The life I always wanted


Us, spring 2013
Us, spring 2013

Tuesday didn’t seem extraordinary in any way.

I woke up to the sound of my baby calling for Daddy. I chugged coffee while feeding her in an effort to re-energize. I read Maggie her “good morning” book and then sat on the porch with her before nap time, thanking God for the birds, the sky, the grass, and all the other components of creation sprawled out before us in our beautiful middle-of-nowhere spot. I checked email, scheduled appointments, and worked on my course syllabus during Maggie’s nap time. I reluctantly removed my pajamas in favor of real clothing since I had appointments to make and errands to run. I visited with the eye doctor and learned that I didn’t need to see a specialist after all. And I ended the day by sharing experience, strength, and hope with some friends.

As I pulled into the driveway that evening, I saw Maggie and James sitting on the porch with our cats, waving at me and smiling. I waved and smiled, too.

As I parked my car, I suddenly felt completely overwhelmed with joy and excitement and gratitude.

Oh my gosh, I thought as I choked back tears. This is the life I have always wanted. I am living it.

It’s not that I have the things I’ve always wanted. I am grateful for what I have, but that’s not part of the dream I had about living a wonderful life. It’s about what really matters—it’s about who we are. It’s about family. It’s being married to a man who exceeds my expectations for love, companionship, laughter, and commitment. It’s about crawling into bed at night and turning toward each other instead of facing the wall. It’s seeing my beautiful baby girl’s face light up when I walk in the room every morning. It’s having priceless people I love in my life. It’s getting to teach English courses at our local community college and put my degree and my passion for writing to use to serve students. It’s being healthy enough to enjoy these things. It’s having a group of people in recovery to mentor me, hold me accountable, and walk with me as I make progress and let go of perfection.IMG_6819

It’s about looking around me and realizing that all the hopes I held silently within me, for fear they would never be realized, have become reality today. I don’t worry about finances or infidelity. I don’t allow fear to take the reins. I’m not leaning my ear to the door, waiting for the sad, heavy sound of the dropping of the other shoe. I don’t dwell on the what-ifs very often anymore. What is has become my focus instead.

This is the life I’ve always wanted because I am becoming the Bethany I’ve always wanted to be. Thank God for the evolutionary process, for the turning to the light.

“And I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten.” –Joel 2:25

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