“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
A.A. Milne (quote from Christopher Robin)
I have been through a lot of painful challenges in my life.
Wait!!! I need to rephrase that…God has brought me through a lot of painful challenges in my life.
He has brought me through many years of child abuse while I was growing up by a very significant adult in my life; a domestic violence first marriage after becoming pregnant with his child while we were engaged and being homeless and living in shelters three times during that engagement and marriage; escaping my first husband with our boys who were four months old and five years old at the time; starting a new life in a town across the state from my dangerous ex-husband.
He has brought me through living with PTSD, depression, anxiety disorder; some of the challenges of living with my own disorders while being married to my second husband who struggled with bipolar disorder and what that brought with it at times; going through the horror of the tragic car accident that claimed the life of my second/late husband and barely surviving the accident myself; two years of caring for my two sons who were seriously injured in the same accident and rebuilding my life. And I can’t forget to mention the PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorder and permanent physical limitations that I now deal with every day following all of this.
Yes…I do feel a series or e-book coming from this article…
You see, there is one phrase that I want you to focus on from all that I just shared with you.
“God has brought me through a lot of painful challenges in my life.”
Through it all, I was NEVER alone. God was with me. He was cradling me in His arms, filling me with his strength, courage, wisdom, giving me His comfort when nothing else would comfort me.
So many times I hear people say to me…
“Mary you are so much stronger than I!! I could never survive what you have been through in your life.”
“But you are wrong!! I am weak. I had to lean completely on God every day and continue to do so as I face the challenges of every day life. It is God who is strong…not me.” –has been my standard response.
I am learning something in recent weeks though…I am learning that I am braver than I believe I am. I am brave not because of me…but because of remembering to trust God and embrace the challenges I am faced with as opportunities instead of obstacles. My strength is in God and I am so, so grateful to Him for filling me and refilling me each day.
But I am also thankful that He helps me to be braver than I believe I am.
About a month ago, I was faced with another opportunity to be braver than I believed I was. My new father-in-law is very, very ill and I needed to get to our new home in Texas in July instead of waiting until the time that James and I had set aside and planned for him to come up to Missouri where I lived and we would get married and he would pick up the trailer for me, he would take the lead in packing the trailer, and then he would drive our car pulling our trailer behind it from Missouri to Texas and we would start our life together as a new family.
James didn’t ask me to come early, but nothing was going to stop me from getting there. Continue reading