‘Twas the night before Christmas. And we were in the ER.
Technically, the incident was two nights before Christmas. But the clock rolled over past midnight while we were still there.
Our youngest swallowed a quarter while she was watching the Chiefs game on the couch.
Turns out that’s a bad idea.
She claimed she yawned as she was fidgeting with it above her mouth, but who really knows if that was her white-lied version or the real way it went down.
Either way, it went down.
It’s all good now, but the first few minutes were pretty terrifying.
It was lodged near the base of her throat / top of her chest area. She was having a tough time breathing.
Air was passing through, but she was panicked and understandably, scared.
Straight for the ER we went, and as the minutes passed, so did the quarter. By the time we got there, she couldn’t feel it anymore, but we went ahead with the visit anyway.
In 15 years of parenting, it was our first quarter in the stomach episode, so we assumed we were in the clear at that point, but we weren’t sure.
When the bill comes, we’ll be sure to remind her how expensive that quarter turned out to be.
We knew there was only one way out. 💩
The staff made her feel right at home and reassured her over and over that she’d be OK. That she wasn’t the only one who’d been through this.
They even joked about her being worth so much more now that she was full of money.
One even said it would be interesting to see if the quarter would turn into two dimes and a nickel on its way out.
Clearly, they’d been through this before.
I get that it’s a big leap. But thinking back on that night, the one that began with fear and ended with jokes and smiles, made me think about where we find our worth.
Or at least try to.
I’ve been on a couple year long journey of answering that question. Or at least starting to identify all the ways and areas I’ve looked for my worth in places that well, frankly, end up worthless.
Not that any of them are bad, in fact most of the places I run to are incredibly good. They’re just not capable of holding another human’s worth in their control.
It’s not fair to ask them to.
But it sure seems that when I try to find my worth in what Brooke, our kids, you, our clients, my family, my bank account, my whatever thinks of me…well…
Like Henley and that quarter, I end up gasping for air because my search for worth is simply in the wrong place.
It hasn’t come as consistently, as grounded or as deep as I hope it will eventually, but I’m starting to experience that real worth, the kind that can sustain any storm, is only found within.
The pearl of great price kind of within. The journey through the dark night of the soul kind of within. The buried treasure that needs to be recovered kind of within.
It’s not a journey that’s been easy. Or always fun.
But it’s been worth it.
To find True Worth.