This week I’ve heard from so many people and I am inspired by the resilience and persistence that they show… Here of some of their life’s experiences. You may see yourself or someone you know in them:
Janice* has been diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer. It’s an aggressive form and her treatment will be equally aggressive. This same time 4 years ago her husband died suddenly of a rare blood disorder. Her Mom passed away from Hodgkin’s disease this same month many years ago. She is feeling the oppression of this time and dealing with her own illness. Janice is staying positive for her family and in her words she says, “What else can I do? It doesn’t do me any good to be miserable.” She is working up until the day before her surgery because it keeps her focused on what she enjoys.
Kyle* & his wife filed bankruptcy last month. He started up a business several years back after leaving a corporate job. The business didn’t go as well as he had hoped and he sold the company to an investor who ran it into the ground, defaulted on the contract and left him with debt he couldn’t repay. He still hasn’t found a new position and at age 60 he’s embarrassed and hasn’t told a soul. He feels that it is his cross to bear and by keeping it to himself he doesn’t have to deal with the distain or pity that he knows he would experience. While he is struggling with feeling like a “failure” he knows that he did everything that he could to not be in this position. Kyle says that he’s “hit rock bottom and that is a good solid base to build from.” He is grateful for his health, his wife, the roof over his head and that he can start all over again and not make the same mistakes. He is grateful for the lessons that he has learned by falling down and more determined to stand up straight and keep moving.
Andi* is recently divorced from her childhood sweetheart. She & her daughter Katie* live in the hometown that she grew up in. She has never traveled, worked outside of the home, or balanced a checkbook. Her husband was a salesman who handled all of the finances and left her for another woman. She is receiving a small amount of child support and alimony but both of those will end soon. She hates going into town because everyone feels sorry for her. Her brother has invited her to come stay with him until she gets back on her feet…but it means moving to a new city, a big city. Katie has always dreamed of living in a big city…to experience a life outside their small town world. So next week they are packing up the car with their essentials and heading off to Denver. Andi says that when her husband left her she hit the lowest point in her life…but she survived it because of the support of her daughter…. And if Katie is willing to change her entire life then Andi is going to be right there to support her dream too. She believes in her heart that her life is just beginning again and this time she is determined to become the person she never gave herself a chance to be when she was married.
We all have our stories…some we choose to tell and others that we hide.
Whatever you may be going through…never think that you are alone. 54.8% of Americans are divorced, 6,000 people file for bankruptcy every day, and 1.6 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Regardless of what you are facing there are hundreds…and maybe even millions of others dealing with a similar challenge.
Janice, Kyle & Andi each make an effort every day to focus on what is good in their lives. Some days it is harder than others…but they persist.
I hope that you are inspired by Janice, Kyle & Andi. In their darkness they looked for the light and found it. Look for the light!
*Names changed in order to preserve privacy.