In counting my blessings this morning, I became aware of just how small my world has become. What was once a wide-open land of possibility has been gouged and scraped away by traumatic glaciers, sliced through by rivers and broken apart by earthquakes. It was hard to acknowledge any blessings scattered amongst the craters of loss that pitted the landscape of my world.
Suffering has made me feel small. It has made me feel helpless. It has taken away any sense of power I’ve felt over my own life. Every bump, every trial scraped something away from me. I had no control over the damage that was inflicted by those scrapes.
I’ve spent a long time licking those wounds and mourning what had broken off. I thought I could find the pieces and put them back together, but they were cracked and scattered like continents, and oceans of grief filled the spaces between.
I never would have allowed myself to be shaped into this: this disabled, unemployed foster parent. At one point in my life, I would have thought it an insult to be such a lowly thing: You're kidding. I can’t work?! I can’t have my own kids?!
I’ve been molded into something so much more jagged than I’d dreamed. I’d wanted my life to cover a wide, expansive terrain, but that terrain has cracked apart. The continents of my hope have drifted apart, and the island I’ve been left with is small and separate.
My purpose right now is to be a mom. To one little girl. All mothers must feel this way to some extent, like their world narrows into their children. And strangely, my disability has given me the luxury of time to focus my attention on that task.
I am standing, sure-footed, on that tiny island.
In my search for blessings, I was not looking at this island -- only at the distant wreckage on the horizon. It is hard to be grateful when I only see the losses.
If I see the island I stand upon, if I see all that has grown and flourished there this past year, then I can see that there is much to be grateful for.