The Comeback…

“…There is no mountain you can’t face

There is no giant you can’t take

All of your tears were not a waste

You’re one step away…” Danny Gokey

We listen to a good deal of Contemporary Christian music.  There are other tastes among us, but often, especially in the car – we listen to this.  It’s been a few years since we’ve had a church where we all felt comfortable and at home, although we possess strong, deeply rooted faith.  This music helps keep us focused when things can otherwise seem blurry.

This particular song surfaced a few weeks ago.  Meghan was battling to make a comeback from knee surgery 7, and seven was NOT a lucky number.

When you’ve been through the operating room 18 times and it’s still a week before your 14th birthday – you can call yourself somewhat of a professional at recovery.

We left the hospital with our list of directions.  We went to the surgical follow-up.  We scheduled PT.  We even held an extra week before restarting swim.  There were crutches for a very long time – used responsibly.  So, when she had done everything right, and her body decided to push back – hard, she was understandably angry and very frustrated.

No one really had a solid explanation for the fluid that overtook that knee almost 5 weeks post operatively.  But, there never really is a solid explanation.  I’d like to say we’re used to it.  But, I don’t like to lie.

There were more crutches, and more PT with the BEST PT in the whole wide world.  (We LOVE Dr. Jill – because she works on the WHOLE kid.  She gets that they are more than the body part giving them trouble. I know of NONE quite like her.)  There was increase in strength and range of motion.  There was a return to (half) swim practices.

There has been diligent icing after swim.  There has been stretching and strengthening because, quite frankly, she WANTS to feel better.

We joked around during the month of June, how nice it would be if we could make July a “doctor- free” month.  We longingly imagine the same scenario every year.  What if summer could be time to relax?  What if we could take day trips?  What if we could come and go, and rejuvenate?

I just counted 20 medical appointments between us over the last 31 days.  There are 2 more tomorrow.

Chronic illness is a real drag at any age.  When it happens to a child or a teen it makes everything that is already hard about growing up – even more of a challenge.

When you are in an almost constant state of recovery, you can find yourself tired.  Fighting so hard just to get back to where you were can make you feel like a hamster stuck in a wheel.

Chronic illness, constant pain, surgical recovery, ongoing surveillance, and all the other “fun” things that accompany Cowden’s Syndrome – or any other “it’s sticking around FOREVER” illness can leave you wiped out.

It’s hard to build relationships, friendships, or even a social group when you aren’t able to do so many of the things people take for granted every day.  There are days you quite simply run out of “spoons.”

https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

But, in life there are more times than not that we have choices.  I try to model for my daughter, but so often she models for me.  You can choose to sit alone.  You can choose to let pain, fear, anxiety and frustration take hold.  You can choose to be sad.  You can choose to be mad.  Or you can realize that life is hard.  Everyone’s life is hard.  Life is also full of blessings.

When you realize that this is your life, and you decide you’re going to make the best of it- that’s when you dig in. You climb up that mountain, one step at a time…

I admire many things about my daughter.  She is not perfect – neither am I.  But in her soul, there is a “Never Give Up” attitude that permeates all things.  There is a constant quest for equity and justice, not just for her, but for all she interfaces with.  There is a compassionate need to help others.  There is a desire to be successful in spite of her circumstances – not because of them.

She always says she loves to swim because regardless – she has to meet the same time standards as everyone else.  Somehow it makes each comeback a little sweeter.

No one else would likely know, or realize, or remember.  But, we know.

First year on the high school team.  The season starts right after school.  She’ll be ready.

That’s why we will always remain

#beatingcowdens

 

“…There is no mountain you can’t face

There is no giant you can’t take

All of your tears were not a waste

You’re one step away…” Danny Gokey

This video is worth your time…

 

Danny Gokey – The Comeback 
After a season of nightfalls and pushbacks
After the heartache of wrong turns and sidetracks
Just when they think they’ve got you game, set, match
Here comes the comeback
Just cause you laid low, got up slow, unsteady
Don’t mean you blacked out or bought out you’re ready
Just when they think there’s nothing left running on empty
Here comes the comeback
(chorus)
This is your time, your moment 
The fire, the fight, you’re golden
You’ve come so far keep going
Here comes the comeback, comeback
You feel the lightning, the thunder, your soul shakes
Under the roar of the heaven, the tide breaks
And from the ashes you will take your place
Here comes the comeback
(chorus)
This is your time, your moment 
The fire, the fight, you’re golden
You’ve come so far keep going
Here comes the comeback, comeback
There is no mountain you can’t face
There is no giant you can’t take
All of your tears were not a waste
You’re one step away
Just when they think they’ve got you game, set, match
Here comes the comeback
(chorus)
This is your time, your moment 
The fire, the fight, you’re golden
You’ve come so far keep going
Here comes the comeback, comeback

“Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God…”

lutheran church, sydney
lutheran church, sydney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The line rings in my head.  The internet gives me the artist’s name as “Dishwalla.”  The song doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but then again the whole religion thing can be very confusing.

I have a belief in God, and faith that there is a higher power running the show here.  In many ways that confidence keeps me sane.  I mean, what would be the purpose of it all?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that we are selected to suffer.  Not with cancer, tumors, genetic disorders, or anything of the sort.  I do however believe that God can give purpose and meaning to our lives.  If we seek it, we get confidence to endure the tough times, and purpose.  A “share your experiences,” be helpful in every way you can, “pay it forward” kind of purpose.

What I haven’t sorted out, even after all these years, is well, what are the rules?

I mean, I was raised Lutheran.  I was baptized, confirmed, married, and baptized my daughter in the same church.  I spent my youth in that church.  Survived high school with close friends there, and always enjoyed the connection with the people.  I believe in the theology I was raised with, and I love the people I worshipped with for so long.  But I no longer believe in that church.

The minister has been there for almost 2 years.  Long enough to know the people in the congregation he serves.  And yet, I have gone through one of the most emotionally tumultuous years of my life and he has never extended a hand.  We had a long talk about it.  It yielded nothing.  He doesn’t care.  So, I haven’t been to worship there for months.  I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt me.  It pains me deeply.  But to me worship has to be about God, and it has to be led by people of God. 

See, to me it doesn’t matter if you are catholic, Lutheran, or any other of the million religions out there.  I believe for the most part we all serve the same God.  What matters to me are the underlying values that go with being a person of faith.

Are you kind to others?  Are you tolerant, and understanding of differences?  Do you judge others, or do you leave the judging to God?  Do you extend a hand to a friend in need?  Do you lend an ear when someone needs to talk?  Do you hug your loved ones?  Do you value, truly value the gifts of your family, friends, and those you are yet to meet?

Those are the questions I ask myself as I interact with people each day.  And I ask those questions of ME, not them.  It is my role to be there, to be a person of faith, to share my love for others.  I don’t think it has as much to do with what building you walk into, as it does with how you live your life.

My brother-in-law is a Lutheran minister.  And, while I have at times not always agreed with him on everything (who does?)  he models what a Christian leader should be.  He has been there for me, as I try to sort out the many thoughts in my head, and his words have provided me some clarity on some tough issues.

So, I know I guess, what I need.  Now the question is where to find it?  I made a promise when I had my daughter baptized that I would teach her.  I do, but I would like so much to have a “home” base where she can be comfortable again.  This is all so confusing to her, and yet even as I watch, her faith grows.

We tried another Lutheran church.  I am just not feeling it.  We are floating right now – seeking.  But God has a plan.  Of this I am sure.

You see I am confident that the same God who sent the angels to watch over my daughter and I.  The one who blessed us with this Cowden’s Syndrome diagnosis (yes, you read “blessed” because as I see it, if she had not ever been diagnosed I would have died of the breast cancer that was hiding inside of me,) will stick by us, no matter where we travel.

I will continue to do my best to live the life of a woman of faith.  I previously sharply defined myself as Lutheran.  Now, maybe Christian is just a better term.

Forgive my ramblings, and I know this is a touchy topic.  But if you are reading this – drop a comment.  For lack of a better phrase,

“Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God…”  I really want to hear them.

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)