For 8 years I drove the same 25 mile, 40 minute route to work. Nearly every morning, before the sun even rose, I would head North out of town with a straight shot up I-35 until I reached my destination. That route, once so familiar to me, has now become but a distant memory.
Driving in that direction is now a rarity, yet I recently did for the first time in months. I couldn't believe my eyes. If I looked right or left, in either direction, what was once empty fields was now building after building of both residential and commercial properties. This area I once merely drove through, is now becoming a destination; a place filled with life, business and all things new. It is amazing what can happen in a year.
Life can change in an instant. The loss of my husband was when that reality hit closest to home for me. One moment, one last breath, and all of the sudden your whole life has changed. Dreams have shattered, your familiar road now detoured. Life can turn upside down, and flip you around like a rip tide pulling you under, over and over again. Anything that made sense no longer does, and the feelings of loss are so intense it feels like they just might be that way, well...forever.
I had a moment last week, playing in the back yard with my children. The sun was shining down in the first humble beginnings of Spring. Ellis was sitting in my lap running her fingers over the grass. She was enthralled. Was this one of the first times she's touched grass? My mind raced back to where we were last year at this time, I was floored upon remembrance. For it was right around this time last year Ellis was being discharged from hospice. Yes hospice. The kind of end-of-life services for people they don’t expect to make it. In her case, where they still didn’t know if she would.
In those early days I couldn’t imagine Ellis in a few months time, let alone a year. I would hold her in my arms at times sobbing, not knowing what road was ahead for us. I was begging for a light at the end of a tunnel, I wasn’t sure would ever come. In no way did any of this seem possible then.
The impossible never seems possible when staring itself in the face.
Yet here we are, life has moved full speed ahead, just as it always does. One day has turned into over three hundred days, and in my lap sits a baby girl full of joy, life, and exploration.
I wonder, how often in life, we give up just before the point where it turns itself around?
You will never know what happens next in this life unless you live it. There will always be reasons to quit. Life gives us a million of them; from disappointment, to wrecked hopes and dreams.
But nothing is forever.
No sadness, no despondency, no regret, no pain. If you keep moving forward you will get to the other side.
A year can hand you a lot of difficulty, but the next year can also hand you a lot of beauty. The only way you will know what’s ahead is to keep going-one day at a time, one step at a time.
Don’t give up. I wish I could shout that from the rooftops, don’t ever give up. You never know what tomorrow, or even next year, has in store for you. To everything there is a season, and not one season will ever last forever.
Oftentimes your greatest breakthrough is on the other side of your greatest adversity.
Before you know it, life has moved forward. You have scaled the wall that once seemed insurmountable. And what was once just an empty field is now a destination; filled again with life, business and all things new.