I have always loved school. I was that kid that cried at the end of every school year, that kid that had dreams about school all summer long and couldn’t sleep the night before I donned my new school clothes and shoes. I simply loved learning. I adored my teachers, well most of them. My grades never truly reflected my love for all things academic, but the passion was there just the same.I took my love for learning to college and graduated in the education field in order to spend my life helping others gain a love for learning.
My grandmother never stopped learning. She lived to the age of 95. Her mind and body never stopped until a stroke slowed her down a few months prior. I believe that is in part because she read the newspaper, every article and word, daily. She diligently read her Bible and other books of interest. She knew more about current events than any of her younger family members.
While I love studying my interests and researching my passions, learning must also take place in life experiences. Its so easy to spend the entire day, focusing on the stress of the trial, rather than what God is trying to teach me through it. Once again, I am a student.
Our recent trial has definitely educated me on a few things. This road we’re traveling does not seem to want to ease up any time soon. For now, it seems like the ground is more steady than it has been in months.
Let me back up.
For those who are unfamiliar with our current situation, after moving this past summer, my thirteen year old daughter has suffered from increased chronic pain, preventing her from having any form of “life” a young teen her age should have. No school (except in short spurts at home) and No friends (except on FaceTime), No extracurricular anything, which is pretty much the opposite of what life should be like at 13. Her pain brings exhaustion, which increases anxiety, which causes more pain. The cycle keeps going. While we have finally found the culprit to her pain, getting it under control is another journey altogether, involving medicinal and natural routes, due to the severity.
“You must be so relieved.” Of course.
”You finally have an answer”. Finally.
But, this mama ain’t breathing easy yet. For now, our days will continue with therapies, doctors appointments, and waiting. Waiting to see if this or that makes any difference on her level pain, emotions, or quality of life.
If I could make a list of things this trial is teaching me, number one would be:
I have learned to fight, to have perseverance, grit, and gumption.
Well educated doctors, have beat me down with their misconceptions. Well meaning people in my life have pummeled me with their judgement. Guilt over laying down my daughter’s school education for her health has nearly shattered me.
But for this child, I will stop at nothing until I KNOW we have done everything to make sure she is living the life she is called to lead. As pain free as possible. I have not stopped until all of the pieces of the puzzle are complete and I feel now, that they are.
This is all part of my journey just as your challenges are a part of yours. There are days that bed seems to be the only place I need to be…and that is okay. There are other days that putting both feet on the floor is the only way to encourage my daughter to keep moving and persevering herself.
I must never stop being a student, because through my learning, I am teaching my daughter. I hope she sees my grit when a doctor’s diagnosis pushes me to search for alternative answers. I hope she sees my gumption when I stand up to educators who can not grasp her level of pain.
In this race, I have found, whatever qualities are being cultivated in us, are then being planted in others. While God is tending perseverance in me, He may be prepping the soil for it in my daughter.
“We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4
Life is hard. We can’t keep our kids in a bubble, no matter how much we want to, and we shouldn’t. If my child has to endure the trials of this life, then by golly, I am going to teach her how to lace up her gloves, put up her dukes, and be prepared for whatever comes her way. She will look back and remember this trial, this time of getting pummeled, then remember how we stood back up and kept fighting. It will carry her through the next challenge life hands her and this mama will stand behind her beaming, because my girl never stopped learning and found her gumption.
Be a life long student. What is God trying to teach you through your trial? It’s hard, it’s exhausting, it’s frustrating? Sure it is. Believe me, I know. Are you learning perseverance? Are those around you seeing your gumption? Lace ’em up. Put ’em up. You can do this. You are not alone. God is in your corner, and this mama is too.