An old Facebook post pops up.
From 6 years ago. There’s no picture to help me remember. It’s old school. No emojis. Nothing fancy. But the words grip my heart. A few words transport me back in time.
Keto is successful.
Drew is off his medication.
A Christmas miracle.
Six years years ago, we experienced a Christmas miracle. After battling seizures on and off for two years, and exploring all the possible explanations as to why my son, Drew, was still breaking through his medication and having seizures, we completely jumped off the boat of comfort and normal, and embraced the unknown.
Like throwing a dart in the dark, we wanted to see if that-one-thing we sensed God calling us to, by faith, just might, hit the target. To see if the medically prescribed Ketogenic diet, armed with gram scales, foreign recipes, calculators, and silicone mixing bowls could control Drew’s seizures.
Six months prior to my Facebook post, in July of 2012, Keto took over my life, Drew’s life, and really our whole family’s lives. On top of homeschooling and raising three kids 6 and under, my main job was being my son’s personal chef. It was a sacrifice for all of us, we were in it together, all-in.
Prayer was our anchor and Jesus, our hope. We prayed daily for a miracle that only God could give. God, faithfully, gave us small miracles every step of the way in the midst of setbacks, disappointments, and heartache.
Only 6 months into Keto, after being on an up and down roller coaster for two years, it was an absolute miracle that Drew was able to wean of his medication and be seizure-free, 100% controlled by this carefully calculated diet.
Six years later,
I still can’t believe it.
Christmas was less about presents because let’s face it, I was exhausted and completely poured out as a Mom, but that made it all the sweeter, the simple things we take for granted were our best gifts that year.
We got our son back.
That’s why remembering matters. We celebrate because we remember where we’ve been.
Not that we have arrived.
Our 2012 Christmas miracle wasn’t the end of Drew’s journey, in fact, we were right in the middle of it. I didn’t know, at the time, how long the road would be. None of that mattered though, I was able to celebrate because I remembered, because I looked back. And that was enough to keep me going.
A year comes and goes with so much happening in between, doesn’t it?
Yesterday, I sat down with my kids and asked them to think back on the year, to try to remember what we did back in January, and we all had trouble remembering because it seems so long ago. But in choosing to remember, one by one, we listed out all the things that happened over the past twelve months, gratitude welled up within each one of us, smiles painted on our faces and tears full of remembering, came to the surface.
All of it matters.
Nothing is wasted.
God purposed it all.
We are grateful for it all because our souls know what our minds can’t comprehend; that joy and sorrow go hand in hand.
I got a front row seat watching the relationship between joy and sorrow unfold in 2018. My word for the year was joy. And yet, my heart experienced soulful sorrow that my outward life may not have shown.
I learned the truth by sitting with my soul. By being honest with myself and with my God. Jesus gently showed me all throughout Scripture that joy and sorrow are woven together like a beautiful tapestry.
A tapestry reminding me – it all matters – it all adds up. All the little pieces are what make up the whole. Like my grandmother, who never threw away a scrap of fabric, God purposes every little piece of our lives and makes it into something beautiful.
Joy is birthed from within, in the places people don’t see. It’s not a surface beauty, that easily fades, it’s a knowing, a believing, a trusting, a quiet confidence that radiates from the very depths of who we are.
Just like my Christmas 6 years ago. Tears, heartache, gratitude for the things that truly matter and a deepening of my faith that can only come through suffering, all intertwined into something more than I could’ve imagined.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but Joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5
Maybe that’s what this familiar verse really means. Not that our tears will dry in a single night, but maybe our whole lives will be lived in the wonder and tension, of joy and sorrow.
Where our joy is made more meaningful, our tears are made more purposeful, and our lives become more beautiful.
Friend, I don’t know if real joy can exist without sorrow. But isn’t that the Gospel? And maybe that’s, ultimately, why remembering matters.
Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.John 17: 20, 22
So, as you open up your new planners, fill out your powersheets and come up with your new word or goals for 2019
don’t forget to look back.
Remembering, is your soul’s compass that will help you move forward in the direction God truly wants you to go.