Well it's Wednesday night. I have been an LU grad for 5 days now. I have to tell you it feels wonderful. What feels even better is reading the emails...already over a dozen...from people who have read my story and who have been inspired somehow, to try something of their own. Some dream, some vision or goal. Many are seriously considering returning to school themselves and most of that number are thinking about LU Online. One lady wrote me who actually works for Liberty and she is thinking of enrolling to finish her degree. Imagine being that close...working with students every single day and deep in your heart wishing you were one of them! I hope she goes for it and gets that degree.
I have read and reread this blog and the story Liberty did on me and I have wept over again.
I feel sometimes like a soldier who has just lived through a harsh firefight and now that the bullets are done flying, he realizes all he has been through and what he has lost.
I love being a graduate. I love inspiring others and encouraging them and giving hope through my story. But I have lost so much and it hurts. I miss my dogs. I was thinking about our sweet Bonnie this morning. She would be 11 years old now and at the sunset of her life. Old Springers are slow and lazy but loving and gentle. I miss her daily. I hope her new family has loved her these last four years as much as we did...and do. I miss my garden. It's spring and I want to be planting something. I've missed four years of tucking my daughter in and hearing her bedtime prayers.
God is using my story and my resilience to reach others and I am honored to be part of His plan.
...but sometimes I cry over what I've endured and all I've lost. Sometimes in the darkest hours I lay in bed thinking about the last four years and it breaks my heart in two.
But I comfort myself with the promise that God will "Repay the years the locust have eaten" and he will make everything new.
Do me a favor...it brings me GREAT joy when someone is inspired by hearing my story, and to be honest, it makes the last four years seem a little less painful when I think about that time helping someone else. So please...tell my story. Spread the word. If you have a group or know of a group or a church who brings in speakers, consider giving me a shot. Give me more opportunities to encourage and inspire people with this crazy journey of mine.
Because that is the only thing that makes these tears turn into a smile.
Thanks and God Bless...and please...NEVER give up on your dreams!
With Highest Hopes...