Within the past month, I have attended 2 weddings & met 1 newborn baby. These huge milestones are events that every little girl dreams about. When I was young, I just knew that I wanted to wear a big, poofy princess ball-gown at my wedding, I wanted my last name to be West (only because I thought it was a cool last name) & that I would have lots of kids (at least 4).
As I sat in the church pew listening to vows of commitment being exchanged, I fought time traveling to my future, my wedding. I began thinking of how a parentless wedding plays out… or does it even play out? Can I even have a wedding without their support? As a child, divorce worked to my advantage on birthdays and Christmas, because, instead of my parents buying gifts together for me, they bought gifts separately, so more gifts for me. It would seem that way for “the big day,” but not mine. In fact, I will more than likely have no parent participation, in any way, shape, or form. *Insert downward spiral into uncontrollable tears & snot here*
“Then comes the baby in the baby carriage…” (Please tell me you sang this to the right tune… First comes love, then comes marriage…) Anyways, my cousin’s firstborn entered the world on August 19th. I met little man the next day. As I stood in the hospital room, I fought time traveling to my future, my firstborn. I began thinking of how a (grand)parentless firstborn plays out… Will my dad & mom be some of the first to hold my baby? Will they even come to the hospital? If they come, will they be grown-up enough to be in the same room together or will one avoid the other? I jerked myself back into the present. I said to myself, “Enjoy the joy of right now. They aren’t going to ruin these moments.” *Insert mindfulness here to receive joy*
As the days rolled by, I thought about how my parentlessness often controls my emotions & thoughts. I realized how it can quickly steal my ability to be present. I posed the question, “When am I going to stop letting my parents, who do NOT give a rip-roarin’ toot about me, control everything?” (Ok, confession: I didn’t really think the part about the toot, but I have a few family members who use that phrase & I think it’s funny.)
Am I sad that my dad won’t walk me down the aisle? Absolutely. Am I sad that I’m unsure of whether or not I’ll get to share the joy of my baby with my parents? Absolutely. I’m not sure I’ll be able to escape those thoughts until those milestones are happening & are over with… Thankfully, through therapy, I have started utilizing my ability to choose. I can evaluate whether or not what I’m thinking/feeling is rational. If the thought/feeling is rational, woohoo! If the thought/feeling is irrational, I must search for the rational, embrace it & breathe deep.
Rational reminds me that my mother & father’s wife have allowed what they didn’t get from their parents emotionally to completely ruin their hearts. Rational reminds me that I am on the path to emotional healing & I must keep going. Rational says that I have other men in my life who will walk me down the aisle. Rational says that I have numerous people who will share in the joy of my firstborn. Rational says that my identity as a child of God is much grander & sweeter than the identity as a child of my earthly parents.
What a gigantic blessing it is to have the identity of a child of God made available to us through the blood of Christ! I don’t want to imagine a life without that identity. My earthly daughter identity leaves me alone feeling unworthy, unimportant & unloveable. My heavenly daughter identity leads me to my Father’s arms, feeling worthy, important & oh so loved.