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Friday, July 5, 2013

Five Years


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Five years ago I was experiencing my first summer as a single mother.  I was so unsure of what the future held.  I was insecure emotionally and financially.  I remember struggling to accept the reality of my life, longing so much for it to return to the (false) reality I thought it was before.  I had trouble sleeping, eating and often paced or had to step outside for deep breaths to alleviate the anxiety I felt.  I distinctly remember feeling like I was drowning.

Five years ago, I had an infant, a two year old and a six year old.  We somehow managed to have a fun summer with lots of trips to the mountains, many evenings with grandparents and a hodge-podge of volunteer babysitters as I began working full-time.  It was a summer of so many changes and transitions.  Really, it was a season where my life turned onto a path different from the one I had mapped for myself and strategically planned. 

I could have never guessed that the road would lead met to THIS summer.

Five years ago I could not have guessed or imagined the kind of love I experience now.  I hadn't felt the acceptance and friendship.  I didn't know how deeply my family loved and supported me.  I was afraid that God would write me off as unworthy.  At the time, I didn't even know some of the people who are now the most important to me.

I have met and will marry my best friend.  I feel so connected to Mr. Wonderful that I feel like we have known each other for decades.  I have been so pleasantly surprised to realize my heart is capable of hope, trust and love.  I discovered I am able to embrace the children of another person with similar feelings of responsibility and investment as my own biological ones inspire.

Five years later I am settled into my role as a single mother and (mostly) confident about the responsibility that role brings.  My parents have relocated and I no longer attend the dear church where so many helped me in the early days.  We have registered to attend a new-to-us school this fall and will live in a home in which we have been guests.

I am a very different person today than the one I was five years ago.  I am less rigid and more fluid.  I think there is less tendency to control and more ability to let those closest to me discover themselves.  I am more realistic, tend to be a bit cynical and yet I'm capable of hoping.  I no longer feel the need to know every answer before taking a risk...in fact, I'm much more willing to take risks and try things!  I'm not afraid if things don't turn out perfectly.

Please know that if your summer is a difficult one, you have no idea how things will be five years from now.  You will be stronger, more experienced, more sure of yourself and your strengths.  Set some goals and hold them loosely.  But keep striving and moving forward.  Life, even with the many challenges, is so sweet!