PASSIONATELY THANKFUL

This year I decided to document my days in a passion planner. It’s a calendar, planner, listmaker, reflection journal. I got it because of the clinical trial for Coleman’s peanut allergy. Things were happening FAST and BIG, and sometimes slow and small. Years from now, when this research is reality, I want a place to return to and remember the process. Lives will change because of this. I want to give it value by putting it in writing and never taking it for granted.

So I began the year following the directions in the front of the passion planner – set a goal, map it out, check off the to do list, forward the unfinished goals to the next week. At the end of the month, reflect on what was good, what was bad, what I need to work on… yeah right, I’m gonna do all that for a year. I may as well join a gym, go on a diet, and start a savings account. 

Well, I didn’t diet, exercise, or save… but I passion planned! I did start it as a journal of Coleman’s journey, but I found it to be therapeutic. I filled it with to do lists and check marks by the completed tasks. I wrote in bright colors about special days with friends and family. I drew pictures late at night, words of encouragement and strength in fancy fonts. 

The first entry was about the clinical trial; we were invited to enroll in January. Next month he will updose to the target for ImmunoTherapy. If it has been successful, Coleman’s peanut allergy will no longer be life threatening. This year, the year documented in this book of passion and planning, will be the year that changed our lives. 

Browsing through my passion planner today made me stop to think. What if it wasn’t the year that changed our lives? What if the pages didn’t have bold red numbers that I drew and circled each time he tolerated an increased dose of peanut powder?  3mg… 120mg… 240… five months of moving up and closer. If there were no clinical trial, would the pages of my passion planner hold any value? If it isn’t a success, will they hold value? 

The answer is yes. Other dreams came true… looking at Coleman’s eyes light up when he saw the places in Greece that he’s always wanted to visit, putting Tyler on a plane to the West coast for his dream job at Google. Nothing makes my heart happier than seeing my sons make lifetime memories. 

I saw the legends, and the legends to be, play tennis in the US Open. I saw Elton John perform his farewell tour. I saw sunsets on the river in my backyard. I saw piles of laundry and dishes in my house. I smiled, I drove, I cried, I worked, I played… I failed and I prayed. 

I grew. My God, I’m so thankful for this clinical trial. It has taken me to depths and heights that I haven’t seen in a very long time, if ever. I had grown stale in my faith… I thought I was strong, I’d arrived. I was excited for the testimony that my son would have at the end of this year. I was so off the mark.

It was me who needed a testimony, and I fought it. I fought it so hard. My passion planner is peppered with my fist shaking at God to proclaim what I know and what I need and what I want. I’m the one who needed a life changing transformation. My faith was tested, I failed the tests but my faith did not fail. 

Thirty-two years ago I proclaimed the King of kings and Lord of lords to be Lord over my life. Here’s what that means today when I’m lying in the trenches and scaling the peaks. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s growth. It means that my fist shaking is met with love. It means my joy is met with love. It means my pain is met with love. It means my fear is met with love. Blazing forward or turning my back. Exclaiming victories and crying out for relief. It has all been met with a love so great, so incomprehensible, so powerful, so tender, so true… so faithful. 

I’m thankful for the pages in my passion planner. I’m thankful for the journey of faith that has been journaled. I’m thankful for my story. I hope that giving you my story has given you encouragement and a clear vision of the unconditional love of the King of kings and Lord of lords. I invite to you write your story, plan your passion, grow in your faith, know and live in God’s love. 

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time – he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”  1 Timothy 6:12-21

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