~I'm at peace. That's what I feel, finally, for the first time in well over 5 months. God's peace has washed over me, at a time when I least expected it. I worried about the holidays, wished for January to hurry up and get here, and my little family made it through. Peace came Christmas Eve night. I hope it never leaves!
~I'm content. In the current circumstance I am in, I am content. Do I wish things were different? Sure. You don't have what I had and not miss it. But I've decided to be content in my situation. I don't have Mark beside me, but I have two wonderful kids, a host of family and friends, a church and community that embraces us, and a God that will not let me go.
~I'm happy. Happiness is a choice, pure and simple. Each and every day as I awaken, I choose whether the day I'm facing will be one where I am happy, or one where I am downcast and sad. There have been way too many of the latter. I choose happy, and will continue to do so, over, and over, and over again. Soon, like any other good habit, it will become second nature, just as my running has become over the past two years.
~I'm hopeful. Hope is what keeps us afloat each and every day. Hoping that tomorrow will be better than today, with new adventures and new experiences awaiting the boys and me. Hope for a future that will be good.
~I'm confident. This one's been a bit harder to master, but I'm getting there. For 25 years, I was content to sit back and let my husband lead. He was the true head of our household. But now, it's me. The 22-year old me (before Mark) was shy & unsure of herself. The 48-year old me (because of Mark) is anything but shy, and is becoming stronger & stronger each day. Having two boys who think I'm totally in control (even when sometimes, I'm totally faking it!) helps. They make me want to be better, do better.....and I always have their best interests in mind during my decision-making. Confidence is just the by-product.
~I'm more sensitive. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I've seen first-hand how short life can be. It's just a vapor, a second, whenever compared to eternity. So, I listen more closely, tend to cry more often. I've slowed down my life (Mark used to say that I'd go at life like I was "killing snakes"...which was not meant as a compliment). I take time to relax...breathe...pray....and wonder at all God's given me.
~I'm amazed at the grace God continues to give me. The mercy that I see in each new day. The love that never has abandoned me, that never will. And the sad fact is, I knew all of this stuff before losing Mark....I just didn't take the time to embrace it, or act on it.
My eyes have been opened. So have my hands.