This is probably the most emotional post I have written all year.
In a few hours, we'll say goodbye to 2013 and embrace a fresh, new start in 2014. I want to share a few thoughts with you that will inspire you to find and keep love in 2014.
But first, let me share a quick story.
Two years ago, today, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! From conception to delivery, nothing went as planned. I endured 6 months of horrific, non-stop nausea, dehydration, drastic weight loss, hospital stays, home health care, weekly IV's and other invasive medical procedures. It was not what I expected.
My husband was so supportive and stepped up to take care of everything. By the time I was ready to deliver, I was praying for a speedy delivery so I could finally hold my baby in my arms. The birth was not what I expected.
"It's not supposed to be like this!" I wailed (or maybe YELLED is more accurate). I was too far along for any pain medication. I'd have to give birth naturally, but because the doctor wasn't around, I had to endure intense labor for an additional 25 minutes before I could deliver our son!
"You can do this. You are strong," the nurse assured me. I didn't believe her. All I wanted was relief.
At some point, however, between contractions, I had to decide to let go of how I thought things should be & accept them for what they were. No doctor. No epidural. Just me, my husband, my mom (on the phone) and a team of nurses.
Gratefully, I delivered a healthy baby boy. And I don't even remember the pain of the pregnancy or delivery! In fact, the joy he's brought to our family has oveshadowed any of the disappointment, pain and struggle I endured while I carried him. He's funny, smart, sweet and strong. We have our challenges (he's a toddler, after all), but I can't imagine life without him.
What does my son's birth story have to do with you finding and keeping love?
I'm glad you asked.
Sometimes, we have to let go of the life we think we should have in order to experience the awesome things God wants to give us. Joseph Campbell put it this way:
"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
Maybe . . .
You thought you'd be married by now . . .
You thought you'd have kids by now . . .
You thought you'd have more, but instead, you've suffered incredible loss . . .
When life doesn't go as planned, we sometimes give up on our dreams. We swear off men (who needs them anyway) or we feel ambivalent (I'm not sure if I want to find love; I'm happy with my life, I shouldn't want this!) and try to convice ourselves we never wanted it in the first place.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Find the courage to let go of your old dream. I know. It's painful to think about releasing your plans and hopes. But you're not letting them float off into nothingness. No. You're giving them to God. He's the one who promised to give you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of grief; and praise instead of despair! (Isaiah 61:3 NLT).
There is a beautiful, joyus life waiting for you in 2014. A life filled with love. It's gonna be amazing and I am honored to be able to help you get it.
But before you can get there, make a decision RIGHT NOW that you won't let the life you think you should have, block the life that's waiting for you. Leave it all in 2013.
I believe in you. Let's do this together!