"It's ok to Struggle. It's not ok to give up."

January 21, 2020

DAY + 1170

 

I have been struggling lately. I’ll be honest. The past two months events have by far been the toughest for us and I sometimes feel like I have hit a new low. New fears . New worries. New sadness. ( Also could men have shared the love of  hormones .. I mean dang ;)

 

And it’s not until I admit it or it just finally explodes out of me . Like if you stick around past the how are you , uncontrollable tears would mostly likely follow. It had become hard to fake it. But  I realize we as humans are born to feel all of these feelings. I read somewhere recently that wars happen not because of anger but because of unreleased anger. And with the war I feel going on inside my body , I believe this can't be far from the truth. 

 

Unreleased feelings of any type are not good. Unreleased feelings that build and build  with nowhere to go . They will start to eat   at your insides. 

 We are born with these feeling. And maybe that sounds lame .

But I know that the longer I keep the hurt , sadness, anger , fear , grief in , the worse I feel. 

 

I have been digging deep and trying to allow myself to feel whatever comes my way. It’s not easy. Asking God to keep the mustard seed of faith alive deep in my soul, as we walk through these scary and tough days. 

His Grace always comes next. Small bits of it. 

Enough to allow me another step. 

 

I hate cancer.

I really hate it. 

I hate what it has done to our family. 

I hate how it has made Mike suffer. 

 

But I refuse to let it break us. 

 

Mike has taught me more about not giving up than any person I know. 

 

I won’t let cancer break us. 

 

He gets back up and fights with everything he has. Everyday. 

 

When I feel as sad as I have lately , I try to hold onto a quote to pull me through. I hang on to someone  else’s story to inspire me.

 

I have followed the story of Gabriele “Gabe” Grunewald  and her husband  Justin for the past year or so. 

She was a professional and amazing  runner. She also at a young age had a rare cancer .

She passed away last year. Her husband is a runner too and continues to run in her for her and the foundation they started.

 

https://bravelikegabe.org/

 

Bravelikegabe and Running on hope became their battle cries. 

They are  inspiring and have raised a heck or a lot of money for cancer research. 

 But all of this to say ,  she had a quote that I have been repeating in my head. 

“ it’s ok to struggle. It’s not ok to give up “ 

 

I probably love it also because it makes me think of Mike. And his belief in it’s not whether you get knocked down , but whether you get up. 

 

It’s ok to not be ok , to be knocked down , to struggle. To feel really

Sad and angry. 

 

But not ok to quit. You can’t stay down. You can’t give up. 

 

I believe God prepares us for the tough stuff in life at birth. And prepares those who suffer from illnesses even more. We are born with the grit to keep going and his Grace to heal us when we are broken. Born with the grit to not give up. I have watched it in Mike. 

 

But I believe we have to feel it all. The good , the bad , and the ugly. We have to go through it all. We can’t run from the pain of life. We have to stay present . 

 

I am watching Mike do this everyday. 

 

He is so brave. Braver than anyone I know. 

 

Our children have the gift of watching him be brave everyday. 

 

Of watching him fight like hell. 

 

Of watching him not give up. 

 

I came home from taking the little two to church last Sunday. Mike asked if we should take them to snow mountain. Get out of the house and out of the suffering for a a couple hours, do “normal things” . I knew how hard it would be for him , but I let him make the decision.  

 

We put the ski bibs on the kids in the 70 degree weather 😅and loaded up with snacks and the oxygen tank . We drove to Stone Mtn . I tried to just be present in the moment of the day , not worrying about anything in the future. 

Mike pulled the oxygen tank ( I did offer to pull it for him 😜) all the way from the gate to where they have Snow mtn set up. 

 

  And the kids walked slowly with their daddy all the way. 

  My heart sunk. In the best and worst of ways. 

 

  But I kept my mind on the getting back up part , the positive , and led my heart to feel ALL the goodness the day offered. We treated ourselves to five guys burgers and bags of fries on the way home , proud of what we accomplished. 

 

  It’s an honor and privilege to walk beside Mike on this journey. To watch him be brave for our children. To watch the love he has for us and life. And to watch his grit and determination. 

  I know with out a doubt , Jake , Celia , and Graham will always remember that day. I know we will too. 

   

He drug the tank to the office ( he drove himself 😜👏) .

He drug it to Pilates. 

He walks down the street with it. 

He makes Jambalaya and boils lobsters. 

 

He continues to get up. 

He continues to not give up. 

 

I won’t give up either. 

Not for his sake. 

I love him with all I have. 

 

I bought a “running on hope” t-shirt.

I know I will keep struggling.

But I won’t give up.

I will keep running on hope and I will crush cancer in the ground with every step. 

Bringing awareness to this awful disease.

Running with hope that one day others won't suffer like Mike.

 

The pictures are what it means to struggle. And not give up. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t give up. 

Keep feeling all the feelings. 

Allow yourself to break. 

And to heal through grace that follows. 

Keep trusting the journey. 

And Get back up!

 

Lindsey 

 

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