Do You Have a February 23rd?

East Bay, CADo you remember where you were or what you were doing on February 23rd?

Whether it was yesterday, last year, twenty years ago, or your birthday, my point is this:

We remember dates that hold significance for us.
What may be a nondescript day on the calendar for some, may be a date of remembrance for others.

For me, it remains a date of remembrance because it was the day of my 10+ hours-long reconstruction surgery in 2011.

– It was the after-party I had been waiting for, but I slept through it!
– It was the light at the end of the long breast cancer tunnel – though it felt like that light at the end of the tunnel really was a train and I’d been hit by it.
– it was the third and final phase of a nearly year-long journey. A pink-letter day in my book!

February 23rd signaled the start of the hardest part of recovery of all the cancer treatment I had endured.

But what does recovery have to do with charting the course of transition?  I’m glad you asked.

Let’s consider a few questions – and break the cardinal coaching rule of asking open-ended questions. You get to answer these with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ 🙂

• Do you have to chart a course for a very short distance? No? I didn’t think so. You can see it.
• Have you ever started out with some sense of a goal, but got a left turn thrown in that gummed up your neat little straight line for getting there? Yes? Welcome to the human race.
• Have you ever been tempted to throw that chart right out the window and say ‘forget it!’?

Whether you answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to that last question (since we all have invariably been tempted to) is not the point as much as this is:

In the midst of a circuitous route,
with unexpected detours and left turns,
served up with plenty of opportunity for
discouragement,
disappointment,
and even pain,
are you still on the course of transition?

You see, even when the course of transition looks like anything but, recovery is a key element.

Recovery brings with it some benefits…

Rest. If you’ve been running flat-out in an attempt to cover some serious ground, don’t be surprised if your plug gets pulled. Or perhaps you have been on a transition course for quite a while now and you’re beyond weary.

The One who knows you better than you know yourself is full of grace – and allows any manner of ways to get you to slow down. It needn’t be drastic; it just needs to get your attention.

Reflection. It’s amazing how some down time lends itself to thinking. Recovery provides the space and occasion to do some serious thinking about what course corrections might be in order. Few of us chart the course perfectly from one step to another to another.

At the same time, reflection is a wonderful tool used by the Lord for providing us with ‘aha!’ moments; those times we see clearly what was once vague, hazy, or indefinable.

Revitalization. There’s this funny little thing about recovery. When it forces you to rest, it means a new pace comes into play. You can actually catch your breath. Stop and smell the roses. Read a book. Or take a nap. And guess what? The world doesn’t stop spinning because you hopped out of orbit for a little bit.

Once your body has begun to experience real rest, and your busy brain has a chance to recalibrate through times of honest reflection, revitalization follows. You were created to engage in and contribute to life, both your own and others’.

Revitalization hopefully means you take with you the benefits that the time of recovery afforded you.

Rest and reflection doesn’t need to be stored high on a shelf like a First Aid kit that is pulled out only when someone’s bleeding and panic ensues.

Avoid the panic. Keep the R & R (rest and reflection) close at hand. Come through that transition tunnel revitalized.

Do you have your own ‘February 23rd’? Whatever month and day on the calendar it may be for you, mark it as the day recovery began. Then stay the course. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train!

You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Psalm 139:3 NASB

~ Nancy

photo credit: via photopin (license)

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  1. Arlene Hawkinson :

    On February 23, 1952 I was attending a church youth conference with Marlene, a friend of mine. On that day I accepted Christ as my Savior. Marlene encouraged me to do so. That was the best decision of my life. As a wonderful bonus, Marlene and I are still friends today after all these years. Arlene

    • Oh Arlene, what a beautifully significant February 23rd – and the actual date! I am so glad you shared this ‘best of all’ date of remembrance with us. Sounds like the Lord was in the Marlene / Arlene friendship from the beginning. A three-fold cord entwined by Him ♥ Love, Nancy

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