It's pretty easy to say that the last two years were the worst of my life. The. Worst. Worse than all the other worsts combined. I almost lost my life. I almost lost my marriage. I almost lost my faith. I was so lost. I thought I would never make it out.
I think it's funny when younger girls have asked me for advice. First of all, it's really weird to be the "older" one. Second of all, although I try to patch together some life experience and pass it along, really I just want to laugh and say, "You want to know what to do? Look at my life, and do the opposite!" BOOM baby! Life figured out.
Some days I wake up and I get butterflies. I'm not just happy to be alive. I'm happy I want to be alive. I look at my kids and I'm just overwhelmed with gratefulness and love. I look at my husband and and I fall in love with him all over again. I melt with thankfulness for his love. For some people these feelings are normal. For me they are new and wonderful. Because for so long I was so lost in worry, fear, anxiety, bitterness, and emptiness that I couldn't see what I had. And even when I could, I couldn't feel it. I couldn't feel anything but pain. So now I get butterflies. Because life, no matter how chaotic or unstable or confusing or frightening, is so, so good.
It would have been good enough for me to know I would make it out of that time with my heart still beating. But to not only make it out alive, but with a clearer sense of life, a stronger marriage, and a deeper faith than ever before? I can say I am thankful. Thankful for a God who can use the worst years of my life, and make beautiful things from the dust.