2019 has been a different year for me. It’s been a year of reckoning. It’s been a year of discovery and healing – healing on so many more levels than just healing from surgery last year. It’s been a year of learning… of gaining patience and confidence, wisdom and strength. It’s forced me to look within myself and get a grasp for more than just a fleeting moment of conquering – but more so attain a stronghold grip on what it actually takes to push forward, and do what each day requires.
For me, looking at this scar everyday is surreal. It’s weird because it’s this giant scar on the front of my body that wasn’t there a year ago. Something like this can easily switch a gear or two in the realm of your confidence.
Being insecure in our appearance is normal, we all do it, it’s easy to fall prey to… especially if it’s something we can’t alter or change entirely.
For more than a decade, my truth has been wasting of the inner calves, poor balance, and hundreds of tumors wrecking hundreds of various and assorted nerves throughout my body to the point where it gravely restrains me from normal physical capabilities. From the outside, I look relatively normal, until you study the imperfections. Yes, I limp. Yes, my hips are out of whack. But it’s so much more than just structural issues that I have going on. I can’t walk normal because I can’t utilize the muscles that normal people do. I get around o.k…. I’ve found a way around it, but, walking a straight line – I kinda can’t. I waver, I bump into walls, I trip, I’m completely uncoordinated and unbalanced. I have no motor function from the ankles down, so, naturally I’m more than unsteady on my feet and it shows. There’s no hiding it. Even despite all of that, I still sort of look like a healthy young woman on the outside…. until you see one of my MRI pictures. Then it all kinda comes together – at least a little anyways. For some, it’s unfortunately beyond the realm of comprehension just how serious and bleak the reality truly is.
I look relatively fit, but I can’t “work out.” I do what I can with a plant based diet, but I’m by no means “in shape,” or “tone.” I do some push-ups at home, and walk Tippet, beyond that, my general career, is generally my gym. So while just working a few short hours every work day, doesn’t have me ripped and ready for fitness modeling – it does provide an income. So, there’s that.
Scars are’t always visible. Many scars, if not, most of them, are invisible. Although they have a tendency to make home in our minds or in our hearts, they sometimes have a tendency to reflect on the surface. For some it reflects as a verbal explosion, while others shrivel up in emotional angst and misery.
This year I’ve seen colors in my life I never have before. Colors that highlight people, events and circumstances with brighter vibrancy -assisting in a fresh perspective. It’s allowed for clearer focus, and steady focused realization of real life. I’ve gained a new iron-lined stomach, so that digesting truth and realism, are easier.
So, that’s what 2019 has been… a bunch of realizations that cause ya to step back for a minute or two.
I’m stomaching the realization that I’ll never ride again, and will be selling my mountain bike. I’m gaining the understanding that the resecting of tumors, results in numb skin – and right now if I go the route of surgery – I welcome numb genetalia and a complete loss of sensory function. Forever. It’s the understanding, no matter how lame and superficial it may sound, that there is no vacation, because the travel isn’t possible. It’s such a simple thing and not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but still, it means watching everyone you know take a beach trip, and you can’t. And it stinks. Hey, I’m human. It’s me assimilating to a schedule that my body can navigate through a little better, digesting that my body can still only accomplish so much on any given day, and some days, it will be less than normal or expected, and that’s okay! It’s coming to grips with the fact that people change, and therefore so do relationships. It’s the basic overall comprehension of living day to day, but, minute by minute, one footstep at a time.
It’s realizing that life is ever changing, and keeping up with the beat of the drum will keep you on your toes. Call it stressful, hectic or chaotic if you need – but it molds you. There’s no doubt about it. The pressures of this life and all it’s avenues of drama, struggles, tears, and fears, will have you white knuckling the steering wheel of life, and subconsciously at that. Not knowing what lies in the twists, turns and blind corners of the life drive is sometimes for the best. God seriously did us a favor designing our frail bodies and minds with the capability of being able to only handle one twenty-four hour time span at a time. No way we could be saddled with any more than the weight of one day’s worth of burden. So, each day that we move about our stress-ridden, busy lives that demand our undivided attention and irreplaceable time, we need to just get the fact that, unpleasant as it may be at times…… our mire, is like our own personal version of American Ninja Warrior, made by God Himself, and He is using that course, to build us. I fully believe that. So, when we get to the finish, whenever that is, however long or short it takes… by the end of our life, I believe that our purpose was eventually fulfilled. Whatever we accomplished, inspired, helped along, or sacrificed – was essentially carried, and continued to completion, however poetic, or tragic it may be. If it is tragic, the visible devastation, is no reflection of the true impact it leaves behind. That means that even if you, or others close to you can’t make sense of it, or simply don’t have the answer, doesn’t mean it wasn’t for a greater more positive purpose. Your struggle, and the willingness to push forward, is someone else’s motivation to push through their battle. Your ripple in this life pond is unique to you, and it’s one that bears importance. You matter.
With this scar comes the death of things, but with it, comes the life of new courage. It brings about victories over obstacles and challenges. New strength is revealed. Maybe not physical strength… but mental, spiritual, and emotional strength. And Praise God for it too.
Let 2019 be the year that molds all of us into better people, stronger soldiers, braver warriors, and more loyal friends. Let this year be the year that carves out our resiliency, and recalibrates our spirit. Let us plow forward in steadfast motivation, anxious to annihilate the fears that hold us back from achieving all that we are capable of.
Let us see that the role God wants each of us to fill, is uniquely tailored to the warrior, not the masses. Let us accept the challenge to leap to our calling with confidence, and leave timidity behind.
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