My kids are raised. I’ve given them the best years of my life. I’ve given them all I have… my heart, my home, my money, my time…. Being that they got me from the age of 21 to 47, that means they got all of my collagen, estrogen and muscle tone as well. If it wasn’t them that took it I don’t know where it went.

I dropped my youngest son off at the Missionary Training Center yesterday. He is there to learn Spanish so he can go teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and serve his fellow men in Honduras.

The 30-minute drive home was an educational experience. There was silence in the car, but not in my heart and mind. As I pondered on my son, Levi, selling most of his worldy possessions, putting all of his hard earned money into a two year CD, quitting his job, purchasing the items he would need for the trip, getting exams and vaccinations, letting go of everything he currently enjoys and understands to be ‘his life’ and walks to the edge of all he knows… taking that leap of faith… and trusting that he will find another step, fall to his demise, or fly….. he inspired me.

At first I felt sadness. Deep sadness. For the loss he may be feeling, for the fear, the loneliness, and the desperate hope he must have that he is doing the right thing. After I felt his “assumed emotions”, I started to feel my own. I was heart broken and really going to miss my boy… my adventure buddy. I was sad and mourning the loss of the years I have spent raising kids… I suppose they are not lost, but rather behind me. I felt fear of the unknown, the future, the next chapter of my life. I realized I have been stuck in a very difficult chapter of life for a long time, and I had an overwhelming desire to move forward. If Levi can do it, so can I. As I cried, trying to keep others in the car from hearing me, I was feeling as though my heart was deflating, and it occurred to me that if Levi were with me he would look at me, lower his head until his eyes gazed at me out of the tops of his sockets, with his loving but “Mom, come on… what are you doing” smirk and he would tell me to “stop it”. When Levi is sad, he doesn’t sit and cry, he doesn’t check out, he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He moves on. He pulls up his boot straps and finds a way to live life to it’s fullest. He sets high expectations for himself, he works hard, he looks for ways to serve others, and he uses up every last minute of every hour to get the most he can possibly get out of each and every day.

My mood shifted as I heard the words in my mind…. “Levi would not want me to sit and cry about him leaving, he would want to hear about how I used my time wisely to reach a new goal, have an adventure, or better yet, he would want to hear that I was going to kick his trash in a marathon when he gets home.”

I had this overwhelming feeling of just how stuck I have been. As I looked around I had a sense that most of us are stuck. We do the same things, live the same patterns, use the same coping mechanisms and walk the same paths every single day. We dream of change, we talk of change and sometimes we even attempt change, only to return to what we know…. even if what we know isn’t getting us anywhere. For some crazy reason, we, as humans are creatures of habit, even if our habits make us miserable. We stay miserable because it’s familiar and familiar is a counterfeit for comfortable.

I’m not whining, but I’m not gonna lie… life has kicked my trash, especially the last five years, but the good news is that when hard things come our way, so do valuable lessons. I have been given so many new tools in the last five years. I have learned so much about myself and others and how to change old patterns, as well as the difference between familiar and comfortable. I’ve lived too many years in “familiar”…. It’s time for me to seek out and create “comfortable” in its most authentic form, no matter what it takes to get there.

Don’t be confused, when I use the word comfortable I’m not talking about easy, or content, or lack of effort. I’m talking about real joy and peace. I’m talking about knowing who I really am, what my needs are, learning to enjoy each moment regardless of circumstance, allowing negative energy to pass through me, and turning my will over to God’s will. One thing I’ve learned through the roughest years of my life is that I cannot control most of what happens, therefore, in order to have peace and joy, we have to have faith and trust that God has a plan for us and that if we submit our will to His, along with common sense and self discipline, we will be happier, more peaceful, and have more joy than we have ever had. When I really have the courage to surrender, to trust, to listen, and to act, I will be shown how to fly.

Regardless of age, life expectancy, in sickness or in health, wealth, poverty, or economic status, when I make the choice that it’s “GO TIME”, and put my life in the hands of the Lord, he will take me as I am and make me into something far greater than I ever imagined…. and that my friends, is how you “Embrace Adversity”.