Three years ago, I was shaken to my core. I felt so sad, discouraged, helpless, hopeless, frustrated, and confused. I was placed in a situation where I could continue feeling that way, and let it tear me down, or I could do something about it. And the first step of the inspo&grace journey began. I started looking around, instead, for the GOOD. The beautiful, incredible things or moments in this world. And they were everywhere. This post will share some more of the incredible moments or experiences in my world that inspire me beyond what this post could convey!
I work at an incredible hospital as a Speech Language Pathologist. The moments I witness in my job will never be on social media. They aren’t perfectly filtered pictures or videos with a fancy light behind the lens. They might even be moments that the families of my patients intentionally erase from their minds the second their loved one discharges from the hospital. For every patient I have that had a successful surgery and gets to discharge straight home to see their dogs, I likely have two or three others who got the diagnosis they prayed they would never receive. The ones their families never let cross their minds because they hoped it was just a bad flu, or a bad headache. I have worked with a patient just a couple of hours after they were told they have a grade IV brain tumor…seriously. I have worked with multiple patients who have ALS, and are hospitalized because they can no longer safely swallow by mouth, and needed a gastric feeding tube. I promise you, friends, that I’m not sharing this with you to make you feel depressed. Quite the opposite!
In these dark moments – I’ve always found even the smallest of lights. I noticed that despite the recent diagnosis, my patient AND their family would say the most sincere thank you to me. They would thank me for helping my patient brush their teeth, or even say thank you just simply for being kind to them. They would go out of their way to tell housekeeping how much they appreciated them coming and cleaning up their room. I had a patient once spend two minutes telling his vietnamese phone interpreter how grateful he was for her translating for him. Through his broken English, he said “God bless you” on my way out the door the first day I worked with him. That sweet man went on hospice care three days later. I’ve witnessed a husband visit his wife day after day, for three weeks, even when she could not remember her own birthday or how many children they had.
Outside of work, I have witnessed even more incredible moments! Remember my friends Kristina and Josh, the ones who allowed me the honor to share their incredible journey from infertility to hope? Thanksgiving weekend, I received the text I’d prayed for for those two for three years: their babies were born, and momma and babies were all in good health! I have learned about friends who have significant anxiety and/or depression. But I also have witnessed them still getting up, day after day, choosing to prioritize their mental and physical health. I have witnessed dear friends who spent two years hiking 60 different places in/around Phoenix, all the while strengthening their marriage and saving money to help them get out of debt. I have witnessed a family member find a beautiful, selfless, inspiring love, after years of painfully witnessing his broken heart.
What do MOST of these little stories have in common? Pain. Struggle. Sacrifice. Periods of waiting. But the beauty in ALL of them is that these people showed strength, patience, perseverance, and hope.
So why am I…why are we all…SO afraid of the things that are hard? The things that even hurt? Why do we try to control our lives with white knuckles to try to prevent ourselves from experiencing either of those things? The joy and gratitude that we experience is amplified to a degree greater than we could have EVER imagined, because of the pain or hurt we have experienced. Nothing that is worth it ever comes easily, as paraphrased from the great Theadore Roosevelt.
I encourage you friends, as I encourage myself every single day, to have peace in your heart through the most trying of times. It has been from those times that I have found the greatest strength within myself, and the deepest gratitude for my life.
Love you guys. You all inspire me so, so much. I have met so many amazing humans in my life. I carry their journeys in my heart, and draw from them in times when I need them the most. So, thank you. <3
Photo credit: Ryann Lindsey Photography