2016! Gone and never to return THANK GOODNESS, but I have to admit that I learned some valuable lessons in 2016 that will forever shape who I have become. Although I appreciate those lesson, I almost lost it in 2016 so my goal this year is to live out How 2016 Taught Me To Keep My Sanity in 2017!
Here is what has lead me to this point.
My youngest son Aaron was born with a severe dairy allergy that I had no idea about until he was almost one year old. Now I must admit that it would have been nice to have somehow known about his allergy a little sooner and how it would completely change how our entire household would and could eat. Just for preparation and control purposes (which I’m working on). But I wasn’t given any of that information in advance. It was completely unknown to me until about a year after I give birth to him on March 7th.
What went on in between that time?
Well, months of him getting sick, me changing my diet to almost nothing, trying formula, changing the formula, allergy testing, hospital stays and a few anaphylactic episodes. You know the usual stuff. After having my world completely turned upside down with this kid, I finally began to accept the fact that I had no clue how things in life would turn out. I just needed to be ready! No matter how much I tried to plot or plan, I couldn’t control things, and when I feel most in control is likely when things are probably most out of my control. Sound familiar?
And that’s just ONE of my children.
Up until this point, I would find myself always thinking about situations that I had no control over. Conditions that I couldn’t change or alter, even if I wanted to. I’d contemplate all the possible outcomes to things that had not yet happened, and try to figure out consequences and solutions to problems that didn’t yet exist. What would be “the right way” (better known as my way) to handle this situation?
Who was I fooling?
When I look back, I am amazed and frustrated with myself at the amount of time I spent consumed with trying to process and predict the unknown.
Too much to be exact.
If 2016 didn’t teach me anything else, it taught me that life (especially the part of if known as “parenting”), is all about embracing uncertainties.
Long custody battles, job transitions, sick children, sudden moves, unforeseen losses. All unexpected, unknown and unpredictable major events.
For some of us after enduring 16 long hard hours of labor (or for the lucky gals two), we finally get to see the child whose face has been unknown to us for ten months. For others, after two long years of waiting, they finally get to take the child home that they have waited to adopt for months.
Then an entirely new unknown begins. The unknown of how to be a parent because seeing it done is nothing like doing it yourself. We then transition from being a mother of a baby to the mother of a toddler, then a school age child, and HELP US ALL, the mother of a teenager and soon to be adult. Now all these phases should call for us to become a different person “metaphorically” to accommodate the change, but they don’t. We remain ourselves and walk into that unknown new season of parenthood moment by moment and day by day.
So how do we stay sane while embracing the uncertainties?
By finding life-giving truths to hold onto in those moments.
This is the key to maintaining your sanity during times of uncertainty. For someone like myself who’s convinced that they have everything under control until things get out of control, truths are reminders that even in a situation where uncertainty exist, there are area’s of certainty that are present, and those are called truths.
So for the parent whose child is sitting in the hospital with a report that is causing them to feel complete terror. What life-giving truth can you hold on to at this moment?
And to the parent that is trying to figure out how to contain their emotions after hearing their child didn’t pass from one grade to the next. What life-giving truth is present to grab hold to at this moment?
For the person that feels completely lost in what to do next or where to go with their marriage or children. What truth can you hold onto with a tight grip?
Although parenting is about embracing uncertainties, it is also about embracing truths and allowing those truths to become an anchor in your life.
Let 2017 be the year you no longer allow lies to occupy your mind but rather truths to consume you. That you maintain every ounce of sanity you have by holding on to truths with a tight grip. What truth do you need to hold onto this year?