Ten years ago. On April 23rd, 2003, Dusty and I were in our first year of marriage. There is nothing particularly special about that day except that it was during "that season"... You know those times in life when you remember "oh yeah" and it takes you to a place. We were really struggling in our marriage. It was pretty volatile. Or should I say I was. And always emotional. Nothing was as I had anticipated and things were so much harder than I imagined. How could we date on & off throughout high school, all through college, know each other for as long as we had, and yet have things be so crazy? We fought more than our fair share. Money, traveling, sex, communication, friends, guests, bugs (yes, roaches to be exact!)... We weren't sure about our income. Everything still seemed so new. I remember calling my mom sometime around then and sobbing to her, telling her I wasn't even sure we were going to make it. That marriage was hard. She just chuckled and said "yep." My reflection in the mirror was different then. It showed very little grace. Very little patience. I was a girl who knew it all. Why didn't he get me? My faith was being tested. I was locked into today and couldn't see my tomorrow. Many days it felt like we were just trying to make it.
We did make it through however. We talked. We made plans for how we were going to address issues and continually recommitted to making it work.
Five year ago. On April 23rd, 2008, we were 3 months exactly from having to say goodbye to our precious second son. My heart was absolutely broken over our deep loss and some days I didn't know up from down. In the midst of incredible grief, the Lord gave us a precious new gift. We had just found out, with elation and absolute terror, that we were expecting again. A miracle was growing inside and it took everything within me to just to see the sun shining. I was struggling to keep my mind focused on The Truth. Dusty was struggling to help me keep it together. Fear had a huge grip on me. My reflection in the mirror was different then. It showed very little peace. I was racked with fear and "what if's". And my faith was being tested. I was locked on tomorrow and simply trying to keep focused on the moment I would hold that precious baby in my arms.
I wasn't promised that tomorrow, but my focus was ahead. I knew where I wanted to be. I envisioned how it would feel. What I would do. The relief that would be tangible knowing she was safe.
10 years ago. 5 years ago. I could never have ever imagined all the trials, struggles, fears and pain that I would have encountered over the last decade. Some things felt huge when they really weren't, and others felt like a whole 'nother level, and they absolutely were! But I couldn't have imagined the joy either. That throughout all of our experiences, somehow I wouldn't change any of it because it's made me who I am. My reflection in the mirror is different today. Today I see someone with increased faith. With more grace and compassion. But I also see that the struggles have left their marks. Battle wounds. We all have them. And let's be honest, I still see impatience, pride, judgement... The list could go on and on. Huge imperfections.
But the beauty of it all is that some days in my reflection I simply see Jesus. Not because I think I am Him in word or deed, but because the only way I can even see clearly is because of Him.
Ten years ago could you have forecasted where you would be today? How about 5 years ago? I would say I couldn't have imagined 5 years past, or present today. Our life is beautiful, riddled with scars, and bruises, but it is so different than I planned. I never envisioned being a stay-at-home mom... but then again I never envisioned losing a child. How quickly plans change!?
I began to think about "the next 5 years" almost one year ago. As I looked at my then 20-month-old, I realized how fleeting the time was and in a blink I would be returning to the work force. It only made sense. The income, the benefits, the flexibility of my previous job. And then suddenly, tears. I looked at my kindergartner and couldn't imagine having my youngest hop off the bus into someone else's arms. The thought sent me into some moments of intense sadness on what I figured was the only real possibility.
Enter Rodan + Fields. I can't quite put into words what all of this- this company, this opportunity, this divine appointment- has meant to me. I can say however, that it has been one of the very best decisions I have ever made. To look at what I am doing, on very part time hours while home with my babies, and know that I am creating something that will form a legacy not only for us, but for my children... It's incredible! To be building a business to allow me to stay home forever?! No words.
And while I would say that is the BEST thing... I would have to say one thing tops that. This opportunity has given me the ability to dream. YES, dream! What SO MANY PEOPLE have lost the ability to do now days. To be able to look at my life and know that in 5 and 10 years, so much will have changed, but to be confident in what the Lord has brought before me and the path that He is leading us down. We have BIG visions of giving and serving and loving... And to change the life of one child through adoption? Well to me that is the best dream there is. To be a family without a child, it only makes sense to bring a child without a family into our home. That's it. And no, I don't think Rodan + Fields gave me that vision, that is 100% straight from the Lord. But to be able to DREAM far beyond that reality and envision what it will be like to touch more and more lives. Abroad and right here. To see how I can change lives through the income I make, and also share this gift with others to allow them to chase their own dreams and realize their own change. It's all possible and I am so.very.thankful.
5 years ahead?
10 years down the road?
I don't know where exactly I will be, but I can promise I will be praising HIM, through the joy and pain, and confident in the direction HE will be taking me.
To God be the glory for the great things He hath done...
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