I sometimes find myself saying, “I wish I would have known, back then, the things that I know now.” I believe we all wish that we had the wisdom we have attained over the years to give to our younger self. So, since that is not possible, I thought it would be nice to write a letter to myself, that “19 year-old young woman,” after having my son with special needs.
I am writing to you 22 years into the future. You are now 42 years of age and that sweet little boy that you are holding in your arms is now your 22 year-old son. I know you don’t know this, but you’ve lived a wonderful life raising that little one. However, I just want to give you some advice.
First, I want to congratulate you for giving birth to Nathaniel and becoming a mother. I know you are scared and feeling lost. I see your confusion and fear as you wonder why your child was diagnosed with having a rare congenital defect, CHARGE Syndrome. I just want to tell you that you will be fine. Absolutely fine!
I don’t want to give every detail of what is to come, I want to save those moments for you. However, I just want to tell you to be strong. There will be many fun times raising Nathaniel, and there will be some rough ones, as well. Nate is going to teach you so much about who he is, about life, about love, and about yourself. Pay close attention to each and every lesson.
I want you to surround yourself with people who will help you and embrace you. Don’t be scared to share your heart. Cry…..it’s all right.
And when you can, share your life with others, to help those that will have a similar experience as you.
Lastly and most importantly, I want to tell you to hold fast to God and His Word. Keep praying and seeking Him. No matter what you believe, you are not alone. Trust in God and remember the scripture,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” – Proverbs 3:5,6
God is with you and Nate. He will always care for you and your precious little son that you are holding.
You, 22 years into the future.