You must know by now I'm an old soul. Not the "in-bed-by-8-o'clock" type... the nurturing type, who spoils all your children.
I'm proud to say my wise, yet warm demeanor has earned me about a dozen babies -- none of whom I gave birth to.
My youngest is still baking in her mommy's belly... but, my oldest is in her twenties! And, yes she is very-much-so my child!
Jaz and I met about 6 years ago when I was working for the ABC affiliate in Charleston, SC. It was her first job in the industry, and while she had very little experience, she had plenty of passion. Jaz was detemined to succeed in journalism, and I saw great potential in her.
So, I did what I do best - I mothered her.
I'm pretty sure there were days that she did not like me. Often, I yelled at her... Critiqued every script she wrote... and, I'm pretty sure I made her cry once. #oops.
Jaz had a habit of letting fear get the best of her. But, I wasn't having it! I made it my personal duty to help groom her into the flourishing professional I knew she could be.
Before long, Jazmin was calling me #MaV and had been offered a new gig in a bigger market with lots of opportunity to grow. (Tough love for the WIN!)
I thought I couldn't be prouder of Jazmin... until last week.
You see -- Jaz has long struggled with obesity. She tried every diet and would work out with friends (including me), but her body just didn't respond the way she needed it to.
So last year, Jazmin made the critical decision to have weight loss surgery. It meant a drastic transformation in her eating habits, plus counseling to emotionally prepare herself for the journey.
In 19 months, my girl lost 139 pounds!
The young woman who was once "tough" and closed off, began vulnerably blogging about her weight loss journey. She shared all of the knitty gritty without any shred of embarrassment, and that alone made me a proud "mama".
Then last week, she sent me a text.
"I want to share something with you before I share with the World Wide Web."
Initially, I was honored that she even thought of me! But then, worry set in.
"What could this be??" I asked myself.
"I'm having surgery," she typed. "I'm getting the excess skin removed..."
Ahhhhh.... FINALLY, Jaz would be free to bask in the new body that she worked so hard to achieve! I was SO excited for her, but I knew healing would be hard.
So, the day before surgery, I checked in on her.
"How are feeling about tomorrow?" I sent.
"I'm good to go! Mentally -- it's already done!"
Her response was full of certainty and excitement. No trace of nervousness... or anxiety.
Before I could respond, Jazmin typed: "I've been holding on to this!", with the following paragraph attached:
"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He's done. Then, you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand."
Whew! I had expected many things from Jaz, but a Sunday school lesson certainly wasn't one of them. The "child" who once needed me for guidance, was now teaching me about the power of divine assurance.
See, Jaz was weighed down by physical pounds, but many of us know what it feels like to be burdened by mental weight ~ things like anxiety, unproductive careers, stagnant relationships, or simply too much responsibility.
But, what we learn from Jazmin is -- faith builds a fortitude that can withstand any suffering or injury.
Even when things seem to weigh us down, we can carry on with a sense of understanding that the dead weight will soon be lifted. We too can push toward our goal with a Philippians 4 mentality... one that allows us to live in peace and work in confidence, no matter the circumstance we face.
On the day of surgery, Jazmin printed out her new mantra and snuck it into the operating room with her. There's no surprise that she is healing and recovering just fine.
Until next time,