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Faith Over Fear

I’ve seen the statement, “Faith over Fear” mentioned quite a few times on social media.

When I see it, I take a deep breath in. Then exhale exhaustion.

Do they know what that entails?

I walk on the edge of faith a lot of days. I put one foot in front of the other, working hard to stay atop the faithful mountain.

But the truth is: if I side step, I’m falling into the abyss of fear, doubt, and despair.

Having faith means keeping an eternal perspective.

Having faith means searching for hope.

Having faith means understanding that come what may, we’re able to say, “Thy will be done.”

The importance is where our faith is grounded.

Do people have faith that their family will be protected?

Do people have faith that their leaders know what to do?

Or do people have faith centered on Christ and that no matter what happens, they’ll be able to close their mortal eyes and open with eternal ones.

In my experience, the first two have failed. And the third is essential but isn’t easy. It’s continual work.

But on most days I’m able to steady myself on the edge and cling onto faith.

Today, I’m choosing faith.

If the World was Ending

I wish I had a different life.

I just wish life was easier.

Those thoughts have been scrolling through my mind the last week.

I want Rory here.

I want to feel complete.

I want to feel hope.

It takes a lot of effort to get out of that headspace for me. Daily effort. Sometimes multiple times during the day effort.

Yesterday I was listening to a song about if the world was ending.

It removed my mind from the wishful future to the present.

If the world was ending, what would I think about my life right now? What would I wish I was doing differently? Or more of? Who do I wish was here?

One of the side effects of Rory’s death was a change in priorities.

Things that seemed important, lost their importance.

Time was a precious commodity. I had no idea how precious and limited it was.

But I’m left today with a better balanced present. (Well, COVID-19 has left the balanced skewed.)

If the world was ending, I’m exactly where I’d want to be. With the people I want to be with.

The future is so uncertain. The things I planned for, hoped for, work toward, feel out of my grasp. Like reaching for a raft that keeps floating farther and farther away.

But today. Today! I’m going to make it a goal to enjoy being in the water with those I love before I look toward the raft again.

If the world was ending… What would you want in your life?

What Would I Give?

I did something that I haven’t had the courage to do in the years since Rory passed away.

I googled, “What’s the mortality rate of appendicitis?”

Answer: 0.2%-0.8%.

Ugh. We were so unlucky.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot as numbers and words have been thrown around about COVID-19.

Proportional response.

Economics.

The chance is so small.

It’s only affecting really old or immunodeficient.

Man, what I would have given for instructions to keep Rory safe.

For knowledge I didn’t have then.

For a longer time to diagnose.

For symptoms more synonymous with appendicitis that would have lead to testing.

The mortality rate is higher for COVID-19.

I don’t have the luxury of feeling like it only happens to someone else.

I breathe through the fear daily that this virus could snatch away someone I love.

I don’t let it overwhelm me but it is in the back of my mind.

So I’ll stay home.

For my husband.

For my boys.

For my parents.

For all my extended family.

For my neighbors.

For my friends.

For their kids.

I’ve felt the improbable loss of about 0.5%.

I’d sacrifice almost anything to hold my baby girl again. Jobs. Money. Downtime. Heck, even some freedoms for a few months if I knew it would have kept her safe.

I’d do those same things to prevent someone else from having to experience this loss as well.

The Homework Struggle

As I’ve heard and read stories of moms homeschooling their kids, I’ve been thinking about Rory.

When She was young, the struggle was colors.

One day I would ask her the colors and she’d nail them. 100%! I’d be so excited. “She’s done it! She knows her colors.”

Then the next day would happen.

She would get every single one of her colors wrong. Not a single one right.

Oh crap. Maybe she’s part of the minority of women that are color blind.

Maybe she’s distracted?

Nope! She thought she was funny! I would ask her a color and she say the wrong name. Then I would say the correct name and she’d get a big smile on her face.

Yep, she got me.

Then the months leading up to her death she would read passages every night. Some days she’d get through pretty easily.

Then there were other nights.

I would sit and read with her and it’d take her minutes to read one word. In my head I’m freaking out. My daughter is never going to learn to read. What do I need to do?

After a minute I’d say, “Once we’re finished with this you can have chocolate milk.” Or “Once we’re finished you can watch Peep in the Big Wide World”.

Wow. She cruised through that passage.

She got me again!

I salute you moms out there. You’re doing hard, amazing things right now.

Man, I miss reading those passages and seeing those smiles.

Finding Rory

This picture didn’t quite to the purple coloring justice. At all.

One way that I keep Rory with me is to find her in the everyday.

I look for things that remind me of her.

One of the biggest ways I see her is through the color purple.

As we were waiting for our Sydney flight at LAX, there were these big pillars in the city that lit different colors. When we stepped out into the terrace they were all a gorgeous bright purple. They stayed that way for a few minutes until they turned to half blue, then all blue. (I saw you too, Tommy.) I never saw them turn that bright purple again.

The next morning as the sun was coming up on our 15 hour flight, light began to show through our shaded windows. The whole plane was glowing purple.

What a beautiful color Rory shared with me. I love looking about our world and finding her through this color.

Purple is majestic and powerful.

For me, it’s love.