: to make (someone) want to do something : to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create
: to cause (something) to happen or be created
: to cause someone to have (a feeling or emotion)
Who knew that seven simple letters could accomplish so much. I find a lot of things inspiring…God’s beautiful creation, words of encouragement, someone’s personal story. These things can spark my imagination, spur me on to do something I might otherwise think I can’t accomplish, and touch a part of my soul that connects me to the One who created me.
I’m joining Holley Gerth and her “Coffee for Your Heart” challenge to encourage others. This week’s theme is “Who inspires you?” Hmmm…well anytime I see someone overcoming adversity…or striving to survive while in the midst of it…I am inspired. So naturally the first person to come to my mind is my son. Since my blog deals with our struggles over the years, I thought I’d take some time to brag about some good stuff (smile).
My son inspires me…it started when he was a little boy.
Anytime we were out and about in a place that there was an opportunity to play with kids he would join them…and he was always asking if they could come home with us to play…even though he just met them. They were his instant friend. In the second grade, he was voted the “king of kindness.” The whole school voted and he won complete with crown and bag of candy (smile). For his 8th birthday, he decided that he didn’t want presents for his birthday, but instead wanted his friends to make a donation to the Johns Hopkins Children Center. Our local radio station was having a telethon at that time to raise money for the hospital. After his party, we went to the radio station and presented the money that was collected. He was so excited, but at the same time very shy about it. He may joke around today that he doesn’t like people much, but when it comes right down to it, he cares deeply about his genuine friends and even when life may separate him from those friends…they remain a friend to him forever. He cares and that inspires me.
When he reached puberty and discovered he was gay, he definitely went to a dark place. It seemed that depression and anxiety were going to overtake his life and he struggled a great deal with both. I am amazed, however, at what he was able to accomplish during that time. He had an English teacher in high school that encouraged him to write and he discovered that he is a very talented writer. He won state contests and was able to read one of his pieces in front of a live audience. I’m not sure how he did it since he struggled with crippling anxiety, but he did it…and that inspires me.
He decided in high school that he wanted to learn how to draw so he took an art class. He discovered that he is a talented artist. It takes him some time, but he has many amazing pieces to show the talent that God has given him. The fact that he pursued something that he was interested in at a time when he doubted everything about himself…in fact at times hated himself…inspires me.
He got really good grades in high school and went off to college where he has made the Dean’s list every semester. May not seem like a big deal, but throw in panic attacks and suicidal thoughts and it’s pretty amazing if you ask me…and it inspires me.
He decided that he wanted to learn how to play the piano, took a few lessons, and when school consumed too much of his time, he went on to continue teaching himself and in a short time has become quite the piano player. I played the piano when I was younger and had lessons for years and never reached his level…and that inspires me.
Today he gets up each day knowing he may face discrimination because he is gay. But that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to pursue the things that are important to him. He went from having so much trouble socially (from years of bullying – making him closed off to people), to totally blossoming this year. He actually says that he is sad that this is his last semester of college because he is finally having fun. He decided at the end of last semester that he wanted to learn how to swing dance. He got a few friends interested, they went and took lessons, and now just about every weekend they head to the city and dance half the night away. As he puts it, “hey mom…I started a thing.” They all love it and it’s become an important part of their social life…and that inspires me.
There really aren’t words to express how much things have changed for him. You would have to know the deep despair that he felt. But somehow, through the darkness, he has found the strength to press on…but not just press on…to thrive. He is a delight…he is quirky…he is funny…and he is super smart. He inspires me to pursue my own creativeness, to try things that might be scary (like starting a blog), and my heart swells with love whenever I think of him.
People have told me that I’m brave to be so honest here. I’m not the brave one…he is…
Now it’s your turn…who inspires you?