As I glance back and think about the three “ends”, I find a running refrain in the story of my life – resiliency. I bounce back. I rebound. I get up again. And again. And again… I share not to brag but with awe because this is not who I think I am- the one who bounces back.
Adulting looked glitzy from the stands. Oh, the independence and fun that awaited. But once I took the field, the curveballs came – relationship rejection, job and college struggles, depression, intense physical pain and health trials, and the divorce of my parents. Although my twenties held so much joy (wedding and baby at the top of the list!) the curve balls bruised and sometimes derailed me.
Those years are distant in my rearview mirror. However, each year, each decade, threw in its own array of curveballs to gaze back upon.
“I get knocked down and I get up again…”
You too, huh?
They tried to bury us but they didn’t know we were seeds
January 1, 2019. Harrowing. Horrible. Holy. (See: https://wp.me/p4RztF-1au )I had no choice but to rebound and bounce back because life was at stake. A spectrum of the hardest of hards to beautiful memories and a published book, with all kinds of life in between was 2019.
All kinds of life in the past decade as well.
I’m in the process of organizing family pictures from 2010-2019. This decade diary of images chronicles our family life: a missing front tooth, funny haircuts, the awkward phase, acne, baseball games, grandparents, cousins, friends, school dances, vacations, celebrations, Lego creations and such. As the photos pass through my fingers, the memories pass through my mind. A sentimental warmth washes over me, then a jolt of joy, or a shadow of sadness.
I see myself in the photos- a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Behind the eyes, though, behind the roles, a woman conceals her backstory. Behind the eyes was a woman who was learning to bounce. She held on to the hope of her Jesus after yet another knockdown at the hands of a body that hurt, or a loved one, or her own deficiencies.
The righteous keep moving forward,
and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.
Jesus. He is the foundation of my resiliency. He is my backstory. He reminds me that nothing is wasted. He’s given me solace in my suffering so that my past pain may encourage others in theirs. Jesus lifts me as I watch friends tramp through sorrow only to get back up again.
I keep moving forward as He builds His strength in me. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
So, I end where I began in 2019. “FIGHT” was my word of the year. I chose this word because I consider myself a non-fighter; I am the gal who often shrinks back. Yet, as I hover over the years and recall the stories of bounce, I see that fighter-girl was there all along.
I got knocked down and when I looked up, the hand of my Savior lifted me, and I got up again. And again.
And, how about you, my friend? How’s your bounce?
As you reflect on the past year and decade, do you see yourself as one who practices resiliency?
When you get knocked down, where do you go? To whom do you go?
In what ways may you “bounce better” in the future?
Life requires resiliency. Life requires Jesus. As I look back, show me that nothing was wasted. May you use my past pain to comfort those I meet on my path. Remind me that your hand lifted me along the way, after each knockdown. I recall with gratefulness that I never walked alone.
You are my blessed hope!