It’s really only two months into the new year and it has become obvious why God put the word resilient on my heart. Like so many other areas of my life, he is asking me to live it out.
I definitely started the new year in a place of woundedness. Wounds that had been lying dormant for most of my adult life were reopened. My two worlds crashed into each other like waves from a massive storm at sea. My lack of control over my children’s health made me feel useless and like I was failing. The harder I tried to be more perfect, the harder I tried to be more in control, the more broken I felt. It opened old wounds. There were several situation in my young life that I had no control of and that often left me feeling like I had done something wrong or I wasn’t good enough.
It became glaringly apparent that my pain although completely warranted at watching my children suffer, was connected to old pain that resurfaced. I’m in the process of healing from all of those wounds. I’m learning to be gentle with myself. Those of you that know me best know that I am not kind to myself. I hold myself to unrealistic expectations, and when I fail at those unrealistic expectations I am cruel to myself with my words and beliefs in myself. There have been tearful days as I wrestle with old habits and beliefs and the truth. The truth that I am loved and I am good. It seems like it shouldn’t be so hard to know that, but it has been difficult for me.
As I started this healing process several other things in our family just kind of went haywire. My husband has long had an area on his face that would get irritated when he shaved. Sometimes it would bleed and scab over. In the last year it became enough of a nuisance that I asked him to go to the dermatologist when our son had an appointment and ask about it. I’m so glad he did. The area was skin cancer. It is the only area and it has been completely removed. It happened quickly and other than 12 stitches, pretty painless. The stitches are out and the doctor did a very good job placing them just along the smile lines and as it heals I think the scar will be hidden when he smiles. He smiles a lot! We are feeling blessed that it was only that. But, wow, it really shocked us and you better believe when I’m putting sunscreen on all the kids at baseball games, I will totally be the wife to walk out the the field where he is coaching and put more on him too!
As he was getting his stitches, an appointment I had hoped to attend with him, I was actually home with a sick boy. Our son Rowen got Influenza B twice this year. The second time he also had pneumonia. It did require him to stay a night in the hospital for extra fluids and meds and then several days at home as he regained strength and we waited out a bout of Influenza going around his school. It was the first time one of our boys needed hospitalized and we realized how underprepared we were. It worked out because Jason’s mom and several other people showed up big time when we needed them. But we now know we need to have a plan and need to have another person or two that can give the boys medicine if we are both at the hospital or an out of town hospital is required.
Towards the end of January our son Chance sprained his MCL at basketball practice. At first we thought it might even need surgery, but thankfully a couple weeks of crutches, a knee brace, and physical therapy was all that was required. It was tough on him, he loves playing sports and this ended his basketball season and delayed the start of his baseball season. He handled it as well as could be expected and has been rather mature about the process. Let me tell you though, that he has been jubilant the past week because he was cleared to practice.
I know how much Chance helps with his brothers and around the house, but his injury really showed us what a helpful and giving young man he is. It was also good for the entire family to come together to help him when he was not allowed to put weight on his knee. Maybe I’m just wishfully thinking, but I think his brothers even realized how much he helps them and seem to be more thoughtful about asking him for help, instead of demanding it.
Resilient seems to be a good word for me and my family this year and in this season of healing. I always think the next thing is the one that will do us in. But that next thing never stops us. Sometimes it slows us down and we have to find new footing, but we keep going. In this, all of what I just shared, we have done a lot of giving it up. We alone cannot do this, any of this, but when we let God do the heavy lifting, it’s possible. I think that it’s not been realization, because I knew this is how it is supposed to work, but I’ve come to a place where I figured out how to actually do it. I’m not perfect at it by any means, I stumble nearly every step and there are going to me places I fall. I’m sure I will spend the rest of my earthy life working at it. I’m learning how to give up control; learning to wait on his timing, not mine; and I’m learning how to ask him to meet me where I am, especially in the hard places.