The only way through

On Monday, this photo came flying in like a blast from the past.  My friend Courtney was apparently archiving some old photos to digital format and paused long enough to send me on this trip down memory lane.  It’s funny how photos remind you of moments you’d likely never think of again, but as soon as I saw it, I remember that night like it was yesterday. .  It was Halloween 2007 and we were (OBVIOUSLY) expecting Oaks to arrive any day.  Outside of the fact that our little golfer doesn’t look very happy to be there, we were doing pretty good.  How crazy is it that I remember that one of my biggest challenges at that time was blow drying my hair? (Oh, how life has changed!)  It was exhausting.  My arms were already tired from carrying that 15 month old chunky monkey around and by the time I finished, my freshly clean body was all sweaty again.  (This would have been a good time to think of starting a blow dry bar)

Four days later, I’d had enough. 

I called the little salon around the corner to ask them if they could just wash my hair and dry it for me.  To my delight, they agreed, and while I felt like an old lady going to get my hair “set”, I didn’t care.  It took over an hour and they charged me $15.  DONE.   Oaks was born the very next day.

The best decision ever. 

Looking back, I hardly even recognize that girl . . . or that simple life.  It’s amazing how time changes everything.  In both good, and challenging ways.   If I’d have known how the next 11 years would play out, I  probably would have told you I wasn’t strong enough.  There’s no way I could make it.  (Although maybe not, I’ve always been a bit of an idealist)  There’s no way to know, but I can tell you this.

That girl in the photo would not have chosen the path I’ve taken. 

That girl would have dreamt up some other reality and taken the fastest train in the other direction.   But I know now, that every road you choose, every fast train you take, will lead you right back to the same person: you.  Rather than running from pain, challenges, and all the hard things, I know now to accept them.  I know now that it’s worth it to fight, struggle, learn and survive through them.  I know now, without a doubt that the only way through is through.  There is no shortcut.  I know that all the hard things have been sewing together the tapestry of my becoming.  I know that they’re sewing yours too.

Life is hard, and it’s imperative that you acknowledge that. 

Give yourself some grace today.  Marriage is hard.  Parenting is hard.  Friendships are sometimes hard.  Meaningful work is hard.  Finances are hard.  Getting up every morning to do it all again is hard.

Adulting in general, is just plain hard sometimes.

Remind yourself today that all the “hard” stuff is worth struggling through.

Stop looking for the nearest exit.  

Instead, look yourself in the mirror and acknowledge just how far you’ve come.

You’ve become the person who can and WILL do hard things. 

The only way through is through.

Keep going.  

to more love,

Crystal

P.S. If you’re in need of a fresh dose of courage to keep going, text a couple of girlfriends, grab your cookies and join us for a night of inspiration to be brave,  in the comfort of your own home via our “BraveHearted Cookie ~ GNO at Home“, there are only a couple of days left to sign up!

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