My family has lived through a lot of tough things in the last several years. We've done grief, loss, sadness, fear, and sickness. I've had close contact with death through the loss of Norah and through my own brushes with it along the way. Through all of it, time has helped to heal a lot of the wounds and broken pieces and God has shown us over and over that in His time (not ours) will life feel whole again. And the whole life I thought I would have is not even close to what He has given me.
If I were to lay my life out in a timeline, I never in a million years would have picked to lose an unborn baby, to almost die from severe blood loss, to struggle to get pregnant again, to go home with my beautiful baby and suffer a stroke not even 24 hours after being in our house as a family, to spend 9 days in the hospital and not even care or know that I had just given birth, to lose my short term and immediate memory, to go to therapy for months, to not understand what has happened to my brain, to undergo many, many MRI's and CT scans and see many, many doctors who see my case as special with no definitive diagnosis, to suffer from daily persistent headaches..... These are all big, hard things, and I've done it all in less than 3 years. I'm not trying to make myself out to be a martyr because I know you may have gone through some hard and difficult things in your life as well.
But I'm here to tell you that you CAN DO HARD THINGS, and you WILL GET THROUGH THEM. You will be different when you hit the other side. I have so much perspective on my life now that I never would have had had we not gone through this stuff. I think back to 3 years ago, when I cried every.single.day. I wanted Norah so badly, and the depth at which that loss hit me was so deep down inside me that I never thought I would get over it. But God showed me that He is in control, and each day I cried less tears and we began to honor Norah instead of mourn her loss. My kids will always know that there is someone missing in this family, and we will always work hard to honor her in the way she deserves.
We have been shown over and over again the goodness of God's people who fed us, took care of our children when we couldn't, and most importantly prayed for us. We have retired parents who lived with us when Cecilia was so tiny, and I couldn't take care of her (and the other two) without help. I believe that things don't naturally fall into place when you are in a crisis. God gives you the strength and tools you need to get through each day.
Is my life easy and beautiful day in and day out now? Of course not! But I have a greater perspective on my life as a whole--almost looking down from above to see that these hard moments are not all there is. We will all have suffering and hardship on this earth. We can't escape it or prepare for it. But God will teach you and mold you into a different person. You will learn things about yourself that you never knew were in there! You will come through it with more compassion, generosity, gratefulness, and love and those things will prepare you for your next trial. And one day, we won't have to worry about death or sickness, financial stress or infidelity, greed or divorce.....we will be in the perfect place with Him.