2014 Is My Year of Hope
Author: Linda Ambard
2014 is my year of hope. I never could have once imagined a small bit of what my life is now---not the unthinkable loss that shattered my heart and robbed me of every dream I had for my future; nor could I have imagined the blessings that rain down and overfill me with a sense of wonder and overwhelming paralysis because I deserve none of it. Some of you have known me long enough to remember a quiet and shy girl who was bullied and who did not believe in her worth. A girl who rarely let people see weakness only because she never believed that she was good enough. Sometimes, sometimes I stand and gasp for air because surely these blessings, these friends cannot be mine. How can it be that through my darkest hours, my biggest blessings have come?
I am softer now and tears fill my eyes just contemplating the blessings of the people and opportunities in my life. Why me? Why is it that I have been given so much, and why is it that my life was spared in April when I was so close to the finish line? Why is it that all of my talents and interests are being woven together, and these abilities are surpassing even an undreamed dream? I do not know, but I do know this. 2014 is my year.
I have changed. My heart feels more deeply. I recognize pain in others in need. While I tried to be fully present for people, and while people said I was a good listener, I heard what I wanted to hear. I often failed to see the hurt behind the masks. I often failed to recognize what wasn't being said, and thus I failed to ask or act. I act now. I sense pain because I am scarred, but like a broken bone, I am knitting my broken heart into a strong tapestry of strength.
I am doing things that I never saw myself doing. I have moved beyond my learned traditional roles. I have learned to believe in myself and the decisions I am making. Am I scared and unsure? Yes, my knees shake, but I have learned that I innately lean towards what is the best way to go. I am completing two more master's degrees in late summer in military resilience counseling and trauma and crisis counseling because I know that my experiences will ensure that I am fully present and in tune with the needs of another. It won't be about my story, but my story will compel me forward and bring meaning into my life.
So much of my life is still captured in the roiling uncertainty of the future. I do not know if I will ever be able to let another man love me. I do not know if I will return to teaching in Colorado and volunteer in the TAPS camps, or if I will work in civil service or another job. I just know that wherever I go, even if I fall, I am strong enough to face the obstacles that smack me along the way.
It is my year of promise, new beginnings, hope, and I intuitively know that I will find my way. I do not know what state I will be in, what job I will be doing, if it will be here, or if I will date. I do know this. I am going to try some new things and finish school. I am going to get involved when I am done with school. I see a future that has sparkles. Maybe the sparkles are pink now, but I run with my arms outstretched to the Linda that I will become. I will keep the faith that all will be well because indeed, it is well, it is well with my soul.