You swept in on a wave of hard and messy. You pushed and shoved so much life into my daily routine, I felt like I was gasping for breath each morning as I woke up. Instead of rising to meet this beautiful month head on, I found myself sinking and grabbing to hold onto solid ground.
But you did not leave me feeling overwhelmed, February. No! You brought lessons of resilience, perseverance, and blessings in the mess and real life examples of the hands and feet of God.
Each year, February marks the passing of another year. Another year older. Another birthday to reflect on whether my goals are closer to the finish line or harder to imagine. This year you brought me the best birthday present ever in the picture of my daddy sitting and eating in the dining room at the rehab facility after several weeks of very difficult circumstances. The first unexpected blessing that showed up in February.
You taught me the lesson of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. A visit from the chaplain one morning made a difference. She blessed my dad and myself with the word “resilience” because at this point my dad was not having anything to do with therapy or his promise for a future. The chaplain described my dad as resilient and in looking it up, I found it means to bounce back. I used the word “perseverance” to describe my dad, explaining that his nature has always been one of pushing through struggles to come out on the positive side. I know this one small conversation slightly changed my dad’s thinking as he heard how two different people described the kind of person he is. God guided the conversation to reset dad’s frame of mind. Another unexpected blessing, but one that showed up at just the right time.
And February – you continued your way through the mess each day as the hard eased up and my breathing evened out. You chose to show up big. You took one overwhelming situation and dissipated it by the hands of God. Everyday became an awareness of hard turned into joy as I looked for the blessing rather than focused on all I had no control over. The Happiness Dare began, led by my friend, Jennifer Dukes Lee. Happiness inched its way into my day as I searched for joy rather than enduring the hard.
Some scenes of happiness
You brought special people in my dad’s life to show him he is never alone. A resident in assisted living who visits dad several times a week. Family members who stop in, pray with him, talk with him and just love on him. Nurses, aides and physical therapists who care deeply. Then there was Sylvia. A true gift of kindness that brought the biggest smile to my dad’s face. A beautiful, gentle soul who was a small blip on the radar of dad’s ordinary days, but one that neither he or I will soon forget. (Read more of her story here.) The hands and feet of Jesus come in all sizes, shapes and ages, but they are never an afterthought. God’s behind the scene orchestration of love, comfort and renewed strength appear as unexpected blessings. His timing is perfect and carefully planned. We just need to be open to see and receive the blessings when they come.
So February, you have ended well after an uncertain beginning. You showed me the power of unexpected blessings and more importantly the nearness of God who is only one prayer away.
One Who is Looking Forward to March and New Blessings
Emily Freeman for what we learned in February
And for #TellHisStory with Jennifer Dukes Lee
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