Every so often, I hear about or read a story of someone who has overcome insurmountable obstacles to achieve his/her dream in life. Quite often, these folks say, very explicitly, that they do not want to be defined by the difficulties in their lives or the obstacles they have had to overcome. This one has cancer but doesn’t want her cancer to define who she is. That one has a skin disease and loudly proclaims that her skin disease does not define her.
I get where these folks are coming from. I really do. No one thing ever defines anyone. We are all defined by so much more than one event, or one physical aspect, or one outburst, or one moment, and so on and so forth. These things become very much a part of who we are, though, and to many people around us, make us THAT person.
For example, many of you have watched the wonderful video with Candace Payne putting on the Chewbacca mask and expressing her sheer joy. As we continue to hear about Candace, more often than not, she is referred to as the “Chewbacca Mom.” While it is her video that has made her famous, I am sure that Ms. Payne will agree with the fact that she is so much more than the “Chewbacca Mom.” I see from her website that she is a musician—the worship leader at her church. She is a teacher. Mom. Wife. And the list goes on.
I have often found myself agreeing with the statements of howsuch-and-such does not and will not define me. But as I have lain here, desperately trying to fall asleep, I have been praying. And the Holy Spirit has revealed to me that I AM defined by the such-and-suches in my life. I am who I am—who I am becoming—because of everything I have been through, everything I love, everything I don’t like, those I associate with, and so on.
Without the specifics of my life, I would not be the Polly Anna I am. I AM defined by my child losses. I AM defined by the health issues I have struggled with. I am defined by these things and so much more…..
I am Polly Anna [Kinsey] Watson…..
Mommy to James Isaac (stillborn March 17, 1999)
Mommy to Panya Ruth (miscarried November 10, 1999)
Mommy to Samuel Josiah (born May 1, 2001)
Mommy to Anna Rose (miscarried November 22, 2005)
Wife of James Allen
Sister of Katie Kinsey Walston
Sister of Kenneth E. Kinsey, Jr.
Daughter of Ken and Posy Kinsey
Lover of pandas
Lover of movies
Lover of pandas
Sunday School teacher
One who is loud
One who laughs
One who cries
One who has been at death’s door
One who has watched angels battle demons of death for my very life
And so much more…….
Everything I do, everything I have done, everything I have experienced/been through in my life, all my loves, all my likes, everyone I come into contact with…..they all work together to make me ME. No one thing defines Polly Anna. They ALL define Polly Anna. As much as I believe that I wear my heart on my sleeve and that what you see is what you get, there are many people in my life who have no idea some of the things I have been through or many of the things I have felt or experienced over the years. It’s not that I keep these things secret; it’s simply that there isn’t anything for you to SEE when you look at me that shows all the things that define me.
I know that many people see a woman who [almost] always has a smile on her face and who always responds to “How are you?” with a loud, joyful, “Peachy!” Many people who look at me see a woman who has become quite large. (OK. I’m fat.) Many people see someone who is often overly enthusiastic.
But not everyone sees or knows that I battle depression—that I’ve battled it most of my adult life. I’ve only been on medication for it in recent years, though.
Not everyone sees that in spite of my attempts to CHOOSE JOY on a daily basis, I still grieve the loss of 3 babies. I always will. Pieces of my heart were buried with each baby.
Not everyone sees or knows that quite often when I get silly, I am fighting a sadness that is attempting to wash over me like a comfortable blanket.
You may be my friend on Facebook and read my daily Joy posts (The PollyAnna JOY Plan), but you may not know that I do them in a desperate attempt to find the positives in my life rather than focusing on and feeling the sadness and pain.
So no, I am not defined by JUST my child losses or JUST my health issues or JUST the fact that I am a teacher…. ALL work together to make me ME. I am not perfect. But in my imperfections, I am the perfect Polly Anna I can possibly be. Love me or hate me, I am so much more than……and so are you.