as he went down unable to cry for help or reach his arms out to break his fall. For a mother, this is enough to bring on rage and hate. It's hard enough to leave a nonverbal, completely helpless son at school. It is a step of faith, relying on others to care for and protect him when I am not around. Although I know that he is not completely helpless because God is with him.
Those words were the last thing I heard before my son was rushed to the hospital by the ambulance. The one person who had cared for him for years in this classroom, knew him, knew me, knew the family. We had laughed together, cried together, I would bring her flowers as a thank you for caring for my son; only to find out that on this day, she left him alone in a dangerous situation which resulted in one of the worst days of his life and our lives as a family.
It has been 4 years since the accident and I have been able to move past the sorrow and tears for the most part. I can talk about that day without losing it, most of the time. I can pass by the school without my heart breaking. However, I really wasn't prepared for this. It was New Years Eve and I needed to go to the store to buy ingredients for a meal I would be preparing for my beloved family and friends. The parking lot was full so my husband dropped me off in front of the store. As I was walking towards the entrance, I noticed a familiar face, I looked again and deeply wished I hadn't. It was her, the woman who failed to take care of my boy and denied her actions during a long legal battle for about 2 years. I wasn't prepared for this. I thought that as long as I never saw her again, I could keep the anger and hatred well under control, maybe even hidden; but there I was and there she was, it was like time stood still. I could feel my heart pounding. We were headed straight toward each other, eyes locked. As horrible as it may sound, I briefly imagined myself grabbing her, throwing her to the ground, screaming "HOW COULD YOU???" and beating her to a pulp. As we met face to face, we stopped and stared, both with tears in our eyes, and embraced. I said Hi, she said Hi. She asked me how he was doing. I gave her a brief update and hugged her again, telling her the past is in the past. She never admitted fault which made it difficult for me to say the words "I forgive you". However, for my own healing, the first embrace, was forgiveness and the second one was "I really do forgive you".
I CAN'T FORGIVE BY MYSELF
I know I don't have the courage or strength to forgive someone who hurts my children. This is why I know and am relieved that Jesus lives in me and in that moment, through me, He embraced this woman, freeing her from the guilt she was carrying and freeing me from the hatred I was carrying for so long. This was a new day, a new chance to make things right and walk in freedom!
I have walked in this freedom since. Forgiving is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but it is one of the most liberating things I have ever done. When I forgave, I freed myself from anger and bitterness which led to peace and joy. The only reason I can forgive is because God has forgiven me. I have had to forgive alot of people in my life, and will have to forgive more people in my life including those doctors and nurses who love "predicting" how miserable my son's life will be, or those therapists who have used the word "never" in their evaluations a little too much. These things have cause alot of anger and pain in my heart as a mother, but I have learned that if I want to live in peace, have joy in my home and create an atmosphere of peace for those around me, I have to forgive, there is no other way around it. If there is any judgement to be made, I will let God do that, since He is the one true judge and he has my back.