Growth From Reflection
by Laura D. Field of Reflective Tapestry of Life
December 30th, 2017
…as we prepare to enter the New Year of 2018
As we close our year of activities and adventures, how often do we look back and celebrate the milestones we made? Throughout this past year, the world has shared much sadness and despair. Even in our own immediate family, there has been joy and there has been loss.
What this year gave me was a new awakening of life.
As my year ends with the passing of a loved one and the trials of living with an invisible disease, I desire to not think of the sadness, but rather that of all the beauty that this life has to offer and the joy that has been shown to me through my journey.
But first, some heart break that has given me insight to my growth:
Every morning I wake up, sometimes in excruciating pain, yet I wake up and get out of bed. I drink my herbal blends, thanking God, who provides our available plant life, for healing and health. Yet, there are days, I wonder and sometimes cry out to God “Why?” and wish it would all stop. The many symptoms of Chronic Persistent Lyme disease, chronic pain and fatigue are not so easily understood and yet I desire to move forward believing that there is hope for healing and/or remission.
There are days it is hard to be thankful, when this world is in so much pain. I have friends and loved ones who suffer daily in not being heard and others, who simply cannot get out of bed, as their pain is far more excruciating than my own. These are days I feel guilty, as despite all that I might endure, I have a husband who is always by my side, a family who understands when I might not have the necessary energy to accomplish what use to be easily done, but more importantly, I have life, joy and the desire to carry on.
I see this world of chaos and disarray as heart breaking, and wonder, “why?” Why must we hate, have hearts of disrespect and disregard for others, and hearts of continued greed. This past year has been a challenge for me. People want to be heard, yet have the inability to express their need effectively. From the violence we see in homes and on the streets of our towns and across this amazing country in which we live, to the leadership of businesses, corporations and government that focus on the greed of what can be gained vs. the overall balance for all to benefit and not for just a few.
For some I live in a fantasy world. But is it really? I believe my world is filled with hope and a desire to see joy in the hearts of many. It is not a seasonal joy of giving to others and those less fortunate, but rather a lifetime joy that desires to be genuine in love and gratitude.
I chose to live my life finding joy, even if all that I find is the beauty of nature, birds and various wildlife in my day, it is “life” that is alive and living. When things don’t seem to be coming together as I would desire, I take the time to cry, dance it out, speak out and/or pray until I can accept what is and adapt. When good things occur, when people share love and compassion without expectation, I will choose to celebrate and give thanks while being reminded that love and compassion does exist. It just needs to be nourished in order for it to have its contagious effect upon others.
Newborn life entered our hearts this year as our first grandson arrived, reminding us of how tender we are when we arrive through the gift of child bearing. The innocence of life begins with dependence on being cared for and nurtured. This little life bundle of joy, can only experience joy through the love that is given daily by his mom and dad, but also through the continued love and support of us as grandparents and other family members who desire to see this young life grow to make a difference in our world. It is not just a newborn child that needs nourishing, but also our grown children, our co-workers, our neighbors, and the many who we daily pass by unnoticed.
Our year ends with the passing of my mother, someone who I had many years ago mourned her loss, due to various reasons, one being the result of her illness, always knowing how her life would be taken. Although a sad time, the joy is in knowing that her pain and frustration is no longer a burden for her. A woman with a great love for music and our Lord Jesus Christ, is now free from her physical and emotional pain, The chorea dance of Huntington’s disease is now more free flowing of that of an angel, and her gift of music through her vocal, piano, and organ talents is now in His glorious presence.
As I reflect on her passing, I am touched by how much I am like my mother. There were many adaptations I have had to make to my life, to create a more balanced state of love for my family and myself, so that my daughters could experience what genuine love looked like as well as allow myself to experience a loving relationship with my husband. Blessings come in many styles of packages. My mothers love and gift of music and the love for our Lord Jesus Christ are obvious aspects of my being, but another aspect is that of having the ability to have the confidence to speak in front of crowds and the desire to fight the battles in which life places in front of us.
Life is not always easy. We don’t always have the answers, yet we do have guidance through God’s word. We will not always agree with others, yet we have the choice to listen and decide to agree or not agree with kindness and respect. Not with abuse or hate.
No road is evenly and/or, what we humanly feel, to be fairly paved. There are rocks, there are potholes, and there are misguided directions, but while these inconveniences and misfortunes can trip us up while causing some scarring, can be used to make us more defined with our own source of beauty to shine for others to gain hope from.
What we take from our past, whether the long road of many years, or simply this past year, when we choose to see the benefits of our journey, then we discover that our growth was meant to enhance our character.
We were blessed with newness of a child and the loss of life this past year. I have learned to fight the fight of disease, and have gained new strength in being true to myself and loving the person I have become over my many years of traveling this path called life.
My hope for the New Year, is to see others reflect and learn from their past, and to continue their journey with love and compassion, as a result of their understanding of their past and choices made. But more importantly, may their reflection shine brightly beyond just a day, beyond just a month, but rather a growing wave of appreciation for the life around them.
May your New Year bring joy, love and prosperity.
Laura – Blogger, paid Freelance writer