December 21, 2005

Tending my Garden

Flowers grow out of dark moments.
- Corita Kent

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis quote makes me smile. As we reach the end of Robert's deployment to Iraq, I find myself reflecting on the last year-and-a-half. Let me tell you, I've had some dark moments.

I have been through more things than I care to go on about here. I've trekked many a mile through some dark, lonely, scary, disheartening nights. I've shed many silent tears. I've shed many tears accompanied by wails of frustration and anger.

2005 almost feels like a blur to me. It certainly didn't feel like it passed quickly. Every day seemed to drag on for years. Especially the tough days, the days when I needed someone--anyone--to be there for me, to help me, to encourage me. Nights, with a fever-ridden, asthmatic child whose breathing was so labored I feared he might actually die in my arms.

Yet, here I am--on the other side. I made it. That statement feels like it should be full of excitement and flare--I MADE IT!--but it just isn't. It's simply a statement. I made it. I've learned so many invaluable lessons this year.

I've learned that I'm much stronger than I ever thought I was. Even in the moments in the wee hours of the night when I thought I would literally snap under the pressure of a screaming boy, I maintained my sanity, somehow. I learned to trust myself, my instincts, and not second-guess myself.

I've learned that true friends are there for you, no matter what. They don't shrink in the background, just because they don't know the right words to say...because true friends realize that sometimes there are no "right" words to say. They're just there. And that makes all the difference in the world. I'm so thankful for my friends. You know who you are. You've helped me through this year, and for that I am so grateful.

I have learned that married couples are not meant to be apart. But when you are, if you work hard, your relationship can grow stronger than it's ever been. When Robert left, I think we both worried about what would happen between us. I can honestly say that these thousands of miles have only brought us closer. I feel closer to him than I think I ever have. I have realized how easy it is to take all the little things for granted, and I never want to do that again. I have the most amazing, best husband in the entire world. God broke the mold when he made Robert. He is my pillar of strength and support.

I have learned that like friends, family shines through in moments of adversity. And I've learned who really cares and who doesn't. Hurts in a way, but in my heart, I always knew.

I've learned that during those anxious moments of worry and fear for the safety of my husband, God really was my source of strength. Prayer can do amazing things, as Robert is a testimony to. There were several instances of "God-incidences", which Robert was kept safe from danger. God's power of grace and mercy will never cease to amaze me.

I think one of the more important lessons I've learned is that the mind is a powerful weapon. If you sharpen it, exercise it daily and keep it well-maintained, you have an ally within yourself. The mind is too great a thing to waste. I've learned that I can do anything, if I just believe in it and put my mind busy to work doing it. With God, all things are possible. He guides me, even through all my imperfections, and He has kept me and brought me through this year. Thank You, Jesus!