My daughter, mom, mother-in-law, and niece are doing the same “Pray Through The Bible In One Year” journal by Darlene Franklin. What a great way to start 2022. Happy New Year!
The holidays have been interesting this year as we grapple with illness and quarantine. Parish and I have had plenty of time to communicate and laughter has been a key component of that communication. We’ve had a good sense of humor despite the circumstances. Not always, but at key moments, something would strike us as funny, and we would have a good belly laugh.
One particular night, we decided to watch the true story of James Braddock in the movie, Cinderella Man. I’m not a huge fan of boxing as a sport, but I do love a good story that emphasizes overcoming and resilience. James Braddock was a boxer who ultimately won heavy weight champion of the year during The Great Depression. After severe injury to his right hand, his contract was revoked. He hid his injury and worked on the docks to support his family. He could only use his left hand. Through this devastating time, he persevered through doing what he could with what he had and believed in his ability to adapt. His manager came to him months later to give him an opportunity to fill in for a fight knowing he would probably not win. Because he had been working at the docks using his left hand, his strength and “left hook” became his new way of winning a match. He won! The rest is history and worth watching or reading about. His winning of the match was a surprise to the world because of his age and retirement. He made a come back!
Staying up to bring the new year in, I listened to a podcast on The Science of Happiness called “How Gratitude Renews Us”. A staff of nurses decided to implement the gratitude kit provided by Greater Good. They stressed the system, culture, and use of evidence-based practices that took their minds off the suffering and pain for just a moment so that they could reflect together on something other than the stress and sorrow they face each day in their profession. Just like James, we can live in our reality with a renewed focus and way of showing up. Gratitude alone is not the panacea. There is no quick fix or resolution only our shift in thinking and practicing gratitude. I had to think back over the last two years.
Think about your life. What have you learned physically, emotionally, and spiritually as you’ve strengthened your “left hook”. You counted on your tried and true way of doing things but you are in a new fight. You’ve been injured and broken. You’ve made a come back. You’ve learned some things, gained new perspective, and changed. The change will serve you in 2022. Nothing is wasted or not used in God’s love story.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
How can you recognize your strength and new strategies? What have you learned this year that can’t be taken away from you? How will this serve you in 2022? Don’t bother with resolutions and checklists. You show up every day doing this. Just recognize it. Celebrate it! Stop harassing your self concept and truly see your agency to do hard things.
God is able and willing.