As I sit here thinking how much my life has changed over the past five years I am flooded with so many thoughts and emotions.
As a fifteen year old there are many things I have experienced that so many never will.
I have seen firsthand the amazing change in my three siblings from orphan to loved sons and daughter.
I have seen the inside of many doctors’ and therapy offices.
I have seen the inside of two very different orphanages and looked into the eyes of the sweetest kids, only to have to say goodbye, and walk through the door knowing that they still have to stay.
These things have changed me, stretched me, and grown me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. And for that I am so thankful.
I am thankful for the hard days.
The days when everything seems to be going in different directions, and it seems like I am slipping through the cracks.
The days when physical therapy appointments, brace fittings, weekly castings, and cerebral palsy specialists turn me into a babysitter for my other siblings.
The days when it seems like there are more meltdowns than I can count.
What I am learning through it all is….that it’s not about me.
There is such a mentality in my generation that everything should revolve around personal wants and needs.
As the oldest of four children – three adopted and two with special needs – life being about me is simply not an option. And I am okay with that.
By walking along side my siblings on their journeys I have realized that life is about so much more than the coolest brand, the best vacation, or the most followers on Instagram.
Life is about celebrating the first time your little brother can walk through the whole grocery store without having to ride in a stroller.
It’s about seeing your little sister take her first steps when you thought she would never walk.
It’s about being told I love you for the first time after being pushed away again and again by the sibling who could not grasp what love meant.
The hard, the hurt, the heartbreak, I am so thankful for it.
In living this life God has given me there have been many times of feeling very alone. So many of my friends that have a “typical” life have no understanding of the struggles I face daily. The hard can so easily become overwhelming. God never says that things will be easy, or that we will be able to handle all the challenges we face.
But He can.
He always gives us what we need to get through the hard times. He has put people around us for a reason. I have had the opportunity to share my struggles with a sweet friend who is walking the same journey with her family that I am with mine. Having someone to share your struggles with can make such a difference, and for that I am so thankful.
As I strive to follow after God’s heart and walk in His plan for my life, I feel very deeply that someday (hopefully soon!) I would love to live in another country and work with special needs children. I share this not because I want to look good or seem like the perfect person, but to be an encouragement.
God uses all the pieces of your life, the good, the great, the bad, and the ugly, and He weaves them into the most perfect plan you could ever imagine.
When we surrender everything to Him amazing things happen, and for that I am so thankful.
– guest post by Sarah