Wednesday, December 20, 2017

WEP The End is the Beginning December Challenge

From Write ... Edit ... Publish, the End is the Beginning December Challenge: 

I went with a non-fiction reflection this last year and my hope for 2018.

Everyone has endings and beginnings. At times, we think we are at the end of ourselves. We may think, "this is it. I can't go further. I'm done. It's over. I have no more energy, courage, or creativity to give." But, the next day dawns, and we wiggle our toes. It isn't much. It isn't a marathon, but it's a start. Then, we take a step. Then, another. It's nothing profound. It just is. We find ourselves at a new beginning. It isn't an easy beginning. We may start this new beginning with regrets from past endings. We may start it with the baggage of pain or shame. We may start it with extra weight, literal, metaphorical, or both. But, what matters is that we start, even sometimes after we thought we gave up everything, even hope. The hope is still there, somehow. We don't even know how it made it through the hell, whatever that hell was, but the hope is still there, shining.

From my perspective, that little light still shining is the reason for the star over Bethlehem. From my experience this year, after a hell of physical illness, surgery, pain, and exhaustion which clouded my mind, I didn't know I was still clinging to any hope at all, but it was still there. Nothing could extinguish it. I still had the hope of Jesus inside of me, pushing me out of bed ... even if I didn't get out of bed until noon and had only enough energy to stay awake until 4 p.m. I was cranky and didn't want to pray, but I did anyway. Some of those prayers were more of a "Why, oh, why have you forsaken me" kind of prayers instead of "Enter His courts with Thanksgiving" kind of prayers, but I prayed anyway, despite myself. I kept getting up, taking small steps to recovery, for months barely making it down the hallway, and then barely to the back deck, and then barely to the end of the long, gravel driveway (who knew it could feel so long), and finally nine months after the pain started, I went on a three mile hike in Montana, huffing and puffing as the slowest family member up the hill, but I cried tears of joy when I made it to the top. I am alive and glad to be alive. I am still not in good shape, but my doctors have reminded me to be gentle with myself - to rejoice in five pounds lost by the end of the year and to be glad that I have a chance to recover from illness and the two surgeries which were only five weeks apart, not to mention the five biopsies and other medical tests and procedures which took place. I still have health issues. I still have doctor's appointments. But, I am breathing, I can exercise, and I get to hug my family. These are the basics that matter as I end this year and look to the beginning of next one.

The crazy part is, I was afraid to dream for a while. I was afraid to make plans for my writing, ashamed of how much I hadn't finished. Then, I started writing short stories and poems, and I started planning an epic series. I made one of my goals for December: to think of 6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast. And, I've been dreaming big for 2018 and beyond. I'm not afraid of dreaming anymore because I have remembered to focus on the hope that is within. I have hope and my hope has made me strong. I am ready to begin again, and again, and again. I'm ending 2017 and beginning 2018 with hope.

This next part isn't for the WEP Challenge, it's for all of my readers who have read/purchased my Summer Vacation Devotions book. This video is of Peace Rehabilitation Center. It's where I send all of the money I make from the Summer Vacation Devotions book (plus, a little more from me). These ladies know what it means to begin again. For a newer video, go here:


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amen! With Jesus there is always hope, because in the end, hope, faith, and love remain.
Have a blessed Christmas, Tyrean.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - you've had a lot going on, yet now have had time to reflect ... and we do seem to be able to pull ourselves through and realise we are lucky - take care and enjoy yourself (carefully!) over the seasonal time and let's hope things will improve in 2018 ... all the best - Hilary

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - Thanks! Have a blessed Christmas!

Hilary -Yes, let's hope!

Adura Ojo said...

All is well with love and hope all around us. wishing you well. Compliments of the season.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Adura!

Deborah Drucker said...

Hope that the memory of illness recedes into the back ground as journey toward health and life.

desk49 said...

yet there is more to do
we can only hope it will end
and no woman or man
have to face what they
go through everyday

D.G. Hudson said...

Wishing you a better 2018! In the face of adversity it is the strong who survive, and it's that little flame of hope that helps. How very nice of you to help those that you are donating to. A helping hand can make a big difference to those who are at their lowest. Hope your holidays are good ones.

Denise Covey said...

Tyrean, you've had a hell of a year, but you've prayed, persevered, and pushed on. You will be rewarded for your tenacity. It's a wonderful, truthful reflection. Reflection does make us stronger. I'm sure 2018 will be an awesome year for you.

Thank you for reflecting for WEP. Exactly the type of post we expected. I hope you enjoyed this challenge and we'll see more of you in 2018!

Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!

Denise :-)

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

DG - Thanks for your encouragement!

Denise - Thank you!!! I definitely want to do more WEP next year. :)
Merry Christmas!

Elephant's Child said...

This is such a positive post. Perservering through pain, through discouragement, through fatigue - and triumphing. I am so happy for you and glad to hear you are dreaming again.

dolorah said...

You have overcome a lot this year. Dreams and hope are sure to keep you strong through 2018.

Liz Leighton said...

Thank you for courageously sharing your story. You have realized something it took me many more years to learn. Hope is as essential to life as food and breathing. Continue to put one foot in front of the other. Best wishes and hope for your continued recovery in 2018 and keep us updated on your progress and keep sharing your writing.

krystal jane said...

Merry Christmas, Tyrean!! I honestly think you did a great job this year! Recovery takes time and you still managed to work on some projects and support your kids in all that. I think I should adopt a 6 impossible things mindset, too. ^_^ If nothing else, maybe I'll finally read those Alice retellings I've been wanting to read for forever.

Pat Garcia said...

Keep dreaming big and keep taking one step at a time. Those steps may not seem unimportant but they are laying groundwork for your future.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a successful crossover into 2018.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat Garcia

Olga Godim said...

Your post rang true for me, Tyrean. Sadly so. I went through such a medical horror story some years ago myself, and I know how it feels to stop dreaming. When you're afraid to say, even to herself: "Next year," lest it never happens.
Don't lose hope ever! Keep dreaming. It helps, it truly does. Happy holidays, Tyrean, and a much improved year 2018.

Heather R. Holden said...

You are such an inspiration, Tyrean. I can't imagine going through even a fraction of the struggles you have and still having enough hope to persevere. Wishing you nothing but happiness for 2018!

Yolanda Renée said...

I'm so glad you are better. Illness has a way of defeating us, but not for long when the spark is still there! Your closeness to God is the secret to all healing. I've always believed that and I'm glad you were and are comforted by it!

Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year!