Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I see the end to this tunnel

I've decided that life is one huge subway system. Sometimes we get to choose which line to take, and sometimes not. You never completely leave the system though. After all, you have a long way to go. You'll come to the end of one line, get out on the lighted platform and start on the next leg of your trip. Always setting off or coming to another lighted platform.

It has almost been a year since Jeff was laid off. It has been one of the worst years of my life. I have never been this stressed out for this long of a period. Being mentally and physically wiped for that long will either kill a person or make them stronger...I'm still here to type this, so it's probably the later of the equation.

In this long dark tunnel I have lost many things along the way. I have been stripped of all my pride. I've had to do things that I never thought I would have to and accept help from everyone. I have been to the edge of loosing everything that Jeff and I have spent 11 years building and acquiring. Now I seem to be leaping off that edge into the wide abyss, hoping that I made the right choice in hurling not only me, but my family. I have been put in a situation that I can't afford to buy my own food for my family. We're having to sell our house that we waited a long time to get, not to mention we love. I've had to rely on someone else to help clothe me and my children, because everything we get goes to a bill of some sort...thanks Mom. I've spent a year of not knowing what is coming next. I felt hopeless, scared, angry, and depressed. This is the darkest tunnel. I just couldn't see any light. I've even fell so down in spirit at times that I've questioned the existence of God. This has been to date one of the largest, longest, and hardest trials I've ever had in my life.

I want to tell you all though, I see the light. I am so filled with relief and joy because of this light. With the blessing of retrospect, I'm now able to see that this was also the best year of my life. My pride was broken. "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." I have had help from friends and family. In the winter, I was so cold. We had our heat turned down to save money. I would wear the thickest socks, sweatshirt, and two blankets just to keep the shivers away. My sweet aunt and uncle sent us some money so we could turn our heat up. I will never forget such a loving gesture. It has been hard to accept these blessings, but they fill me with so much gratitude and love it's hard to express.

Because of this long tunnel, Jeff and I are pursuing a life long dream. Without this year, neither Jeff or I would have the courage or inclination to do this. It's going to be one of our greatest endeavors. Jeff will realize his dream of becoming a doctor. I have wanted to go the dental hygienist route ever since I was a teenager. I feel confident that Jeff and I will succeed. I know that with these chosen professions, we are guaranteeing a great life for our family. We will be able to have and do what we want. The most important thing will be the ability to pay it forward. I think the best way to payback all of the help and love we've received, is to do the same for someone else down the line. I, in fact, can't wait.

So, this dark and long tunnel of my life has finally come to it's end. I'm stepping out onto the lighted platform. I get to choose the line to ride this time. This time I'm not scared. I know what lies ahead, for the most part. I know when we reach the end of it, life will be even better. I know that the Lord will never leave me to go it alone.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for all that you've been through, and yet so proud of you for weathering the storm! I know that this is going to be a wonderful path for you and Jeff and the girls. (And I'm not just saying that because I'm excited that you will be back in the TC!) It's been a hard year, but you have a wonderful attitude and I know that you'll be stronger because of it. :)
~Mel

Stephanie said...

The best is yet to come. It may not be a huge home, a large bank account but the peace of knowing you are loved and cared for by Heavenly Father. Know this, you have blest many lives by allowing them to serve and give to you.

I pray your tunnel will now be short and the light so bright you are wrapped in it's warmth.

Alicia said...

I'm so impressed with your positive attitude! You're a good example to me and I've meant to tell you before, but I'm always impressed with the way you have prioritized the temple. Even on your birthday! I know you guys will be blessed for your faithfulness!

Jeanette said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. You have written the words I feel. It has been a long journey. Knowing others are going through it helps. :)

I am so glad that you and Jeff have found your answers. It makes the trial worth it and easier to bear. Good luck with the sale of your house.

SuzanSayz said...

It occured to me the other day that through all of this dad has gotten more overtime than he has for years. I really feel that it has mostly been so that we had the money to help out as much as possible.
For us it has not been a burden it has felt good to have the means to help.
This was beautifully written btw Heidi.

Em and Ms said...

This was beautiful, and a great reminder for us all, whether the challenges be big or small. One of my favorite things to do is look back on the hard times of my life and realize all the blessings I received at the same time. I'm sorry you guys have been through so much, but I'm so happy that you are brave enough to take this step forward and be positive about it all!

Mike Brinkerhoff said...

I'm so happy to hear that you're emerging from the dark of the abyss!

We love you, and can't wait to have you more conveniently located once again!!

LKP said...

i heart u.

Anonymous said...

You're sitting right next to me and I love love having you as my friend...now can I borrow $40? :) love ya.

Roxanne

Lisa said...

Heidi, this is beautiful. You inspire me....and I am not saying that with any kind of sarcasm (because we have done that before, you and I...he he)

I love you so much. I am honored to call you my sister, And I can't wait to be living close to one another again.

-Lisa

dani said...

i love you, heidi:) when i was humbled and found GOd, He gave me paul's words by which to live:

2 corinthians: 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

much love,
dani xxxx

Amy J. said...

Very wise words and I am so glad for you and your family that the light is so close!

Terri said...

Sometimes I think you have to be very close to the bottom before you can start the long climb out - you may not know this, but my husband is an amputee. It was after the loss of his leg that I went back to school, and it has been one long adventure since. And our lives are so much better now than they would have been if I hadn't started this thing.

So, my best advice - hang in there, take the help you need with the resolve to pay it forward when you can, and remember that (especially in this economy) - you are not alone and there's no shame in cutting costs and budgeting!

Mike Brinkerhoff said...

Heidi - my email address is easy. You know how my blog address is thebrinkerhoffs.com? well just ad a Mike and a @ in front of that, and BOOM! I got mail!

David said...

turned down the heat in winter? i did that in kennewick one year, it was not pleasant! the next year i made sure i had heat!

libbie said...

LOVE this post. Its hitting close to home these days. Things will work out . . . and I am really happy that you guys are going to pursue your dreams!

Brooke said...

I read this for the first time last week and I just couldn't seem to find the right words. You shared such raw emotions and I admire that. You and your family have been in my prayers and I am so glad you both have long-time goals you will be working towards. I can't imagine how excited your family will be to have you so close!

LaNae said...

I hear ya, Heidi...I think that you and I have had the suckiest, most joyous, most lovely, year of our lives and I am privilleged to share it with you. Hang in there and I am sure gonna miss you and your family when you move...boo hoo.