Just a few nights ago we watched the New Karate Kid together. I have to say it was rather good. As we watched though I found myself looking over in my boy’s direction realizing they are my very own Karate kids. Both Joshua and Micah have been through a match of their own with my breast cancer over the last few years but I know Joshua, as the oldest has carried a heavier burden. If would ask him what has happened in our lives, I am sure his response would be breast cancer, that’s what happened!
There is a great quote in The Karate Kid. In many ways I see can see Joshua saying this very same thing. Dre Parker looks at Mr. Han after he has been hurt, after going several rounds in battle with the enemy and says: “Because win or lose, I don't want to be afraid any more. And I'm still afraid!” As Joshua has grown up on this battleground of the beast I have watched him live with fear but I have also watched him make the decision not to afraid as well.
He has been his brother’s keeper in many ways, even when he has been scarred to take the first step he has always believed he could step out on the water without sinking! Joshua has always been the one to reach out for the falling sky first, to hold it up before it could crush us.
Today is Joshua’s 14th birthday. I sit here today wondering where the time has gone. Just yesterday I was holding my baby in my arms protecting him and now he is protecting me! His dreams are so far and wide, his hopes secure in his faith, his courage keeping him moving along even in the dead of night. I marvel at his strength every day for even when the sky seems to be falling Joshua carries this flame of hope inside him that pierces the dark. He travels into the darkness shining his light for all of us to see in many ways I think he is the strongest warrior of us all
Even when it feels as the world has turned its back on us, Joshua can see past the worry. He knows God has a perfect plane, understands we all our worry but Joshua seems to know there is everlasting hope. He has the wisdom to embrace God’s plan which includes waiting for His timing. It’s just a matter of waiting, of praying like a city on her knees, of keeping his faith. Joshua in many ways has grown into a man already his voice rising up in a crowd so awesome in power proclaiming victory even if he is afraid!
Look around you today and ask yourself where you stand. I know from my own life if you let doubt overtake you it will drown you without mercy. So what do you have to lose? I have tried to instill in our boys how great our God is but it is Joshua who has truly taught me that it is not my will but God’s will be done. Who are we to worry when He has us cradled in His hands? We honestly have nothing to lose if we are faithful to hope. Joshua has taught me everyday not to be afraid to move, not let fear take root in my life.
The truth is we can run away but where does that get us? Honestly we have to stop running from our insecurities. Life is a challenge, but we can’t be afraid to move or to live our lives through the pain we suffer. Life is beautiful even if the clouds roll in dark and gray. And yes what about the rain? There is peace, beauty and true reflection to be found as it falls. When the clouds pass over us we see the sun do we not? There is freshness in the air; the horizon is beautiful as we look out across the sky is it not? What of the promised rainbows which appear after the storm?
We may feel all is lost, we may feel broken beyond repair and yes we may possibly think we are lost even if we are home. But this is the truth: as long as faith and hope serve as our compass we are never lost. All we do, everything we say, all we are comes from a greater place than ourselves. We are children of the living God who has made us strong in His grace. So today I stand in awe of my son, Joshua, today he is my miracle. As Mr. Han says to Dre in The Karate Kid: I say to Joshua: You have taught me a very important lesson, Life will knock us down, but we can choose whether or not to stand back up.
If we stand on solid ground then we cannot be moved…. so leave the worry behind you and rise up above the fear my dear friend. We have today yes? So take this gift of grace and hope choose today as a new beginning, cease it my friend, embrace it and walk out on that water!
Happy Birthday Joshua! Your mom loves you; your spirit is beautiful beyond measure, your courage enlighting and your faith bold! You are truly my very own Karate Kid.