Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The WAS Epiphany

Anyone who knows me also knows that I love words. They make me think through their many layers and shades of meaning to get down to the true definition. I also love it when I learn a new word and it seems to pop up everywhere. (Does that happen to anyone else?) I like knowing what words mean and understanding the nuances that make even synonyms different so that I can pick just the right one each time. I was the kid who wrote English and History papers with both the dictionary and the thesaurus perched on my desk, ready to provide assistance. Scrabble and Boggle are two of my favorite games and I relish in finding a big word that scores mega points. This post however, is about a small word, because the little ones deserve some attention, too.

Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s word of the day is: Was

The word WAS gets used everyday, probably by everyone, in many different contexts. It can recall any emotion or memory: regret, happiness, sorrow, excitement, longing. If it happened in the past, then WAS is there when we talk about it in the present. WAS is an itty, bitty word that most people probably don’t even think about using. I know I never did. I recently realized, though, how beautiful and powerful WAS can be. As we were getting ready for bed and talking about the day, I said to my husband, “I felt a little bit woozy for a moment today, but not like when I WAS sick. After I ate something I felt fine.” (No, I am not pregnant.) It occurred to me that I hadn’t really referred to the past year as a WAS. 

Twelve months ago I WAS not feeling that great and I could not figure out why, nine months ago I WAS feeling terrible and some days passed in a blur, and six months ago I started to feel so much better thanks to a major overhaul of my diet. The past six months have been both a challenge and a blessing. There have been really aggravating moments when I wondered if I would ever get to the bottom of the “What’s wrong with me?” question. There were also moments when I surprised myself by finding that I did not think about my health at all because I felt good. I became even more patient and more sympathetic to others with ailments and I learned, again, that it is okay to take time to care for myself. To keep it all in perspective, I reminded myself that so many people suffer far more intense health problems than I did. Now, I am utterly thankful that, all things considered, I am very healthy. My supportive family and friends who love me and pray for me make me constantly aware of how lucky I am.

I married Drew a few days past one year from the time I started feeling unwell. As frustrating as the prior year had been, I got through it day in and day out, largely because of his unwavering love and encouragement. How many men are willing to dive into gluten free, sugar free, yeast free, dairy free cooking? (Praise the Lord, most of that food is back in my diet, to one degree or another.) Because of him, our wedding vows meant so much on our special day and I barely made it through “in sickness and in health” without bursting into tears. Today, I feel like a different person than who I WAS one year ago. God willing, I will continue to feel this way. WAS has the power to put something in the past. It is a subtle word, one that I am blessed to say passed through my lips with ease.

And since this has been stuck in my head the entire time I WAS writing this:
Fuzzy Wuzzy WAS a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy WASN’T very fuzzy. WAS he?


  1. When you learn a new word and you begin to hear it more frequently, you're experiencing the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Here's a nice informative article about the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon if you'd like to learn more about it:

  2. Thanks, Dane! I never knew there was name for that. And so the student becomes the teacher. :)

  3. I love this! Totally know what you mean. One of the most powerful words can be WAS. And I am so glad that things are going so much better with your health! Praise God!