Mama, When You Feel Left Out, Forgotten, or Unwanted, Remember This.

Twenty of us were sitting in the living room on a mish-mash of recliners, couches, and chairs pulled in from the kitchen.

It was a routine Young Life staff gathering, and we were going around the room giving updates about life. I cannot tell you, 10+ years later, what any of the other 18 updates were about, but I can tell you about two.

Mine was that I was pregnant, for the first time ever, and I had a healthy baby girl growing inside of me!

His was that, despite a healthy lifestyle and an active ministry in one of the poorer parts of Pittsburgh, his life was coming to an end soon. Cancer – and it was spreading. Caught too late for treatment to be effective.

The dichotomy in that moment was harsh, yet distinct: life, growing in my body – and death, growing in his. My moments were filled with excitement, anticipation, curiosity, planning, dreaming. His, with resignation, disappointment, grief, and good-byes.

The tragedy of his cancer was made all the more acute for me because of my celebration of my growing daughter. New life. Impending death. We made an awkward pair in the room that day.

In my grief over his news, and in my newly-pregnant state, I deeply felt the value of his life. It wasn’t just his ministry I grieved, and not just his family’s loss, but I was grieving for him as a person – as a fellow human who had once been just a bud of expectation, like my daughter was now.

People fight and deny each other’s value constantly, don’t they? They blame, stare, criticize, neglect, abuse, judge, curse, ignore, and bruise. Parents do it to children – and children to it to parents. Middle school kids notoriously thrive on doing it to each other – and so do workplace and mommy rivals. Liberals do it to Conservatives – and Conservatives do it to Liberals. Races, ethnicities, tribes and cultures take turns declaring their own worth and value while attempting to crush everyone else’s.

Maybe someone has done it to you.

Maybe your value has been attacked so viciously that you are left questioning if you were ever worth anything to begin with.

I was once told that I shouldn’t have kids, because the child could be born with Asperger’s, like me.   I answered with a question – “Would you have given the same advice to my parents?”

“Well,” came the answer, “look at all the difficulties you’ve had, and the pain you’ve had to endure…surely you wouldn’t wish that on a child.” 

Well, it’s true that living my life with Asperger’s has often been difficult.  Yes, I have dealt with my fair share of pain and rejection… In a perfect world I wouldn’t want a child to go through the same issues.  But I also had to wonder…is life just about avoiding pain?  Or is there something more?  

Looking back on my life, I find that the most painful experiences taught me the most valuable lessons.  But, you never learn what those lessons will be until you’re on the other side.  How can you judge the quality of a person’s life and experiences, before they have had them? – Lynne Soraya Asperger’s Diary

Becka Asper
Becka Asper
I'm a mom of five (4 bio, one foster), I homeschool two (and a half) of them, and I write for YoungLives (Young Life's ministry for teenage moms). My goal is to help us salvage a meaningful life as a faithful followers of Jesus even in the midst of the messy and mundane parts of life.

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