My #1Kid recently suffered an accident that left her with a concussion. Now for those of you who know my daughter, you know she’s got goals. (She blogs about her “Road to Gold” here if you want to trail in her wake.) And when she says “Road to Gold” she’s not kidding. To say she is driven doesn’t come close. She’s a plow with an Olympic torch as her guide.
As a writer I totally understand that drive. I saw my name up there as “Published Author,” and I went after it much in the same way as she does a record-breaking swim time. Because of this I have encouraged her every step of the way. Who am I to tell her she can’t have her goal, even if the stats and competition say otherwise? I’ve cheered her on and shared in her victories. I’ve hugged her and commiserated in her losses. Each and every time telling her it’s all part of the journey whatever the outcome. The losses can even make her stronger than the wins if she uses them as tools. (Every rejection I ever received were the tools I needed to make my writing better. And I tell her to let no rejection take the dream away.)
But then this summer happened.
In an accident in the pool, #1Kid came up against something stronger than a loss or rejection. #1Kid came up against a head injury that benched her. And not only benched her but put her on the couch in sunglasses and earplugs. All goals for the summer screeched to a halt. All dreams darkened like the rooms in my house. (On a side note, my electric bill should be pretty low this month.)
But as her tears flowed, I found myself at a loss for words and encouragement. Saying “life stinks sometimes” wouldn’t cut it. And not only that, I wanted to do more than validate her pain. Instead, I wanted to give her another goal. I wanted to give her something to look forward to. But most importantly, I wanted to make sure knew she wasn’t alone through it all.
I will be honest and say I have always included God on my journey to publication, and with every victory and contract, I thank Him for His favor. On the other side, for every rejection, I thank Him for his protection and guidance. No matter what, though, I take Him along with me.
And so for my daughter, I told her God loves that she is so driven. He made her so. He loves that she has dreams, and the truth is He wants to give them to her. He promises that all things are possible for those who love Him. But, He doesn’t want to be left in her wake. I asked her to be honest with herself. Was she taking Him along with her? Or was she leaving Him behind?
And after some soul searching? I think I can speak for her and say the real curve ball wasn’t only the head injury, but also the realization that she had her sights set on the wrong torch.
The Unlocked Secret and Outcome: I’m so proud of #1. She had her time of tears for a few days, then just as I had wanted, she formed a new goal to strive for. Making sure Jesus became her torch to plow toward instead. And five weeks later, here she is at the state games. Still not able to dive, still struggling with barriers, but knowing full well she’s not alone on her “Road to Gold.” In fact, she’s got the greatest champion before her, beside her and behind her.
Question: #Curveballs….we’ve all been thrown them. How do you cope?