…Because sometimes you find yourself living a life that you never imagined.
This past Friday, I had a rare moment alone to get some errands done. As I walked by myself to the grocery store (coat zipped up, hands in pockets, scarf on, head down), I caught a glimpse of myself in a store window and saw a different woman than I used to be.
Not different in a fundamental sense but different in reality. Different in life.
I’ve been working on a project lately that isn’t ready to share. And I’ve been practicing the discipline of writing, and I’ve been learning the art of deciphering what words are ready for the public and what words are reserved for later. (and I’ve been perhaps putting my editor-husband to his ultimate test…editing his wife’s writing.)
And I keep catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. A glimpse of a woman with brown hair and no makeup.
A glimpse of a woman prepared for all the city will bring, zig-zagging among pedestrians.
A glimpse of a woman weary and impatient from a day of public transportation with littles.
A glimpse of a woman who is trying her hardest to find the next thing.
A glimpse of a woman with a messy living room and pile of recycling.
A glimpse of a woman who is broken and cracked, but beautiful and whole.
And this woman isn’t exactly who I imagined I’d be. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Because the truth is, despite my deepest heart’s desire, I never even thought of living in a city like New York. I never could have dreamed how being married for 12 years and a mom for 6 years would have molded, shaped, changed, broken, and strengthened me. I never imagined having the confidence that this woman has to fight for her people and (on her bravest days) pursue her dreams.
And I never knew the courage and sacrifice it would take to slow down and lean in to the children God has graciously placed in my care. To choose the unexpected because it provides safety and security for my oldest.
To choose less productivity because it gives affection to my youngest.
To choose being their mom first over the pursuit of the many desires and passions and professional pursuits.
To choose to see my children fully in the brokenness of their stories but not wholly without the hope of their futures.
Being a woman who is driven, determined, opinionated, cautious, kind, and tender…this is how God created me.
Being an adoptive mom who is slow to talk, quick to listen, fully of mercy and compassion…a white mom who is taking awkward and uncomfortable steps to put my white-ness aside and enter into the brown world of my two loves…a wife who is the ultimate partner in the small things and the biggest things…this is how Christ is re-creating me.
Coming to terms with my brokenness, with the cracks in my appearance, with the lines and wrinkles on my face, with the different-than-expected-but-incredibly-beautiful-life that I get to lead…
Well, this is my journey. What’s yours?
(very important side note: this post is in no way meant to communicate that moms must put aside their professional dreams for their children. I know and respect lots of moms who have thriving careers because that is exactly where they should be. This is just my personal journey towards different professional goals than I may have planned a few years ago.)
“Being an adoptive mom who is slow to talk, quick to listen, fully of mercy and compassion.” Loving that line from this post, so very very important. As an adoptee, I wish my mother would have listened more instead of talking, it would have helped me process my story, my thoughts and questions surrounding adoption.
Thank you so much, Brooke. Comments from adoptees has special meaning for us and I so appreciate you taking the time to read and engage.
This strengthened my heart tonight. So much resonates and I can honestly say, “Girrrll, I hear you.” My hair is fuzzier and what happened to my skin?? But I wouldn’t trade what’s new on the inside for anything.
Your comments always strengthen my heart, friend. Thanks for living life so boldly and loving your people well in the midst of a HUGE calling. Encouraged and challenged and strengthened by you.