Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Victimhood and Perspective

A lot has been weighing heavy on my lately...in fact, Im sure that I will not get through this blog without weeping.

I will be the first to admit that I very often put myself in a role of the "victim." My mom is wicked, my husband doesn't stick up for me all the times that I think he should, I have to do without so much, Solomon is extremely active and wears me out and I never get breaks...blah blah blah... Even on this blog, which I use as an outlet of emotional expression at times, it must get a little annoying to read about how "woe is me" I am always feeling. There are people in my life who have this same problem, and I find myself wanting to completely bow out gracefully because I just cannot take it when it seems someones identity is solely a big ol' victim. The truth of the matter is this...everyone has "hard lives" ...but do I? Do we? Bad mom blah blah blah...get over it...move on. Love her despite herself. Build the relationship that you CAN have instead of pinning over what you may never have...because there is a good chance that we may all find ourselves in similar situations in the future...and I know that if I hurt my son, I don't want to be hated...I want to be loved, forgiven, and I need to offer that same thing to my own mother.

Do we have it rough? Of course some people do...but perspective...wow, has that been hitting me hard lately. As people (especially from the West) I think we find ourselves being a little egocentric. There aren't many people who take into account the lives of others, especially those around the world. Sitting and wallowing, as I often do, can be sobered up right quick if you allow yourself to start thinking of others...allow me to give some examples of people in my own life.

When I first visited Uganda in 1999, my dearest (British) friend, Sophie, a nurse, was taking me for a tour in one of the local hospitals. Kiwoko Hopspital is actually a really nice facility considering it's in the middle of the bush. As we wandered around we started hearing the cry of what was obviously a very small baby. We followed her cry and I gasped when we found her. She was in a room, alone, on a woven mat laid on the concrete floor. She was covered from head to toe in bandages that were covered in yellow puss and slime. She was a burn victim, alone, in pain, infected, with no one to comfort and hold her. She couldn't have been more than 3-4 months old. Who knows how long she had be laying there alone and crying. Who knows if anyone would ever come for her. I wept there on my knees. I felt ill and had to go outside to breathe. This was the worst thing I had ever seen....but for this little baby, it was just reality...


I little boy I know, who in 1999, was 8 years old and blind in one eye. He fell several stories out of a mango tree and a branch pierced through his eye and destroyed his optic nerve. He was walking me home one night, holding my hand and I said, "Muyango, are you ever angry at God for Him allowing you to fall and lose your eye site?" His answer just about caused me to faint... "No Auntie Amber. I actually feel that God loves me more than I ever knew...I could have died, but instead, God saved my life and only took away the eye site of one eye." Eight years old folks...


When I lived in Uganda in 2001, I was visiting someone in the hospital and next to me in the childrens ward was a teeny tiny baby girl. Her caretaker was with her. I asked how she was and why she was there... While her mother had been working in the garden, someone had come into her home and raped her 6 month old baby girl. They didn't know if she would live or not.


My friend, Sennyonjo, watched his family murdered by rebel soldiers. Sisters raped and killed. Brother and father stabbed with a machete right before his young 9 year old eyes.


Adrienne, who lost 5 babies to miscarriages, just endured a failed adoption. I've wept for her because I cannot imagine how terrible that feels. It's such a sad story and it really breaks my heart just to think about it.


My lifelong friend, Charlene, after trying to get pregnant for so long, lost the baby and almost died due to a tubal pregnancy...and then not long after lost her mother suddenly.


My sweet, precious friend Abby, on the night before thanksgiving was told that her 6 month old nephew, Noah, had died in his sleep. His mommy, Rebecca, had laid him down for a nap and checked on him periodically...the last time she checked on him he was face down and blue. The paramedics came and tried to revive him but could not. What was it like for her to find her baby in his crib, lifeless, gone, never to cry, smile, laugh again? What was it like to see the paramedics trying to revive him, thinking "of course they will be able to" only to see them fail? What does it feel like every night to know that when you wake up, he still wont be there. How do you explain to their toddler, Emma, that her little brother is gone? How does his daddy, Richard, live everyday without his little baby boy? How did Rebecca watch Noah be taken away to know that he would never be coming back? This is a family that is so close and loving and sensitive and wonderful and I have cried everyday since finding this horrible news out on Wednesday in tears, praying and finding little to no consolation.


Even though I never got to meet Noah, my heart has been broken in a way I had never imagined by this loss. It has broken me and sobered me and put life into perspective for me. It put me into a spiral...thinking of all those JUST in my life who have actual tragedies. Having a mother who makes mistakes and fails me a lot, is NOT a tragedy. Its something to just get over, and move on from. It made me confident that no matter what goes on in most of our lives, we can always find someone who has it much harder. God is my refuge and my strength and in ALL things He is in control. Its really hard to believe when peoples children are being taken from them, and little babies are getting raped and children are starving to death and seeing their parents murdered...why does all of this happen? I can't understand it but I am trying my hardest to pull myself out of all pity parties and put things into perspective...

Life has changed for me...let me never forget it.

Perspective...whats yours?


jenna said...

Wow Amber. I really needed to hear that. I have been feeling lately like there is a never ending rain cloud hovering above my head. Things keep happening and changing, plans have fallen through, money problems keep arising but it really is a matter of perspective. Am I able to live and breath and see sun shine everyday? Am I able to read my Bible and talk to Jesus without persecution? There is so much to be thankful for in this life and helps to be reminded of these things. My heart is breaking for all of those people you just wrote about.

KelliAnn Christensen said...

Very sobering. Several of those stories made me cry. I am very blessed and should be very grateful.