Is Your Why Hiding In ‘The Pause?’

It has always been in the pause and stillness that I have heard the whispers of my heart.

There is such power in a pause —

  • Pause to be more present.
  • Pause to hear what your heart is whispering.
  • Pause to find the ability to persevere and press on.

What does your heart whisper to you when you are listening?

Do you let yourself be in stillness long enough to hear a calling on your life?

I have a daughter who has had to do very hard things. Yet, she lives with a zest for life that is often unparalleled.

She is my daily source of both exhaustion and entertainment.

I am writing to share about my heart whispers and to encourage you to pause and listen for yours.

Macey conquered. We conquered. And now I write to share her story.

We were never promised a life without “muck,” but I do believe we are gifted with strength, love, community, and the ability to find the glitter that hides most brilliantly in the murkiest of waters (read part 1 here and part 2 here).

We have a little girl with smiling eyes who has climbed mountains bigger than most will ever face.

Macey has an intellectual disability that sets her back (functionally) a few years. We don’t know if that diagnosis came as a result of her underlying chromosome disorder, the effects of leukemia and chemotherapy, or her time spent on life support. Likely, a combination of all of those things.  

It makes life more challenging for her and for our family; however, we live with a “miracle” – even the doctors agree. So we take the ongoing and future tricky parts in stride (most of the time).

The voice of truth is often quiet and we have to pay attention and listen to the whispers that feed the soul and create peace.

We remember the people we have held (in our arms and in our prayers) along the way who had a different ending. My heart will forever ache for them, and it keeps our future fears and daily ‘battles’ in perspective.

I asked my eldest son to describe Macey. He said,

“She is joy, she brings joy to many people, and she is very, very loud.”

He is so right. She IS joy (AND loud). And, her purpose is so much bigger than her disability.

She teaches me lessons everyday about letting go of plans, slowing down, and having faith.

Her path is uncertain, but her ability to love and passion for life is not.

She reminds me that life is not in my control.

All I can do is show up and love her.

Living with purpose does not mean living without fear.

There were so many times fear tried to win:

  • When we faced a new diagnosis.
  • When we had to adjust our dreams for our daughter.
  • When we worried about the effects on our boys.
  • When I lay crying alone in the dark, the machines beeping not-so-subtle reminders of what life was all about (at that time).
  • When we drove to Edmonton as Macey fought to live.
  • When my heart whispered but I was too bent and broken and tired to respond.
  • When the trajectory of the future is tainted by the shock and trauma of the past.

I turned to writing during the long, lonely hospital days.

I shared my blog with friends and family as a way to keep them connected with our journey and updated on our needs.

My words often came from an inner voice – the whispers inside me . I was writing to process, to talk on paper, and for any friend who wanted to walk into a deeper understanding of our reality.

While writing was therapeutic for me, it also started to feel like a way to turn our journey into something beyond us – something of purpose. Could it bring peace or joy to the world around me?

“Macey seems to see into the hearts of people, and truly connect with them. We have always thought that. But we didn’t understand the extent of what she would teach us and how much she would expand our hearts and the hearts of so many others.”~CB

There was a whisper in my heart to share and to let our journey be of encouragement to others.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” ~Maya Angelou

Macey had to endure and fight and I want to share her with you to remind you of hope and to suggest you find the whispers of your heart and follow them right now.

Don’t wait. You don’t have to move quickly, but just start listening.

Find a moment to pause. For stillness. For direction.

The whisper of my heart was to write a book.

I have started by writing a picture book series called Marvellous Macey.

(Update: I published “Marvellous Macey, The Delightful Days” in March. It is true story and a gift for my daughter. Also, a dream come true.)

My mission has become, “to help moms find glitter in the muck of childhood cancer or disability so they can find hope when things are hard.”

The book is about making today the best day ever EVEN when things are hard. You can check it out here.

“He who has a why can endure any how.” ~Frederick Nietzsche

The pause gives way to finding that ‘why’ and tempering fears.

I wish for you to discover purpose and happiness and living a life you dream of.

As President Snow says in The Hunger Games,

 “Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear.”

Find a way to follow the heart-whispers. I dare you.

Press on and conquer friends,


P.s. This is part 3 of 3 ~Macey’s Story, Our Story~

P.p.s. Follow @caitlinbangsundauthor on facebook or Instagram

P.p.p.s. This is not salted caramel cheesecake. That means you should share it.

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