So, my girlfriend Kristen is having a Your Story Matters Party today... (over here at PajamaMama) Please go visit her and the others! Their stories are amazing and wonderful.
So, I thought I'd participate.
My story seems so long. But for some reason recently, I feel it necessary to talk, write and share what I can so that others might be able to find that something special in their own selves and their own lives, too. If you just want the synopsis and not to have to read the whole thing, here is is: I felt very unlovable for most of my life and I believe that God doesn't want me to feel that way any more. I had to learn it the hard way, through life experiences. God loved me first. (ps. This is highly likely not a big revelation for anyone else but me, and so I sort of feel foolish even writing about it like it's a big deal... but since it has been important in my life, and I wanted to contribute to "Your Story Matters", I'm going to share parts of my story...again.)
...I want to say it started way back when I was a kid, myself. My parents married, divorced, married again (and again and again)... I do not begrudge their decisions, but their decisions did have an impact on my life. There was a huge portion of my teen and adult life where I felt like if no one could love my mother, who could love me? I felt very unlovable. (and as my friend Ellen and I have determined... feeling unlovable is a huge problem, it seems, these days... think about it. If you don't feel loved, how do you feel worthy or good about yourself? The likeliness is that you probably don't. And if you don't feel lovable, how can you, yourself, love someone else? Not to mention love yourself??)
I wish I could convey just how unlovable I actually felt, and I didn't even really know it consciously all the time. Hindsight is definitely 20/20.
So, therein began a lot of life mistakes on my own part. I went through my 20's being hurt and hurting others. There was so much that happened, it would take all day to tell you, so suffice to say, it was just a long journey of unhappy relationships that God didn't really want me to be in.... Until the culmination of a 3-year relationship with someone who cheated on me (for 2.5 of those years!!)...and, that... woke me up. Literally. Woke.Me.Up.
And, I realized that I deserve to be loved. (this was a huge realization for me.) I mean really loved. Not someone's second best. Not someone's emotional whipping girl... not someone's play thing.
I didn't and don't know how to make that happen, but God did. Not only do I deserve to be loved, but I am lovable. I don't have to be miserable. I don't have to just date anyone that walks through the door, just because they are there. I don't have to disrespect my own life and feelings (to put someone else in a place in my life where they don't have the right to be if that's not what God wants).
I can be with someone who is good and kind and who loves me for me.
I also deserve to love. God wants me to be happy, too. Wow. Really?! It is OK to be happy. To find that special someone or something to fill your life. So, I chose to start my family through adoption. I wanted a child or children. I realized that I was called to have a family of my own. That I have a right to be a Mom, just like anyone else. (singleness, past mistakes, and all.) I was just called to do it a little differently. And, that is OK.
I don't have all the answers, but I do know that if my life had worked out the way "it should have" in my 20's I wouldn't have the life and love I do have today. And I wouldn't trade my life today. I can't imagine not being Lil M's Mommy.
That being said, I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy and fears of being a Mom, too. Thankfully, these have lessened over time (through prayer, and amazing friends and familial support!)
When I first became a Mommy I went through my own emotional (post-adoption) changes. Wow. I didn't know that could happen. (which, for me, seemed to stem back to the being unlovable part.) I have found people don't talk about that stuff very much. The fears of going back to work. Screwing up your child somehow. Attachment. Learning. Losing your old life and self. Losing yourself period. Losing your mind. LOL Ever feeling "normal" again. All this has taken time to work through, for me anyway, emotionally... but I do feel like I'm OK now and that Lil M and I are OK. whew. ;) That was also huge for me.
So, please don't write to me thinking that I'm not OK now. Because I'm better than I've ever been. :)
What I have learned is that while my life "did" change, and I did gain a new sense of myself, who I am, what I want, and that I do matter. I really think that God wanted me to learn that. That I'm allowed to have my own life and family. And to be happy.
We are called to be in relationship. For me, I believe we are called to be in relationship with our own selves, our friends and family, and most importantly, our God (and for some, marriage). Some of us go through life wondering how that is possible. We feel unworthy. But God doesn't want us to feel that way.
God wants us to know HE LOVED US FIRST and will always love us, no matter what. That is so comforting to me, because even when my own parents let me down, I can lean on the one parent that matters most - God. And, no matter if some people find that cheesy or out there (or mean, but I'm not trying to be)... I believe it with all my heart. People are fallible. It is fact. We are important, though. And our lives are important. No matter where we are in that life or what we are going through.
I want to post a link that Kristin posted, because Lauren's story is SO amazing. Her own realization of God and her life is just beyond beautiful to me. And even though our stories are vastly different, her sentiment is the same.
I believe that Your (My) story matters. It is important for us to share with each other the joys and struggles we go through so we don't feel so alone. It's too hard to go it alone. I mean, to feel totally alone... married or single.
I'm not alone. You aren't alone either. Really. God is here. I'm here. Your friends are here. Your family is here. Find someone you can talk to and connect with. It's THAT important. :)
Blessings and Peace.
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