Saturday, February 14, 2015

Back to the Start

Life is a collection of moments. Events that become treasured memories. Experiences that broaden your horizons. Encounters that change your outlook. Disappointments that break your heart. Tragedies that touch your soul. Each moment is a gift, in its own way, no matter how painful. "For in my deepest wound I saw Your glory, and it dazzled me." (St. Augustine)

The afternoon of February 15, 2010, just after one o'clock, is once such moment in my life. I can remember it with crystal clarity all these years later; I suspect that memory will always be razor-sharp. My life changed in that instant. It took less than 30 seconds to hear the words, "Your son's newborn screening came back positive for cystic fibrosis." I can still remember exactly how I felt - as if I had been punched in the stomach and temporarily lost the ability to breathe. Time stood completely still.

It's weird the thoughts that run through your mind as you're grappling to digest such devastating news. I sincerely wondered how people could still be living their lives like nothing happened. I could not process the fact that television shows still aired and people still went to the grocery store and the roads were still full of cars. Laughter fell like discordant music on my ears. I no longer enjoyed activities I once loved. I craved solitude but couldn't stand to be alone. I longed to pour out my broken heart but had no words.

The darkest hour is just before dawn. Time heals all wounds. Courage is not always a roar.

Be still and know that I am God.

"I can't" eventually gave way to "I will." Praise the Lord, I found my way. I found my voice. I found my cause. I found my joy.

On this anniversary of that dark day I find myself feeling hopeful rather than sorrowful. Joyful instead of brokenhearted. I am grateful for this journey, for the thorns that make us all-the-more appreciative of the roses. I am humbled by the healing we have experienced in these past five years, both physically and emotionally. I am strengthened by the continual outpouring of support, encouragement, and love of friends and family.

Beauty from ashes, indeed.

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