(Sorry Charley, this one is not meant for you, but your day is coming, I promise!)
I remember listening to this song when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Emma, in the absolute darkest time of my life, 2009/2010. The song was titled No Matter What. The irony is that No Matter What is an older song, it came to popularity in 1998. That was the summer of the boy band craze (you know - Backstreet Boys v. N*Sync - BSB for life!) I literally had 0 interest in the song at the time, like, who was Boy Zone?! (Says 7th grade Tiffany)
Then I re-discovered No Matter What as an adult; and found it to be one of the most beautiful songs that spoke to my heart. Hearing the line, "No matter what the end is, my life began with you." I vividly remember sitting in my gray Saturn Vue driving to a job I hated pregnant and broke (broke-broke!) - and crying. But this wasn’t a normal cry, this was a deep cry. A cry that came from my soul, a perfectly timed mixture of happiness, hurt, fear, joy and sadness. The song still does it to me...
I remember the nasty comments from college “friends.” (Not my LOVEly Ladies) The “oh, I heard you had a baby...” or the, “I cant see her being a good parent.” Ironically, the same people who years later reached out to me for career and job advice... (*winks*)
My love, Emma, you deserve to hear this. I do not know if I will ever be capable of articulating this message to you verbally, so this is the best I could do. The moment I found out I was pregnant, right out of college with no job, no idea what I wanted, and no idea how to parent, my life changed.
"No matter what the end is, my life began with you."
It did not change over night, but with each step in the right direction, I learned and grew. I learned about me, how to listen, how to handle life, how to work hard, how to lean on people and how to be your mom.
Much like me, deeply masked by years of judgement, hurt, and pain - you wear your heart on your sleeve and tell it like it is. The world won’t appreciate that, because the truth hurts. You can’t deny what you believe and you can be what your not. There will be many a moment that you will forget to intentionally live, and live for the “if only's.” “If only they understood me,” “if only they listened,” “if only I was taller/thinner/smarter.” Again, you can’t deny what you believe and you can be what your not. You were Created perfectly imperfect for a reason-as we all are.
Emma B, I love you in such a deep way that you may never understand (as I sit on a plane crying and writing this), all I ask is that you give this world your best self, fight through fear, and live in grace.
"I know this loves forever, that’s all that matters now no matter what."