Miracle 1 – In one of my lowest of low points one month ago, I received a message and a photo from a blog reader. Laurel had just received a cancer diagnosis. The photo was her wrist wrapped in an ‘Only Love Today’ bracelet. I wiped my eyes and wrote back immediately, letting her know someone was on the other end of her message. She said she wasn’t a big fighter but she’d fight because of love and with love. Each time I check in with her, she is fighting. Yesterday the first person in my book signing line in Iowa was Laurel’s sister-in-law. She came to personally thank me for supporting Laurel. We held each other and cried. I felt hope radiating from this woman. Laurel is fighting.
Miracle 2 – I met a lovely 6th grader at the speaking event yesterday. Addie started a group at her middle school called Joyology. She helps her classmates find friends. She offers advice and helps resolve conflict. She spreads kindness. She is a Noticer. I stood next to her for a picture and felt hope radiating. Addie is noticing.
Miracle 3 – A beautiful woman came though the signing line. Jodi lost her husband a year ago. She said the part of my talk about honoring that little voice that urges us to share our story resonated deeply with her. She recently started a blog; she’s giving her pain a purpose. It’s working. People are finding solace in her words and so is she. When I looked into her eyes, hope radiated from them. Jodi is writing.
Miracle 4 – The signing line ended. Gathered around me for a photo were five women brought together by the loss of their babies. Since founding the Count the Kicks public awareness campaign in 2009, they have reduced stillbirths in Iowa by 26%. Their goal is spread this awareness, reducing the country’s stillbirth rate by 26% which means saving 6000 babies a year. The hope radiating between these women and around them was palpable. They are saving.
Miracle 5 – My flight home was delayed. I had time to go back to a beautiful park near a lake. I saw a man taking photos of a majestic bald eagle high on a limb. When I asked him about it, he pointed out the nest. His wife let me peer through her binoculars. I saw the head of a baby eagle pop up. When I expressed my delight, the man handed me a gorgeous photo. “Here’s a picture of the eagle I took last week. Would you like it?”
I thanked him profusely, hardly believing my luck. I walked away marveling at the fact I just received tangible proof miracles are happening all around us if we just look up.
Lately, I’ve been looking down … maybe you too. It’s tempting to look down when tragedy, uncertainty, challenge, and pain plague our hearts, our homes, our world.
But the moments we MOST need to look up are during our toughest moments.
See, there’s this beautiful bald eagle watching over her babies in a park in Iowa and every single person who walks past looks up in awe.
Every. Single. Person.
And there’s this warrior mama fighting for her life.
And this twelve-year-old girl looking out for the lost.
And this widow healing her pain through words.
And this group of fierce advocates sparing families from the pain they suffered.
Miraculous acts, if you ask me.
And then there’s you: Miracle 6
Breathing, carrying on, and doing the best you can despite life’s testing.
Miraculous acts, if you ask me.
So please …
Whatever it is you are doing that is keeping you going, keep doing it.
Keep keeping on
But most of all, keep looking up. You might just find that while you were busy keeping on, something wondrous has taken flight.
And YOU will be someone’s proof that miracles happen in and around us every single day.
Thank you, Des Moines, your easy-to-navigate airport and lovely people were so kind to me! You brought out the sunshine, the tulips, and the bald eagles for my walk and my heart hasn’t felt this full in a while. I treasure everyone who came to the “Every Woman Counts” fundraising luncheon and through the book signing line. Please check out the amazing people/programs I mentioned above:
Count the Kicks (free app!!!)
Extra Grace Required: My First Year As a Widow
Prayers and well wishes welcome for Laurel.