‘The horror of that moment,” the king went on, “I shall Never forget.”
“You will though,” the Queen said, “If you don’t make a memorandum of it.” ~Lewis Carroll
First of all let me get this out of the way: I love reading Rachel Hollis books and love her blogs, post and pod cast but we disagree on this…. this very thing that just happened. She tells us in her last book that she does not like reading books that start a chapter with a quote. Well I love it, for some reason that style gets me and I get it. Sometimes a quote just sums up how you feel at the time and you find yourself, saying Amen and Amen.
I have been accused of being too happy, not realistic because I have this over arching joy quotient. If you could raise my mom up from her resting place she would tell you that this was my nature. She would tell you that at a young age I found a deep and abiding faith in my Heavenly Father and NOT…. NOT… NOT, because life had been perfect or Rosy or just right, but in spite of it all my faith says that there is good to be found in all of it!!!
When I was raised in Alcoholism, and my father lost his life to it and my brother lost his life to it, When my brothers spent the majority of their lives in and and out of prison and trapped in addiction, it changed me, it had to, I was powerless over their disease but I found a way to find peace in it. I did not fold, but rather I got on my knees and looked up and asked for help. I did not understand it, but I chose to find something to be joyful about and there was plenty. I had a home, I had a strong and capable mother who loved me and cared for me and worked for me. And more than that she believed in me!!! She thought I was resilient, and creative and tenacious, she thought I was capable of ANYTHING that I set my mind to. Though she could not understand it so much, she loved my joy. She knew it was rare but real.
When my first husband left our family and I had little money and seemingly little hope I did not give up because my faith was real and deep and angels showed up and I learned the deepest part of love. The love that is shown when mankind sees your hurt and does whatever they can to put salve on it, asking no questions just giving of their time, their money, their hope. This was one of my darkest times of my life but it was a time when I saw the greatest of love and I found the greatest of my courage and my strength and in that my purpose. A life of service and the belief that all things were possible with God.
When I raised those 3 kids by myself, I was so blessed to be able to find around every corner someone to love me and someone for me to love. I was able to find jobs and purpose and hope and laugh and cry and do all those things you do when you are walking through a rough patch. But when you are walking through it, you do not rest there, you do not set up camp. You move through walking and resting and hoping and thus you move forward. And again there is faith in the unseen but the knowing that it is there, a better life just within your grasp if you just keep walking through.
God sent a gift of a man who loved me like I had never been loved before. This darkness of divorce birthed a partner and friend like no other, someone who like my mama knew my heart and celebrated it…. unbridled unexplainable joy and all. A man who knew me more than any other and knew the authenticity of me and the peace that was ours because of a shared faith that was honored and nurtured. Again, like my sweet mama he thought it was rare and perhaps a little weird but he loved it and cherished it.
I have lived through addiction, death, extreme illness, loss of all my possessions, loss of family due to drugs ad illness. I have lived through a painful time of a brain disorder and surgery and recovery. My family members have lost much of their lives to addiction. I have lost my husband which was perhaps the hardest of all so far but still I can say that God has given me a life worth living. There has been far more joy, far more reasons to laugh, far more reasons to hope.
I am thankful for all of it. I make no apologies for being happy and content. I have learned to be content in whatever season of life I am in. Though sadness comes and darkness visits I do not take up my residence there. I walk on through with hope and with love and with a prayer in my heart that one day those I love will find the peace that they need to have a hopeful life as well.
My only reason to even glance at a few of the challenges of my life is to paint a picture of a life that all of us have lived with great occurrences and some not so great. A life of some really joyful high points but some valley moments as well. But the sum of my life is a beautiful mixed bag of things that I have no control over and some that I do, but my prayer is that God allows me to find the good, the pure, the joy and the peace in all those places and in so doing pass it on. And so it is.