I’m moving in my sleep again. I’ll wake up sprawled across the bed, covers kicked off, hair its own continent. For years, I would go to sleep and wake up in the exact same position. Flat on my back, head turned to the right side—accommodating the tumor, screws and rod even in my sleep. Careful not to sleep too deep. Maybe if I just lay perfectly still, I’ll wake up feeling differently, feeling the way I did pre tumor, the next morning.

But as I tip toed around it, the more it ruled my days. From the moment I closed my eyes to the moment I opened them—it was there and thought of.

It’s different now. About the time the puddle of drool is wiped off the side of my face and the jungle of hair atop my head is tamed behind a headband, his morning crib babbles fill the house. I go in, pick him up, and as I bend, the tug inside my spine nudges me. Ah, yes. You’re still there. Almost forgot about you.

Yesterday, we celebrated 4 years post op. And while I wish more than anything I could one day blink open my sleepy eyes, pick up my tornado toddler and not feel anything at all but the weight of his growing body, no hardware tugs or tumor pain or “bad side” tingles, this is part of my story now. An uninvited part for sure, but still a part of it. And the deeper this scar gets, the further I believe: we don’t have to be scared of our scars. If we embrace them, they can begin to tell a far more hopeful story. They can paint the roadmap that leads us to the life we were always meant to lead.

For some, healing looks like complete tumor removal. Hardware pulled. Everything washed away. And for some of the rest of us, this looks like drooling in our sleep again—waking up with a tumbleweed on top of your head, overjoyed at the sight of the return of Morning Troll, and getting the honor of picking up the miracle baby that is somehow yours. And while it tugs as I reach inside his crib, it doesn’t win. I grab him and pull him in close. A rebellious miracle—this spine of mine and this miracle man of mine, all in one.

Cheers to 4 years. Thank you Jesus for this LIFE! 🤍🙏🏼

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