First off – I have to let everyone know that we are finally up and about again. The entire family was slayed by the dreaded virus, but all are feeling better now! Thank goodness because we have a birthday party to organize!
We have received so many comments about how positive Shawn and I are and how we see the good in every situation. I am appreciative that people say this because there are MANY times when I do not feel so positive and good about everything. However, on the whole, we do belong to the Optimists Club (not really, but I am sure there is such a thing).
Quite frankly, we’ve dealt with some very tough stuff over the past 12 months. We thought we had dealt with enough tough stuff during our engagement and early years of marriage – long distance relationship while dating and engaged, death of two beloved grandmothers, moving to a new state away from family and knowing no one, devastating miscarriage, and struggle with infertility. When I look back over that list, I often think that God was preparing us for the road ahead. Our faith in God and our faith in each other and our marriage were tested with these “smaller” challenges to prepare us for the bigger challenges that lay ahead (I say “smaller” in quotes because each of these challenges were very real struggles for us at the time).
There are days when all I want to do is crawl back into bed and wallow in self-pity and misery. Maybe I would if I did not have two precious children who need me to get up and face life. And I have a choice – to either face life with gloom, self-pity, and negativity or face it with joy, humor, and optimism. My children are the greatest gift God has given me. For their sake alone, I choose optimism. I choose to be cheerful (most days!). I choose to not give up. I choose to keep on smiling. How can I not?
Has this past year been easy? Definitely not. Have we doubted and despaired at times? Absolutely. But we have persevered, and here we are, almost a year later. There can’t be triumphs without the struggles. This journey so far has been a journey of many parts – some rocky, some smooth; some winding where we have no idea what’s around the bend, and some straight where we catch glimpses of the future. But at the end of this first year, we have the most important thing to show for this journey – we have our beloved Clare who, right now, is thriving and loving life.