Acceptance First, Endurance Second
My daughter broke her arm this week. She's now the proud owner of a purple cast with purple sparkles. Yep, you can add bling out your cast now. Surprisingly, it helps.
Summer. The first half is a frenzy of anticipation, excitement and activity. Vacation. Church camp. Playdates. The pool!
Then, monotony sets in. We are in the monotonous days of summer now. My personality loves monotony. I know what to expect. I can allot the necessary resources to meet the plan. And I can work the plan.
But... my kids don't love monotony. They love new things. New adventures. New people. They are extroverts of the highest order, which makes them a lot of fun, I'll admit. But it also takes careful planning so that I don't run out of energy before we run out of day.
So, last week, on a day when we had nothing planned, I took them to the park. A game of tag ensued. She jumped. She landed. She cried.
Seven hours later, she was splinted and ready to wait till Monday for her long-term cast.
A cast was not in the summer plan. Keeping her indoors and mellow was not in the summer plan. Cancelling a camping trip, soccer camp and the pool was not in the summer plan.
This will take creative parenting and endurance on my part and hers.
Accept to Endure
Here's what I've learned. Before I can endure, I must accept. By acceptance, I don't mean to give in and mope. Acceptance for a Christian means believing that God is sovereign in all things, even accidents at the park. I must accept that two broken bones, a cast, and a change of plans was not outside of God's will. I don't have to believe that these things are in His perfect will. In fact, I don't believe that one bit. But I do believe that He allowed these circumstances to enter our lives. I can choose to fight that, or be angry about it, or envious of my friends who can still take their kids to the pool. That is an option. Or I can choose to accept that here we are. God sees us. This is Summer 2019 at the O'Meara home. That too, is an option.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;
Colossians 1:9-11 (ESV)
Acceptance has been a key step in my ability to endure life with an undiagnosed mess in my lungs. Acceptance has freed me to move on. Move forward. I can endure the new limits in my body because I accept that these limits are within God's will. Within His notice. If He has allowed this, then there is a purpose. If He has allowed this, then He will help me endure this. He will give me the strength for whatever I need, for as long as I need.
I love those verses in Colossians because Paul's prayer begins with "that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will," which is where all true hope for this life begins. Then Paul prays, "being strengthened with all power ... for all endurance and patience with joy." We aren't able to endure because we're more gritty than the other guy. We are able to endure because God's power strengthens us. His power, within us, is what gets us through when we think we cannot live through another bleed. Another procedure. Another schedule interruption. Knowledge of God leads to understanding of God's will, which leads to acceptance, which leads to endurance. Oh, the rest for the weary!
Now, as a (weary) parent, I have the privilege and responsibility to teach my kids to accept our new limits on summer. Pointing them to God's will, through the scriptures, I will teach them to accept with joy. As they learn to accept it, they too will be able to endure it.
Acceptance leads to endurance. And a sparkly purple cast make the acceptance just a little bit easier. :)