Sunday, June 12, 2016

Faith, Hope and My Kind of Courage.

I am touched by the kinds words of support and excitement after the announcement that Derek and I are expecting twins! My heart is overjoyed at how kind and well received this news has been by so many. I am almost 10 weeks pregnant and finally seeing it in black and white and hearing from so many of you, has really made it feel real

I often have delayed emotional reactions to both good and bad things that happen – and finding out that I'm pregnant has proved to be no different. At the age of almost 44, I can’t believe I am going to be a mother, after so many years of waiting, wondering and believing it likely wasn’t even possible?! But I am here to testify that no matter what your circumstances in life or how difficult things are, the Lord does consecrate our afflictions for our good. Yes, even when our pain and suffering seem endless and pointless, there is always a way for us to ultimately find the gift in our suffering.

No, it certainly didn’t feel like a "gift" when I found myself divorced at the age of 29, as I was climbing out of the depression that hit and a mountain of debt to pay off from my marriage. And it didn’t feel like something the Lord could consecrate for my good when I was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer tumor at the age of 38. As a single woman, trying to attract a good man and facing the new reality that I was going to lose a good chunk of my female anatomy as well as my hair, with very little hope for being able to have children, I was devastated.  And as I have experienced the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, with fears of not being able to pay rent or make payroll, or fix things with an upset customer -  and more sleepless nights than I care to admit – NO, it certainly didn’t appear that anything good could come from my challenges!

But you know what? Every blessing I have received has come because of or in spite of my challenges!

It has been said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Many of you out there may be feeling like your journey is much too long, too tiring and too overwhelming to keep going. I feel your pain. I know what that’s like and I know the hopelessness that comes when we are in the moment of despair and nothing seems to make sense, when we see no end to our suffering. 

But I also know the great joy of not giving up, doubting our doubts and clinging to the truths we hold dear and true. I rarely feel God in the moments when I think I need Him most. For me it is usually in hindsight that I realize He let me go through the grief, pain and loneliness for His own wise purposes – perhaps so that I can learn patience, empathy, compassion and become more like Him in the process. 

Remembering that He did not spare His only begotten son from the greatest suffering of all, helps me feel less picked on and more trusted that He really does have my back and knows better than I, what I need. He also knows what I want and at times He grants the desire of my heart, after I do what I can to help bring about His miracles.

Being an older mom, brings unique opportunities along with a few challenges. I’m grateful for the many friends and family who have children old enough to babysit my future kids J. And I’m thrilled to represent the women in my age group who are wondering if this blessing is still possible. In the coming months, I hope to share my journey of being a 44-year-old expectant mom of twins, with a mission to bring hope, renewed faith and increased courage to those who can benefit.

I’ve never been the most adventurous type to bungee jump, sky dive or back pack across Europe - and I’m deathly afraid of spiders and most dogs. But I know how to look a trial square in the eye and say, “game on, you’re not going to stand in my way of going after my dreams”. 

Even as a shy, awkward, 8th grader, I found the strength to put my insecurities aside and go after my goals of having friends and being involved in school activities. It wasn’t easy, but I kept going because I knew that the kind of courage I had was to feel the fear and do it anyway. Being able to keep going and face the adversity that comes during those quiet hours when I’m alone with my thoughts, wondering if God is really listening – that’s my kind of courage.

I’m not saying that having courage means you get everything you want, when you want it or that life will be easy – in fact it might even be more difficult at times. But I do know that life is better with faith, hope and courage. It is my prayer that you will come to realize and embrace the hope and faith to discover whatever your kind of courage might be and allow it to guide you to what your true potential can be.