Possible . . . that was my word for last year. A word that ended up guiding me in a completely different way than I had expected. Ever.
I didn't just want to know about the possibilities, I wanted to believe them possible. But what I got was so much more.
In sharing my word last year I told the story of taking our son to an intensive two day camp to learn pole vaulting for the very first time (full story here). About how I wasn't seeing joy in his face, and that I could see his heart wasn't wholeheartedly into it, how it was hard and technical, and how there were no instantaneous results.
Our resilience, our souls, are so dependent on that realm of possible and so often we give up too easily. Because we don't see the joy, and because it's hard and yes at times it feels technical and because there are no instantaneous results. Often, there is nothing tangible to grasp, especially when faced with adversity. And in those times possible sometimes just feels impossible.
What I discovered was a whole new definition of possible. One that reminded me of just how strong I am and that I can still exist in possibility even in the midst of adversity. And that joy, and hope and faith, well they are all still capable of existing through it as well.
God helped show me a path to joy among the pain through the raising of monarch butterflies. I saw the possibilities of hope and beauty that can come from change...it helped me hang on to that mustard seed of faith that I so desperately needed.
I debated whether or not to share some of the details, but I think it's important in understanding the journey of that one little word . . . possible. Because it has come full circle starting with that two day camp.
Not quite 3 months after that camp my son came to me in the morning, after seeming to be perfectly fine the day before, and he had fallen extremely ill. He ran 104 temp (for nearly two weeks) and his hands were swollen and red and after 3 visits to two doctors within a week and many blood tests the doctor called on a Tuesday evening at 6 o'clock and told us to take him straight to the Children's hospital, she had called ahead and they were waiting for us. The doctor in the ER said she had never seen inflammation markers that high before. Needless to say we spent the night in the hospital, and while they ruled out many possibilities there was no definitive answer. Within a few weeks, and after a bone marrow biopsy to rule out yet one more thing, he was diagnosed with a systemic form of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for which there is no cure. He was weak, had lost weight, and at one point he couldn't hold a cup to his mouth or open a water bottle. He missed 4 1/2 consecutive weeks of high school and was too sick to even get homework.
And then for the next few months we would battle even more issues, and weekly visits to the children's hospital for his infusions and blood work, more tests and a CT scan for a heart scare and MRI's, and then one last setback with a rare leg bleed in the compartments of his muscles that would put him back in hospital that last two days of school. It would be nearly 5 months before he was released to go back to any kind of physical activity and only two weeks before football started.
And through it all this is what I learned was possible from my son . . .
I learned that at 15 years old it is possible to possess humility and courage, he never complained. Not Ever. I learned that it's possible to always hold on to hope, he never lost it. I learned that it's possible to have an enormous amount of grit and determination because when I was unsure and afraid of all the possibilities, I saw my son believe them all possible. And this my friends, was what I had set out to accomplish with my word. I just didn't know this was how it would play out.
At that camp, Coach Hood talked about three important parts to a successful jump. Run...plant...takeoff. They're important because they are the beginning of the jump, and he says that if the beginning is wrong, then the end can't be right. Which brings me, finally, to my word for this year...intentional with a side of simplicity. I want to be more intentional about my take off so that my landings are a little smoother. I want to be more intentional in my photography, and in writing more and in letting my passions drive more of my actions. I want to be more intentional with my time, and trying new things, and just with life in general.. I want to be more intentional about the things that are important to me, and yet I want to keep it as simple as possible.
What about you, have you chosen a word for this year?
sharing with Little Things Thursday, Thursday's Favorite Things, Photo Art Friday