I've been wrestling through so many emotions and struggles and words lately. Everything seems to run together when I try to get it out, but I think it's important to get it out. I feel like I've been under a cloud, lost under waves, crawling through trenches.
The past two years have had such sweet things, I know this well. I truly do. But the weight of the hard things and the overwhelming things and the whirlwind things are what I grab on to to define the way I view what our days have looked like.
And I don't think I'm wrong.
And I don't think I'm too negative.
And I don't think I'm depressed.
I think I've walked though some dark days and months. I think I'm a deep feeler and that I can see the weight of things like some can't. I think I process and analyze life in mysterious ways. I think I've lost the ability to cope and rest, but I'm committed to refiguring these things out. I think that I've walked through some hard things that have left me a little numb and as I come out of this cloud, I'm asking questions and figuring things out.
More than anything, I know that my life isn't awful. I know that harder things happen and the things I've walked though are way lesser than some. But they are my things and part of my story.
Walking through infertility was part of my story. The difficulty I felt having three kids and building a house was real. Having a shocking and surprising pregnancy was a miracle, indeed! But it brought out feelings and sin and struggle that I didn't know were part of me. Pulling Andrew out of preK was humbling and the best decision for all of us, but at the time it felt weighty and hard. First grade for Benjamin was torture on all of us. Craniosynostosis changed my heart and my life forever. No one wants to watch a nurse walk away with your tiniest baby and then hold him again with a bloody scar that caused him great pain. The sacrifice and selflessness I felt and learned through that was one of the most eye-opening character struggles I've endured. After that it seemed like one sickness after another for three months, which is just normal when you have four children. But felt disheartening after everything else. A slight breath and then Patrick's muscular reaction and meningitis set me back again. I also started allowing myself to process my past and the things I've endured. This was equally freeing, exhausting and heart breaking.
This doesn't seem like too much, I guess, over the course of two and a half years. But this doesn't include the little day-to-day things that felt hard or overwhelming or even slightly off. I also didn't include my mom starting chemo, again, and walking with friends through great tragedy and trials. Those felt just as heavy as my own days sometimes.
I've never seen the darkness of my heart and sin like I have as I look back at what we have walked through and how I've dealt with it and felt it. This is a great gift and a deep struggle all in one package.
All of this to say, I want to be an overcomer. I want to be victorious, not a victim. God knew and has known what my days and my heart would look like. He knew what I needed to walk through and endure. He knew how I needed to grow and change. And, oh, I have.
I want to look back at my life and know that the hard things left scars and marks, but didn't define who I am as a woman. I won't give up wresting because I want to be a fighter. I want to figure it out. But I want to move forward, to be free.
Maybe 2017 looks a lot like letting go, throwing my hands in the air and being a little of who I was and where I came from, but mostly being the woman I will become. I would rather be a risk taker and find out things the hard way than miss the adventure entirely. And friends, this adventure is absolutely worth the risk - heart ache and growing pains and freedom, sacrifice and tears and laughter, and everything else in between.