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Today, The Bitterness Sets In... (by Karen Lindberg)

Do you ever have a day where no matter how hard you fight it, bitterness or anger seems to win out?  Well, today – bitterness was winning.  I don’t have that happen often, but today is just “one of those days”.  We have been working towards a new brace for Nash for the past 7 months and last week we got a call that it was finally ready, and we could move to the phase of him working with it at PT.  This brace holds the promise of possibly allowing Nash to have a more normal gait.  The hope is for this brace to allow the knee joint to lock and unlock when Nash walks.  The first time we met with the orthotist, he said things like “running”, “jumping” and “skiing” – words we haven’t used since Nash’s accident in 2020.  We left his office that day cautiously optimistic and have patiently waited for the day when the brace was ready – which is today.  You would think that given the long wait and the promise that this holds, I would have woke up excited and ready to tackle the day…but instead I woke with a horrible lump in my throat, a little anger bubbling and the hot tears resting on the back of my eyes, just waiting to roll out when the world got quiet enough that they were free to flow.  Today came on strong and it’s been an emotional battle.

You may be reading this and thinking “all of this over a brace?” – but today’s emotions aren’t really about a brace, although that’s the catalyst.  Today’s emotions are about frustration over what has happened, expectations of what could possibly happen, grief in watching your child work so hard to obtain what he can of his life prior to the accident and mostly about FORGIVENESS.  Forgiveness for where we have been.  Forgiveness for all that has been lost. Forgiveness for the journey that we are still on and forgiveness for a life that has been forever altered.

I have never discussed forgiveness before – the subject has always been too heavy to talk about publicly.  It’s a conversation reserved for only a couple people within my circle, but this morning I was talking to a couple of dear friends about how frustrated I was and how I hated it when my heart felt angry and bitter.  They encouraged me to validate those feelings – allow myself to be angry and cry – to let it feel real and then move forward.  Then I was reminded of a sermon from our preacher about forgiveness and how it’s not a one-time event.  How forgiveness is about forgiving over and over – every time those feelings creep back in.  That forgiveness is about me, not about anyone else – it’s about freeing myself from those feelings of anger and bitterness that take hold and make it hard for me to breathe.  Forgiveness is hard – it’s just plain hard sometimes – and today is one of those days!

I don’t know what today will hold, but I do know that before we get to that brace fitting, I will do my best to free my heart and spirit from the anger of the past – again.  I will rise up and refuse to let the bitterness win.  I will find peace and strength in where we are in the journey, knowing that this isn’t the last time I will be washed with this emotion, but also knowing that I have all the tools that I need to overcome the emotions again and again and again.  Today I will let the joy win out over the bitterness.  I owe it to myself and to Nash to do that – after all, that’s who this is all for – for an amazing kid that deserves a mom that isn’t angry and bitter.  Today will be a good day!  Today I will forgive!

Maybe today you are struggling with forgiveness – if so, I am praying for you and your heart – I pray that you will realize that it’s not a one-time event (wouldn’t it be so much easier if it was?), I pray that you will pause to forgive over and over and over when that anger or frustration bubbles up, I pray that you will remember that forgiveness is about setting yourself free, but most of all, I pray that you will find peace in your forgiveness.  Freedom comes with forgiveness.  I am praying for you!      


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