I have changed.

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I am not the person I was. I have been battered and bruised by life but I am trying not to think about the tough stuff, but instead, focus on what I have become as a result of my scars. Do you suppose that is why God has placed these trials in my path?

The kids have always joked that I am not the compassionate one. If they needed sympathy growing up, they always went to their father. My reaction was always, “You’ll be okay, just put a band-aid on it.” My advise has always been to “walk away”, “grab yourself by the bootstraps and forge on”, or my mother’s personal favorite, “God never promised you a rose garden.” I am tough stuff, a go-getter, a perfectionist, Left Brained and Type A all the way. On the outside…

People who really know me, know better. I am not the extrovert that many assume that I am. In fact, I am insecure, lack confidence, and am extremely sensitive. I am terrified of being alone. I hate change, and I am a workaholic who never can live up to my own standards.

Over the past couple of years, I have noticed more than I ever have noticed before. My senses seem to be heightened almost like my nerves are exposed. I have taken my eyes off myself, and noticed others in a whole new way. I experience people with all my senses and their emotions radiate and transcend upon me. The Support Group ladies fill my thoughts and I worry about their loved ones and family. My husband’s sadness and confusion is my burden to carry as well, and I ache for the loss he is experiencing.

My son asked me the other day if I was mad at God. I can honestly say that I am not. Our pastor shared that people go through trials for a variety of reasons. Sometimes trials are a result of sin. Sometimes it is a result of pruning. Sometimes it is simply a result of us living in a fallen world. I don’t really know the purpose and I guess God doesn’t owe me an explanation. But if I had to guess, life’s challenges are pruning me.

Have you ever noticed that some people make the biggest deal over the stupidest things? I have. Some go on a rant about things that just don’t matter. Some freak out about things that are just no big deal. In the grand scheme of things, their source of frustration means nothing. I am learning to pick and choose what is going to upset me, go with the flow, and focus on the things that really matter. My family matters. My friends matter. I need a job. I need a car that runs. I need a warm house. I need groceries. Those things matter.

I am learning to relax. Isn’t that weird to say in the midst of a cyclone? I am learning to “Let it go,” as the popular song from Frozen insists. My prayers have changed. I simply ask God  to take care of us, to put His people in our path for encouragement, and I thank Him for his daily blessings. I don’t take things for granted, and I won’t put off things that I have on my bucket list that I wanted to experience with the love of my life. I want to make memories with my kids and their father while he is still with us. I want to play more, work less, and enjoy the things that matter. I want to live.

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