Writing and exposing your personal life to the entire world (not only to friends but also complete strangers) is a very humbling and sometimes scary thing. It has officially been 3 years since I started this blog and to date, I cannot even fathom how I have 3,794 page views, and that has only been since I started tracking it. "Amazing" is how I feel when I think about the fact that I have readers from the U.S (my biggest audience), Canada, UK, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Slovenia, France, India, Africa, and Poland! Thank you all!
Experiences in life are universal, no matter your age, race, status, or religion. My readers (and probably my own family!) have come to know me in some deeper ways and have had a chance to experience life through my eyes. Three years of ups and downs, sicknesses, health, death, life, love, loss, moving, settling, unemployment, jobs, doubt, faith, grief, joy, heartache, happiness. I'm sure there's about a million other really great words I could use too. There were times when I never thought I would get through something and was in the deepest despair of my life and there were times when I was confident and feeling on top of the world and completely hopeful.
The truth is that this makes me think of many really good people that showed they loved me in words and in actions. It could have been a listening ear, a comforting hug, heart-warming words or most importantly, prayers. Prayers from the heart. It doesn't matter to God what words you like using, what prayer books or not you like using, or even if you use no words at all. God takes it all and holds it close to himself. The times you are happy and have such a thankful grateful heart for what God brought you through, or the times you are so utterly lost and hopeless and there are no words that can possibly help.
My dad used to say, "Baby Jesus says, NEVER GIVE UP!!!" He could love and relate to the cute little baby Jesus in the crib but not to the grownup man on the cross for some reason. Sometimes it's hard to go on. We feel sick, lonely, sad, tired, worried, poor, unloved, miserable. The weight of the world is pretty much on our shoulders and we feel as if we just can't do it anymore. We can't take another step up the very steep hill in front of us. We only see the dismal grey storm clouds in front of us that actually block our view of the gorgeous sunshine with beautiful blue skies and puffy white clouds behind it. My faith and my experiences have always shown me that at the very worst of life when I have no possible options left, I have no choice but to just give up and give all my control over to God. So that he can just take it out of my hands completely and do something great with something horrible. Then there is always a miracle that happens, somehow that just can't be explained.
I guess I should really write about those times more often.
When my parents and I were living in Burnaby, it got to the point that there was no way my dad could continue to pay the mortgage and property taxes on our house; the house I was in since I was about 1 year old and the house that I had just graduated high school in. We had no choice but to sell it and move to Langley, where we had only really visited once. We only knew it was super cheap out there and they had a little (at the time) St. Joseph's church. Little did we know how much it would change our lives. It took a massive leap of faith and encouragement from my "uncle" Fr. Joe to make that tough decision. We started fresh and left behind a lot of our past, which I think was pretty wise in the long run.
If we had not moved to Langley, I would not have been part of the most amazing youth group that had a hand in such a big part of my spiritual growth. I would have not met the most wonderful friends that I still have almost 2 decades later. I would not have been challenged and encouraged to stay on the right path and I would not have ever felt that I belonged anywhere or that I was truly valued as a person. And even with moving around a million times since (even to Manitoba), it was Langley that I came back home to and where I discovered so many blessings (and people) hat I would have probably missed out on.
It was not all sunshine and roses and happy faces. But don't worry. God sees where you are right now at this very second. And he will NEVER leave you or give up on you. That is for sure and that is for real.