Today I knelt down and prayed for some peace. I’ve been living my life all wrong and what better time to start over than this season of lent. I have wasted precious prayers on speeding life up. When my kids were little I wanted them to grow out of certain phases faster. When the day is difficult, I want the week to speed ahead to Friday. When the year is filled with hard and heart broken, I want to jump ahead to the next one leaving the difficult one behind. I rush the moments that I will never get back. Even now, I want the next 8 days to fast forward so I will be sitting on a plane on my way to California for spring break. The truth is we don’t have a special button that will move us through time at our own will. This isn’t our plan. It never was. I have come to the realization that there are mountains we all have to climb. Things we must overcome to lead us to the person we are meant to be. There are no shortcuts, no passes on pain or hard times. We have to learn to find peace in our skin as our hearts experience the unthinkable or our pulse races to a dangerously high pace. More than ever, those are the moments we must strive to find faith and comfort knowing the moment won’t last and a new one is just around the corner waiting for us to arrive. We have to stop fighting and surrender to what is. How do we sit calmly in a place that makes us feel so uncomfortable? How do we stop fighting what is and just relax and let it be? What does it take? Faith? Hope? Confidence?
The next forty days I am going to pray that I find peace in my uncomfortable moments. I pray that I find a way to embrace each and every day regardless of the circumstances. I don’t want to speed the moments up and sit in regret as I look back and wish I enjoyed them more. Every day is precious and each one holds challenges and blessings. Rather than wanting to change my life, I am seeking a way to see it in a new way that will help me experience less of the anxiety and fear that rob me of my peace and the intention to embrace more joy and hope. Perception is the difference in a good and bad day…a good and bad life. Today, I pray for a new perspective on my own life and that even on the darkest days, I will find beauty. Life is too short to miss or rush a single moment. Today I make it my intention to slow down and focus on the things that really matter. I pray for a calm in this storm that is raging inside of me and a renewed hope and faith that I am not alone. I pray for peace inside of myself and throughout the world.
It was a rough night. I’m not going to lie. The cruelty and judgement that have been fired toward me and my daughter over this GoFundme situation just doesn’t seem to stop. Not only are people attacking her, strangers have tried to message me to tell me what a dirtbag I have for a daughter. The truth is, even though I know none of what they believe is true, I’m sensitive and it really hurts. I can’t for the life of me understand what makes people think they’ve got things so figured out. They see a snipet of someone’s life and they write a story and publish it for the world to see. I get that it’s just a story, their story and far from the truth but still my heart is heavy. People have become snipers only their weapon of destruction has become their words. Today I pray I find some relief from the judgement and contempt we are experiencing in the world. I pray to find forgiveness towards the ones who do not realize the lives they destroy. I pray for peace, kindness, compassion and understanding and the strength to get through this obstacle that has been placed before us. I beg you today, if you post anything on the internet today about another person, even the presidential candidates, use your words and your voice to lift others up and not destroy their reputation or tear them down. Now, more than ever we need a movement towards respect and kindness. Please tell me you will join my army and fight for humanity once again. Please hear this plea because it is so important in turning things around in such troubled times. Be better. Be kinder. Be quiet if you don’t have something nice to say.
I talk to my parents everyday and I have to admit some of our silly talks are downright amusing. Today I called and my dad seemed pretty agitated. He explained he was late for a doctors appointment and when I asked him why he doesn’t get going, he told me he was still waiting for my mom to get ready. Apparently, she had running behind because she was completely absorbed in her ipad. I get it. While she was here visiting, I was frustrated with her as well and for the very same reason. This is when he lost the argument. He said, “Kim, do you know what I saw on a church kiosk? Ipod ipad, I pray.” It was pretty obvious my dad was insinuating that praying has been replaced with little handheld devices and I admit, to a point, I tend to agree. However, I own and ipad and I am proud to admit that not one night ends without me laying in my bed saying my prayers. Then I asked my dad if he prays every day. His response? “I have to go Kim”. Guess what? He will not touch an ipad and I think it’s pretty safe to put myself out there and guess he does not pray each and every day.
I am slightly offended over the insulation that people who have phones and computers do not pray. That their God as to say has been replaced by endless hours of texting, typing, checking email, and playing video games. And though I agree that people waste a great deal of time on things that are less important than living and practicing religion, I believe a person of faith will still make time to pray even while owning every technological device on the market. So, a little chuckle for my dad trying to make a silly point. He just wasn’t going to win this one with ME.
Recently, I heard of a story on Facebook from a friend who knows a 9 month little boy named Alex. I knew immediately, when I glanced at the picture of that little boy in his hospital bed, that the yellow color of his skin indicated some type of liver problem. Recently, the mom had a procedure to remove part of her liver and transplant it into her child’s sick body. I cannot even imagine the fear and desperation these parents must be going through. Imagine, how even one minute could drag on and on hoping and waiting to see if that tiny body would accept or reject that magical new liver that could save their child’s life. How helpless they must have felt, sitting at the edge of his bed waiting and watching for a hopeful sign. Well, now I was waiting and watching too. I couldn’t help but feel drawn to this situation as I quietly prayed. Eventually, an update showed up saying his body had accepted the liver and things were looking up. I imagine his parents felt a sense of relief and maybe for the first time in a long time were able to get some sleep. The next post that came along actually brought me to tears. See, little Alex, on top of all the struggles his body was already trying to deal with, suffered a stroke. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Really, a stroke? Why? This tiny baby, that had only been in this world for 9 short months, had already endured so much and now this. I believe they referred to it as a bump in the road. The next update addressed the results of his MRI that showed evidence Alex would have some type of visual impairment on top of now….permanent brain damage. There was no way to tell in the immediate days to follow how it would affect him, and now along with his new droopy eyelid, they would have to wait and see the extent of the damage. The words turned into a total blur on the page. My heart aches for those young parents. The amount of strength and love to stay so upbeat and positive while celebrating and focusing on the one thing in their minds that was good, and that was as they put it , Alex is ALIVE. Yes, that was the update. I am thinking of how horrible this situation is and trying to make some kind of sense of it, while they find the courage to describe it as another minor setback. I am amazed by them and inspired by their strength of character. This morning, when I woke up, was the most recent post that reported Alex recently suffered a collapsed lung, but is now breathing peacefully with the help of his chest tube.
I don’t know what the future holds for little Alex. It’s stories like his that make us go deep inside ourselves and examine our faith. There is no amount of reasoning or common sense that can explain something like this away. What is it that keeps us hoping and believing that everything will eventually turn out alright? No matter what the situation, we have to get through it because sometimes that is our only choice. It reminds me of a quote I once heard, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand”. It is how we play that hand that determines who we are. Isn’t it amazing that the same hand can be played so differently depending on our faith and perspective? Play it carefully and wisely, because we only get one chance to get it right. Hug your babies, hold them tight. Count your blessings, and know, no matter how bad you think you have it, there is always someone that has it a whole lot worse. I am really touched by this story and pray Alex will be alright. I can’t help but also pray, that if I ever need it, that I too will find the strength of these two very remarkable parents. It is in our most difficult moments that somehow we transcend beyond what is humanly possible. We find physical strength and spiritual strength that is stronger than any disease, any circumstance, or any obstacle that stands before us. Trust in that strength, because it will always see us through. Sometimes, it takes someone this little to teach us how to fight BIG! Keep fighting little guy…