Thursday, January 2, 2014

The journey of one little word . . .


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.


You see, not only was he able to get back to playing what he loves, but he worked really hard, with great purpose, and his heart was wholeheartedly into it, and yes it was really hard and no there were no instantaneous results. But his hard work had earned him back his starting position on JV, and at the end of his season he was brought up to varsity for the first (and only) playoff game, starting on kick off return. I wrote this at the end of my story, "That it's sometimes not until that last hour, that last stretch when we see the fruits of our hard work, a glimpse of our own greatness and of our possibilities." And it's taken on a whole new meaning.

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?

Love, Kim


sharing with Little Things Thursday, Thursday's Favorite Things, Photo Art Friday





37 comments:

Miriam said...

This is such a lovely post Kim with very beautiful pictures too. Wishing you & your family a very Happy New Year and so happy that you and your son 'came through' that terrible time.

Susan said...

Kim, your post and photo are just beautiful! You have such a way with words, your strong will and determination to push through to the end inspires me to do the same! I know you have had a rough 2013 as I, but as much as I prayed things didn't seem to get better until I was so tired I just listened for instructions from God as to what, when and where should I go from here. I just had to be still, so my word for 2014 is silent….the letters also spell listen!
Many Blessing for you and your family!

Tamar SB said...

Oh Kim, What a year. So glad Sam was able to get back to what he loves!! Here's to a happy AND healthy 2014!!!

Kerri Farley said...

The tears were flowing as I read this incredible journey that you have had with your son. WOW!
Thank you so much for sharing this!!

Sandra said...

Happy New Year, Kim!
So glad your son's problems sorted themselves out with time and perseverance.
It's the first time I've chosen a word for my year! Yours sounds like a good one!

A Garden of Threads said...

Truly amazing story Kim, love your new word. I have not picked one for this year, instead a phrase: 'Embrace all'. Take care, Jen

Sherri B. said...

Oh Kim, you and your family went through so much in 2013...your son is an incredible human being. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on all you've been through...they touched me deeply. I think my word for this year is "less".

LeAnne said...

Wow, you sure have been through a lot with your son, Kim. I'm absolutely inspired that he's able to do what he does. Thanks so much for sharing your story, even though I know you hesitated. There is such a powerful message here. I love your word for this year, and hope that any surprises that come about in relation to it will be pleasant ones. Happy New Year!

Kim Cunningham said...

Pass the tissues! Oh my. I'm just so inspired. It was hard to know you were struggling so this last year, as only a mom can when watching her child dealing with such things. You both have been such an inspiration. Your words speak to my heart about feelings I have over my own possibilities. And...your journey with the monarchs has been amazing, and poetic just as I said yesterday. Such an object lesson for us all!

Mona's Picturesque said...

I'm in tears. And I'm so happy for you and your son! I wish you'll have a wonderful year 2014 ♥

Linda/patchwork said...

I'm so glad your son is doing so much better.
I know personally how hard it is to have a child with health problems. No matter how old that child is, it's terrifying.
You've chosen a good word, for this new year. And, now you know it's possible.
Happy New Year. Here's hoping for all good things this year.

TesoriTrovati said...

How wonderful! The words we choose frame our year in many unexpected ways. That is what I love about it. My word in 2013 was balance. I am not sure I achieved what I was hoping for based on the diagram I made for myself with written goals, and I still feel a bit off kilter. I am slowing looking for that word for this year to find me. It hasn't lit a spark yet. But I am thinking about it! May 2014 bring you new creative endeavors and a renewed sense of purpose! Enjoy the day. Erin

Cathy said...

It is always amazing to me how resilient young people are. What a journey 2014 was for you. And you have picked a really good word. I think there are a lot of us just wanting to step back a bit and be more intentional, or mindful. I hope 2014 is a beautiful year for you.

Kelly said...

What a post Kim and what a great word for you. I hope it guides you through an amazing 2014. Xo

Dotti said...

I often pray for you and Sam and marvel at where the arduous journey has taken you. He is a brave lad, no question. Your word is excellent! Me, I've not had a lot of success with the word thing so I'm still pondering.

molly said...

Happy New Year Kim and thank you for all the lovely comments on my blog over the last year. Your butterfly shot is absolutely amazing

Mollyxxx

Gail Dixon said...

This is a beautiful post, Kim. I'm so glad the issue with your son had a good outcome. No, a great one! I love your word, and if this post is any indication, I'm sure it will serve you well. Thank you for all your butterfly help last year and helping us all learn so much about the miracles of life!

Kathryn said...

You and your son have been such a huge inspiration especially on those days when I'm feeling low with pain. It's amazing what you guys have battled this year and come out all the stronger for it.

I love your word for the coming year . . . I haven't chosen one yet. I've been sitting here all day staring at a blank screen struggling to find any words that make sense.

Bonnie said...

Well ... I just had to sit quietly for a moment after reading this post to absorb the depth, the heart, the inspiration.

It's wonderful to hear how proud you are of, and how inspired you are by your dear son. He has surely learned how it is possible to live with and move through adversity from you!

Your photo art is beautiful.

I'll have a side of simplicity too, please!

xox

June Caedmon said...

Such an amazing journey, Kim. Thank you for sharing, My word for 2014 is the same. This is something new for me. We'll see how it goes :)

Sarah Huizenga said...

BEAUTIFUL!! I feel like I was on the journey with you the way you wrote this. I was pulling for both your son and you. He learned many great lessons and so did you. That line you wrote at the end of your story "That it's sometimes not until the last hour…" was so moving. Wonderful word for the year!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Your son is very inspirational- what a year you have had. Intentional is a good word. Hope 2014 is the best yet for you all.

Cathy H. said...

This past year has been such a hard one for you and your family! You've handled it with grace and such a wonderful attitude! Hoping that the new year brings you peace and joy!

Davi said...

An inspiring story of your sons journey and perseverance! Life's lessons are sometimes hard but your word intentional has a powerful message to be inspired by. Thanks for sharing that and wishing you a Year filled with opportunity :)

Katarina said...

That's an incredible story with a happy ending. The things we learn from life...
-Good luck with your new intentions!

Marilyn said...

KIm, thanks for sharing your story. What a life lesson that has been. I know you must be so proud of him and his strength, courage, faith and determination. He probably gets it from his Mom!

ormbunke said...

I love butterflies and your pictures. Happy New Year. Ha de gott.

Comfypjs said...

What a beautiful heartfelt post! Thank you for giving me encouragement through this post to help me get through a very difficult situation I am currently facing.

Linda R said...

WOW! What a year you had. So happy to hear it all came out OK and what a great word for this year my friend. Your photo here is gorgeous.

Happy 2014..

Hugs~

NatureFootstep said...

love the buterfly and how the words work well with your last iamge. Godo luck with your intentions. :)

Brenda said...

Your words hold such power and yes, possibilities. I am so glad your son is doing so well - our children can often be our best teachers, yes? Thank you for sharing your journey. Wishing you a year of intentional simplicity.

Ida said...

What a heartwarming story. Your son is a remarkable young man to have endured and persevered through all of that. - I'm so glad he taught lessons to more then just you. - Loving your Monarch photo too.
Happy New Year!

Katherines Corner said...

beautiful post. So happy the outcome is a positive one and life is indeed filled with possible. Thank you for sharing and joining in the fun at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. I am leaving some hugs on your sweet blog

Andrea Dawn said...

Dear Kim . . . Hard to find fresh words to say what has already been said. I have followed your journey through great adversity this past year and used more than a few tissues to mop up afterwards. Your boy has surely learned how to face life's struggles with grace and perseverance from you. Blessings to you and your dear ones this coming year and may it be fruitful and filled with love and joy.

tinajo said...

Beautiful post - must have been so hard on you all to go through this!

Sharon said...

You and your story inspire me! Good for your son and his perseverance. I'm so glad he's feeling better now and "back in the game." I love your word (I chose it 2 years ago and it turned out to spur me on). Blessings to you in 2014!

Liz said...

Hi Kim,
I came back here to read the first post you wrote regarding your son. You write beautifully, with so much passion, love and clarity.
You are so blessed to have such a wonderful son who is clearly a tribute to you and your husband.
I think of you and your family often. I wish we could sit and share over a coffee or tea.
I've never been very successful with thinking about words, particularly over the last 5-6 years.

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