"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion,
gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
This is a recent quote I stumbled on that really resonated with what I hope to become. I think we are so adjusted to what the world defines as beauty that we forget that the most "beautiful" people are those who have known hardship, sorrow, grief and the darkness that comes with it, and yet still they find a way out and a way to move on.
This has been a very difficult year. I wish that I could put it differently but to be honest, I would have to say it has just been plain hard. We have faced job loss, relocation, loss of value on home and multiple buyers along the way to negotiating a short sale (which looks to be lost all together at this time due to the poor organization of the bank we have been working with). We have faced continued health issues with the boys including RSV, pneumonia and the recent discovery that Jonah's hips are dislocated and will need intensive surgery, etc. My Mother's Parkinsons has worsened and this past fall she was in and out of hospitals a minimum of 3 times, we almost lost her to a rest home more than once. I admit, the pain of sadness, loss and even times resentment has been all to often familiar. But, I also would be remiss if I did not say that we have found God's tender mercies in our every day lives as well.
I still do not have a full understanding of the "why's" and "how's" and "where to now's"....but I do know that God loves me and my family. I am grateful for this knowledge and the reminder that the only things in life with value are the relationships you forge with those around you and the friendships and family that you nurture and keep. Truly, in the end, nothing else does or will matter.
I want to thank everyone who has prayed for us, fervently, and for each of you who continue to pray for us. We have been blessed by the power of prayer in many, many extraordinary situations. I have also found incredible missionary opportunities and moments of testimony as I am able to share with others that family does matter and that God wants all of his children, with or without special needs, to have a part of His Plan here on earth.
It saddens me that so many have given up on compassion and charity and think our situation to be lost. It just simply is not so! I have seen how the effort of one can change the attitude and heart of many, I have seen it in my own life and in the lives of my boys.
Do I always understand my own "walk with Job," as I have begun to call this period in life? No. No I do not. Sometimes I grieve that I am not the same person I was just a few years ago. I grieve the young woman I left behind. I grieve lost dreams. But I also know that God is omniscient, all-powerful and all-knowing. I look at the person I am now and I know, without any level of denial, I would not be who I am today. So yes, sometimes it is true, the greatest of changes must truly come at the greatest of costs but in the end...when you look at yourself and see that those around you mean so much more, that your relationships take priority and that you must completely submit yourself to God, how can you have regret?
So for this reason, during this holiday time, I wish to thank Him for having faith in my potential and for seeing that I would overcome all that was and is placed before me. I have so many days that I question his trust in me and I feel inadequate. Most days, in honesty, I feel inadequate but I am grateful that through this all he sees that I still have the Divine within.
So to all of you, I ask that we pray this next year to find the reason behind what He asks of us and to follow in faith, despite what the sacrifice may mean. I promise, with conviction, to do the same.
Merry Christmas to each of you. Thank you for your friendships and love.