The Strength is in the Struggle

Ever up at night unsure, uneasy, confused and fall asleep to tears only to wake up with the questions, “what now” and “why”? I know you have. I have. And our struggles may look different from one another, but it’s in that struggle that you find strength to get up and keep going. With unanswered questions, your inner awesome says, “this way” and quietly as you follow, you find that this might not have been what you pictured or planned or even hesitate to step toward, but as you take that step - a step with fear and nervousness - you’re embraced with peace and pushed with confidence.

In the last 19 years, I met and fell in love with a little boy who is now a young man and in those 19 years, he’s taught me how to love openly and abundantly, that pain will heal, and there’s nothing greater than doing this life together. I hope that one day you meet this kid, my kid and I hope one day you feel the calmness he makes me feel when he’s in the room. I hope you see his smile and feel the warmth that it embodies. I hope he shares his story with you and it empowers you to keep moving toward the direction you’re created to go.

Until that day, from a mama’s heart to yours, meet my boy - it’s his birthday today and in this little creative nook of mine, I wish him the best of everything and through the way, when it gets hard to remember: that’s where you find your strength, you always have.

When you see him, you would never know when he was 12, he had to adjust to a life of limited diets, blood draws and the news of having a rare kidney disease.

When you see him, you would never know that while his high school friends were deciding what to wear and who to go to Homecoming with, he was wondering when he would get a new kidney to live.

When you see him, you would never know that while other kids his age were enjoying the summer at the lake, he was inside a dialysis clinic.

When you see him, you would never know that while his friends were excited about getting their driver’s licenses, he was excited to get discharged from the hospital - yet again.

When you see him, you would never know that when I told him he’s getting his transplant and it was time to go to the hospital, he said, “I don’t know how to feel because someone died.”

When you see him, you would never know less than a year ago, he lost his uncle who he looked up to and was like a brother to him.

When you see him, you would never know that today he has so many questions, so many uncertainties, so many fears.

When you see him, you would never know that inside of him is all sorts of mad strength to get up and take on what the day has in store for him. You would never know. But I do know and I’m sharing this with you because that apprehension you feel, that pain in your chest, that unknown you fear - on the other side is peace, joy, laughter, love, kindness, gentleness, friendship, hope. On the other side, there’s all sorts of crazy goodness. Whatever the struggle, you too will look back and say, “that was hard and I didn’t like it, but I made it through” and you can decide what to do with it.

This kid, my kid, has struggled and didn’t make it his weakness but made it his strength. Find your strength and get beyond the struggle. There’s life there. A fine life. Made especially for you.

Love you Boy. Happy Birthday.

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