I’ve become a real big girl in these past few years. I mean, I am 44 years old. So, in theory, I really should behave like a strong, determined, positive, aware adult but that hasn’t been the case.
Are you all grown up and settled into your best life? Yeah, I didn’t think so. In my 44 years of well-earned wisdom, I’m here to tell you:
1. You are ok
2. Keep Going
3. There’s so much more to learn
My trigger for this random post was a #2 Ticonderoga. Lily put the freshly sharpened pencil in my face and asked, “Aren’t pointy pencils the best?” And just like that, my heart got all heavy and achey.
Remember when Joseph was sick? If you don’t, here’s the recap: For 18 months or so, Joseph was declining before our eyes. His brain was so swollen from whatever he was fighting that his eyes went crossed and stayed there. He had 11 lesions on his brain. He’d lost 14 pounds and was losing muscle tone every day. He struggled through brain fog. The swelling also gave him hypersensitivity to just about everything. My little boy was slipping away in front of us and no one knew why and no one knew what to do.
Among many visits to many doctors, there was one I looked forward to and that was our weekly check up with the ophthalmologist. Dr. Collins always offered a calm voice in the chaos of appointments and tests and diagnoses.
One visit, Dr. Collins gave us homework. A daily assignment for me and Joseph.
And I didn’t want to do it.
Her instructions were for Joseph and I to sit across from each other, knee to knee. I was to hold up a sharpened pencil right in front of his little nose and then move the pencil slowly to the left and back to center. And repeat. And repeat until his eye got tired. Then we would do the same to the right.
Try to imagine how hard it was looking at my boy back then. I would willingly sit beside him and sketch with him. I would happily make him cookies and hold him in my lap and feel him relax.
But this homework was making me do something I was avoiding; I would have to face Joseph. I would have to look him in the literal eye and face what was scaring me. And I would have to do it again and again.
And I did my homework. Every night, I faced Joseph and we did eye exercises. I looked right into his eyes that were confused and trying and saw a little boy much the same.
I learned that when those tiny, spidery vessels would show up turning his eyes red; he would want to keep pushing. So, I learned to hold back my tears and push him to keep going. I fought with God in my head, “Why is this happening? What is even happening?” I learned how determined Joseph is. I learned I could face the hard stuff.
Only God could use a daily eye exercise to train up my heart.
What little thing could you start doing today to train your heart?
If I can do it, you can do it. Face the hard thing – with a friend, in prayer, through therapy – Face the hard thing.
Maybe screenshot this verse from 2 Timothy 1:7 and repeat it every day.
Mighty. Power. Love. Self-Control.
God made you stronger than you know.
Remind me of this when I’m wimping out later today💗