For the past almost ten years I have been holding onto a little scrap of paper. And I do mean little. It’s about 1/2 an inch tall and maybe two inches long. About 9 years ago I took the little scrap and taped it into the back of a rather pitiful scrapbook that I had to make for my senior year of high school. Since the scrap was from high school it seemed like a fitting place for it.
When I feel like maybe I’m failing as a wife, or maybe failing as a mom, or just kind of sucking at life in general, I look at the scrap of paper. After all of this time I have it memorized like a favorite part of a poem. I even have the writing memorized. That little scrap is one of my most treasured things.
The little scrap is a piece of paper that I tore out of my agenda my junior year of high school. On the date for mine and John’s one year anniversary he wrote in my agenda “You are the light in my world… and I don’t want that ever to change.” My junior year of high school was not an easy year. I was literally pregnant with Zach for about the whole year. I got pregnant in September and he didn’t come out until the June after it ended. By late March (our anniversary) I was feeling beaten down. I’d just found out I wouldn’t be able to attend a special summer art program because it was happening the week that I was due. I was having a hard time in some of my classes because a few of my teachers were not only unsupportive, two told me I should just go ahead and drop out now. It was really hitting me hard how all the plans I had made were either not going to happen or have to be changed. Plus I had lost several friends who either dropped me because of changes I was making with my life, and some who dropped me simply because I was pregnant.
None of that factors in the overwhelming terror at soon becoming a mom, or all of the uncertainty and doubts I was having that the only reason John and I had gotten back together was because I was pregnant. And on top of all of that I was six and a half months pregnant and still fighting all day morning sickness and was constantly being reminded how I let down people in my life. (Not by my parents mind you.)
And then I open my agenda and there is this sweet little one sentence note. I have no idea when he put it there. He never told me it was there. But there it was, right when I needed it. I’m sure he was going through his own troubles and struggles at that time, but at no point was he ever anything but encouraging to me. He talked often about his own doubts and fears about becoming a dad, but he never seemed to doubt me.
To this day he doesn’t ever seem to doubt in my abilities. Or if he does, he hides it very, very well. I do. I doubt myself and my abilities constantly, but he only ever seems to have faith in me. It a little daunting at times, but for the most part just knowing that he is there believing in me makes the hard times a little easier.