Today, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit the words of this wise man. Think about it… what would he tell us NICU parents if he were still alive today? Probably the same things he said all those years ago…
*Note: I realize that these words were spoken during a difficult time in our history, and that they are in reference to civil rights and the movement for equality. This is simply a reflection on his words, how powerful they were/are, and how universal their meaning can be.
First, he’d say something like this to acknowledge the journey about to commence:
We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
And then, probably something like this, to give you an extra nudge of encouragement:
Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Next, he’d make sure you knew this; that you knew you weren’t alone:
We may all have come in different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
And, he’d be sure to remind you that it’s not always easy, but…
If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.
He’d remind you of what hides in the darkness:
Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
Then he’d want you to know that you worry so much and feel so deeply because…
There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
And of how God chose YOU to be a NICU parent because…
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stand in moments of comfort & convenience but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy.
And that when you’re feeling overcome with guilt or when you’re starting to hate your life or your situation or yourself, that there’s a better way:
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Or tell you that getting down is okay, but giving up hope is not:
We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.
And, lastly, he’d want you to know that it’s still okay to have dreams for your baby.
If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.
So, what’s your dream?