I’m not going to lie to y’all, but I definitely saw 2016 starting differently than it did.
The New Year possesses a two fold response doesn’t it? The first response is one of excitement. It’s a natural reset button. 2015 may have not been your year, but the new year offers a chance to start over and make 2016 yours. There’s something empowering about getting a break to refresh and then launch into a new year. It feels something like this….
The second response is one of dread in having to come back from time off and getting back to “adulting” hard core (if you are new to “adulting” see here). You’ve been enjoying time off, Christmas, family, etc. and then you have to get back to grind. It feels something like this….
However, the energy of new goals, excitement for the potential a new year holds can help us push through the grind and get us into rhythm.
I was excited about the potential of 2016. This was the year where Davy was supposed to be getting stronger daily, our family was going to be healthy and I would be able to focus more energy on some new projects I’ve held at bay due to our last year.
Everything was going as planned until Wednesday night. We realized that Davy girl had the sniffles. It wasn’t a huge deal at first because she had similar symptoms earlier in December and we just decided to keep a close eye on it. Unfortunately, the sniffles progressed relatively quickly to a brassy cough, congestion and forced breathing. We decided it would be wise to go see our pediatrician.
While at the doctor’s office we learned that our poor girl had respiratory syncytial virus – or RSV for short. RSV is a respiratory virus that infect the lungs and breathing passages. In adults this isn’t a huge deal. It usually materializes into mild, cold like symptoms and passes quickly. However, in infants it can be very dangerous. In Davy’s case, an RSV diagnosis could mean many more months in the hospital. They gave us medication, told us to watch her closely and sent us on our way.
Davy girl got worse as the day progressed to the point where she was inconsolable and was having a very difficult time breathing. We rushed to the ER around midnight and were admitted into Dell Children’s around 5am January 2nd. Davy’s RSV had become a case of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung). Happy New Year to the Frazier family!
I wish I could tell you that my first response was something like this: “Oh, all wise and loving Heavenly Father, thank you for the provision of this great hospital and medical staff. I completely trust you with this circumstance and believe that even this circumstance is working out for the good. Give me the strength and grace to demonstrate the love of Christ to my wife, Davy girl, the staff and other patients while we’re at Dell. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
My response was more something along these lines: “God, are you freaking kidding me?”
Overall, we ended up spending a few rough nights at the hospital with Davy having to be given oxygen, medication and monitored by the medical team. We finally were discharged to go home on Monday. (Side note: Any one who invents an incredible couch/pull out bed that is better than the concrete blocks in hospitals disguised as a couch/pull out bed would be a millionaire.)
Things could have been a lot worse than they were, but another hospital visit just seemed like getting kicked down again after finally getting ourselves up off the ground. The last few days I’ve just wanted to be mad, pout about it, and play the victim. However, as I was spending time with God after everything had happened, he impressed on my heart this truth.
We don’t have power to choose our circumstances, but we have the power to choose how to respond to them.
Victor Frankl – famous psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor – said this about the power of choice. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Frankl is saying that in between our life circumstances and our response to these circumstances is a space, a momentary space where we get to decide how we are going to respond.
Y’all, God has given us the power to choose. We possess the power of choice in how we will respond to the circumstances of life.
Every day you and I have to make choices.
We can choose to believe the lies we believe about ourselves – worthless, unlovable, ugly – or we can choose to believe the truths that God speaks over us – beloved, cherished, beautifully and wonderfully made (Zeph. 3:17, Ps. 139).
We can choose to believe lies that money, power, fame, relationships or sex will make us fulfilled or we can choose to believe the truth that only God will truly satisfy the deepest longings of our divinely crafted souls (Ps. 16:11).
We can choose to believe the lies that our trials are either meaningless or we can choose to believe the truth that our circumstance are working together for good, preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison and are absolutely meaningful (Rom. 8:28, 2 Cor. 4:17-18).
You have the power of choice and no one can take that away from you.
I realized that even though my 2016 didn’t start out how I desired there was a space that existed – a space where I had the power choose how I respond to this trial. Today, I choose joy, worship and thankfulness. Tomorrow the same space will exist and I will fight to make the same choices.
No matter how your 2015 ended or your 2016 began you have the same power – the power to choose. I’m praying that in your space – the space between stimulus and response – you will choose to trust the Word of our Heavenly Father, the new identity you have in Christ and the power you have through the Holy Spirit.
Cheers to 2016, a faithful God, the space in between and the power of choice.