I recently attended an event where successful women shared their “mantras”.
The words or phrase they used to encourage, inspire and motivate them.
I couldn’t help but wonder what mine was. I sure consider myself an accomplished woman. What is my secret? What do I repeat to myself over and over again? How do I encourage, inspire and motivate myself?
As I reflected on my mantra, I went back to an experience I had a few years ago…
It was late afternoon on August 25, 2013. I had a wet bathing suit underneath my clothes, freezing my distressed heart. My body trembled and I’m not sure if it was the cold, the pain, the fear, or the unknown. My daughter’s cute little body laid down on the hospital stretcher… lifeless.
I can still see everything in slow motion and yet so fast. The doctors communicated loudly as they tried all sorts of interventions to get the monitors to beep rhythmically.
A lot and nothing was happening at the same time. “Baby, this time it will work,” I would hear my husband exclaim hopeful, as the medical team initiated a new strategy.
Thoughts raced through my head. Prayers pushed them away. I had faith… the unwavering kind. I prayed relentlessly and knew in my heart God would save my daughter.
But He wasn’t giving me much hope…
I needed to pray harder, but I could barely think. I was profoundly overwhelmed. If only God could give me a phrase that I could repeat in prayer without having to think…
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” He whispered.
“Not that one! Nevermind. I’ll keep praying on my own,” I thought.
“Make her heart beat. Make her heart beat. Make her heart beat. Please, God, make her heat beat!” I prayed.
He didn’t. The heart did not beat. The monitors did not beep.
The doctors looked up and said a million words without moving their lips. The sorrow in their eyes did not compare to the pain in my heart. My life – as I knew it – was OVER.
When it all started.
I went back home to my almost 1-year-old baby boy and my angel’s best friend in the world, her older sister. They slept peacefully.
In the middle of my sleepless night, I found myself rocking back and forth in the bathroom in the fetal position. My brain was in hell surrounded by fire of dreadful thoughts and burning pain. It was dark, even when the lights were on…
How was I going to survive this darkness?
The sun came out, disregarding the fact that my life had stopped. It did it again the next day, and the day after.
That’s when it all started.
If life was going to continue, then I needed to make the inhuman decision of living without my daughter’s physical presence.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
And it was at that moment that I understood my mantra: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Surviving the loss of my sweet, precious little girl was unimaginable. Being happy again, impossible.
Four years later…
I am happy.
I am not strong enough and I would have never known how to live without my daughter on my own. But I didn’t have to. I had the most powerful being on my team. He was going to be strong for me and had promised to lift me up when my knees gave in.
And so He did.
Since then, I have feared, vacillated, doubted… But I remind myself that there is nothing I can’t conquer with He who strengthens me.
I ask for strength in the form of questions and He gives me strength through His answers:
I asked God to save my daughter, and He did. She now lives eternally.
I asked for strength to continue nurturing my two other kiddos amidst my pain, and He held me up.
I asked for answers, and He gave me peace.
I asked that He let me feel my angel, and He gave me rainbows.
I asked for joy and hope, and He blessed me with another baby. My littlest princess has been a ray of sunshine in our family (She sure resembles the sun with her goldilocks!)
I asked him to repair my shattered heart, and he made me responsible for repairing others’ through my career and foundation. He knew that was the way to hold me accountable and make me responsible for practicing what I preached.
I asked to run a 26.2 miles when I could barely do 3, and I kicked the Miami Marathon’s butt with my very own strong legs.
I asked Him to use me as His instrument, and my private practice blew up, my speaking career took off, and my reach to serve pro bono increased.
All things are possible
There is NOTHING I cannot do. I can do ALL things. I don’t worry about not having what it takes to endure a challenge or accomplish a goal. I don’t need to have it all because everything I am capable of doing, I do through God who gives me strength.
He’s the one that needs to figure it out. I’m just an instrument. I am His instrument.
You can do all things, too. Yes, even the unspeakable. It sounds impossible? It hurts too much? You don’t see the light?
No worries. The sun will rise for you tomorrow and the Creator is just a mantra away from giving you super powers.
You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens YOU.