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

“Music, … When it hits you, you feel no pain.”

Since Meghan’s surgery last Tuesday, she and her wrapped hand, and foam “Carter’s Block,” have been sleeping in the king size bed with me, while Daddy has slept in the twin in Meghan’s room.

She usually needs a little bit of room, as she isn’t the calmest sleeper, but we knew with the new foam addition, there would be no way the three of us could fit.  So, with Meghan came her pillows, and her iPad.

no sleep

Her iPad has a playlist that she plays through the night when she sleeps.  I always knew it was on, but this past week, as life has made sleep a bit elusive, I have gotten opportunity to listen to this 23 minute segment several times.  Yesterday I looked up the lyrics, and as usual I was in awe of what she had assembled.

In our house we listen mostly to Contemporary Christian music.  We are Christian, yes.  But typically the type that tries to spread the love by example rather than with a Bible in your face.  That being said, the move to Contemporary Christian music evolved after Meghan became old enough to hear, sing, and understand the lyrics, and the DJs on the radio.

I was, on more than one occasion, appalled at the level of exposure my then 5 or 6 year old child had to things I wanted her sheltered from a bit longer.  So, I switched the station.  And I kept it there.

Now, don’t misunderstand,  She is not bound to listen only to Christian music.  She can pretty much listen to whatever she wants.  She has an Itunes account and downloads music of her choosing, with our permission.  And, there are plenty of afternoons you will hear a good Classic Rock station blaring out our car windows.  But, like anything else, my initial changing of the radio station led to conversations.  And I like conversations.

Meghan became aware that many of her friends at school were familiar with other musical artists that she had never heard of.  So, it became practice that every time she brought home the name of an artist or song, as long as it wasn’t overly offensive – we would buy it.  But I loved that our conversations got her looking at lyrics, hearing what she was singing along to, and taking responsibility for her choices.

I know that music is a very personal thing. I will not be the Mom who is in denial, or tries to over regulate.  It will lead to rebellion and there is no need.  I will talk to my daughter regularly about valuing herself, her body, and other people.  We will talk about what lyrics mean.  Then, she will, as preteens do – do as she likes.

But for now- the “sleep” selection on her iPad is a powerful collection of 6 Contemporary Christian songs.

The first is “Stronger” by Mandisa that begins…

“Stronger”

Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain’t right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you’re asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather
Oh, don’t hang your head
It’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even if it’s hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares
Then, it  moves on to Kutless, “That’s What Faith Can Do”
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you’re stronger
Stronger than you knowDon’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining
I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason
For someone not to tryEverybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright

Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

Followed by “Courageous” by Casting Crowns
Seek justice
Love mercy
Walk humbly with your GodIn the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the handIn the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the handWe were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

Fourth up is “Blessings” by Laura Story
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe’
Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home
And the last 2 are by a somewhat spunky artist called Francesa Batistelli
“Motion of Mercy”
That’s the motion of mercy
Changing the way and the why we are
That’s the motion of mercy
Moving my heartLiving for the lost
Loving ‘til it hurts
No matter what the cost
Like You loved me first
That’s the motion of mercy
God give me strength to give something for nothing
I wanna be a glimpse of the Kingdom that’s coming soon
And finally – “This is the Stuff”
I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please ’cause I can’t find my phone
This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I’m blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I’ve gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this the stuff You use…
…So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I’ve got a new appreciation
It’s not the end of the world…
I know everyone’s taste in music differs greatly, and I do not expect that anyone will listen to all 6 of these.  But I encourage you- choose one.  Any one that speaks to you.
I have been struggling to get to sleep, but I will miss the soothing repetition of some of the most powerful songs I know when the stitches come out tomorrow.  One more night.  Then everyone gets back to their own beds!
music no pain