A few days ago my youngest daughter came up to me pretty upset. I asked her what was wrong and her answer surprised me. She does not want to go to second grade. She does not think she is ready. Although I believe this to be a pretty common fear among young kids in school, it made me reflect on my year as a mother to my girls. I had to ask the question, have I been there as I should have for them? This contemplation has brought me quite a bit of self-reflection. How often have I been so wrapped up in my own worries that I have neglected to look outside myself and see the bigger picture?
Being a mother is one of the biggest and most rewarding opportunities given me. I love being a mother. My children have brought so much joy into my life. So why have I put my responsibilities to them as a mother on a back burner?
Yes, I have cancer, but have I let cancer become my life? Looking back on these last several months since the diagnosis I would have to answer this question with a resounding “YES”. This makes me sad for all those around me. I have let cancer take over my life. I have let it limit me in what I do. I am ashamed to say that I have been playing the cancer card way too often.
The truth is, I’m not limited. I have more good days than bad. So why have I stopped living my life? I really can’t answer that question. I honestly don’t know why. But due to my neglect in my everyday duties, (being a wife and mother) my children are paying a price.
I neglect to help them with their homework everyday as I should. I am often sending my older girls to do the reading with Brianna. I am not as loving with my husband as I should be due to my own insecurities. I have become a pretty lousy housekeeper, as one can attest just walking into my home.
I keep being told that the experiences I am having due to cancer will help me to bless others. My thoughts seem to be that yes, this may help me to “someday” be able to bless others. But then I feel guilty. Why only someday? Why not today? There is so much that I can do to bless others’ lives. But first I need to dig myself out of this hole that is all about me.
Do others find themselves feeling this way? I’m sure they do. When going through trials it is hard to see past that trial. But I think the blessing are there more fully if we can look past ourselves and do something good for another.
I can’t help but think of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He had more trials than any of us. He was persecuted, spit upon, whipped and scourged. He suffered immensely in the Garden of Gethsemane and was ultimately crucified. But his deeds and thoughts were not for himself. They were for you and me. He loved all unconditionally. He forgave unconditionally. He did all for others, not himself. We could not ask for a better example than him.
I wish to be more like my Savior. Looking past myself for just a moment to see those who are in need of what I can do for them. Although I am going through some pretty rough things right now, I am still me. I still have the capacity to love and serve. My own personal trial shouldn't be an excuse to not think of others. If anything my hardships should make me more compassionate, not someday, but today. I have been blessed by so many in my life. Others are continually coming to my aid. I am beyond grateful for that.