A hero is someone you respect, look up to, admire.
I've had many people in my life like that.
Some I've known personally, some I haven't.
The new group of heroes I've discovered have been around me for years, it just took my own personal battle to discover them.
God had them right where they needed to be, waiting to be an example to me when I needed it most.
One of them, a good friend with Cerebral Palsy, has been in my life for going on ten years.
When I first met her, I thought she was a spunky, determined person. Since then I've learned a little more of what her life has been like.
They weren't sure if she would ever walk, but she walks.
She has endured countless painful surgeries.
They weren't sure she should have kids. She has two beautiful boys.
Everything she does is three times more work for her muscles than the average person, yet I don't think I've ever heard her complain.
This has been her whole life, yet she accepts it with grace.
Can I do any less with what God has given me?
Another hero I consider to be a second mom. She has had health problems her entire life.
I didn't know the extent of it until this summer.
She is graciously giving Karis swimming lessons.
Along with those swimming lessons I get daily therapy sessions over the phone.
When she was my age, she was raising three boys with about as much energy as I have.
No energy and no help.
Her stories of what she learned, how God got her through, the struggles she faced have so ministered to me.
They meet me right where I am at.
Give me hope to go on.
Let me know God is in this and will help me through it.
He has also placed a couple of moms who have had cancer in my life, as well.
I've written about them before.
How their stories, their willingness to share what God has taught them, their struggles, everything has made me realize with God's help, you can face anything.
It has taken me almost three years to admit that what I have isn't going to be a quick fix.
Each doctor I see, each thing I try, each time I feel better, I let myself think that I've arrived.
I've finally found the thing that will fix my lung.
My troubles will be over, my problems fixed. Life can go on in a somewhat normal fashion.
Each time I've had to deal with disappointment.
Realize that there is no quick fix for me.
Understand that I'm not on a sprint, that this will be a marathon.
Not a 3K, or a 10K, (I don't even know if I'm getting the terms right, I'm so not a runner!) but a Forest Gump run across the US and back.
I've struggled as I've realized this.
Being chronically sick is not what anyone wishes for their life.
Especially in America. Land of the quick fix.
I love my doctors, but I'll be honest, there are moments I want to shake them and demand they fix me, and fix me NOW!
Quit watching me, giving me these blasted diets that take so much will power, patience, and time.
Give me a miracle pill I can pop and be better.
But that is my way.
It isn't the way I've been given.
God doesn't want a sprint for this area of my life, He wants to see how the marathon will go.
I want to tell Him He has the wrong girl.
Doesn't He remember that when He made me He didn't give me a running gene in my entire body?
But He knows.
He knows me better than I know myself.
He knows exactly how hard running a race like this is, and He gave me so many ordinary heros in my life to show me it can be done. You don't have to be perfect.
I want to tell Him it is impossible with two little kids, and to please make me better.
He shows me it is indeed possible with more than two little kids and to trust Him.
I've lived around these ladies for years.
I even watched their struggles.
But I never realized what heroes they were - and I'm sure they would all deny being heroes - until I had walked in their shoes for a couple of years.
I want to thank God for putting them into my life, and I want to thank them for letting God work in their circumstances so that those who are just beginning that journey can follow in some amazing footsteps.