Following dreams and doing your purpose while living in the shadow of mortality makes life so sweet.
We had a rough year in 2011. My husband’s health was in crisis, and the whole year we were in “survival mode”—me working three jobs to keep the boat afloat, Mike doing what he could while recovering from three major surgeries and their unfortunate and scary complications. For the first time, we were empty nesters in the truest sense of the word, going through these tests without our children, leaning on each other as our main support. It made our marriage stronger. (These things can go either way, that’s for sure!)
We made it through that awful year. Mike has a clean bill of health, and is rebuilding his strength—and both of us, tested in that crucible, have come out more productive than ever. Since then, we rededicated our wedding vows and fell in love again on our road trip last year.
On that road trip, we found out we were the same people we’d fallen in love with thirty years ago—only better. Kinder. More forgiving. Less volatile. Still passionate and hard working, but not as competitive with each other and the rest of the world. Character growth is continuing to happen. It feels good to know you’re in the process of being refined and that the gold is getting purer. The Bible promises us that when we keep throwing ourselves in God's direction–and I believe it's true, whatever your spiritual persuasion.
Mike is doing what he’s always loved to do—his art in woodwork , service to others, and taking amazing photos of nature and people. I’m writing up a storm, enjoying my own photography and the work I do in counseling and therapy.
Sometimes, it takes a lot of years to shape an arrow so it can fly straight to the bullseye. Could we have done what we’re doing now when we were younger? I don’t think so. We had other goals then, the needs of our kids to think about, and the life of a creative person is an uncertain rollercoaster—and that’s on a good day. Even when things are going well, as they are currently for us, it's a little bit scary. The life of a freelancer is not for the faint of heart–and yet, oh so satisfying to know you're doing what you were put on the planet to do!
If you only had a few more years to live (and who knows, for any of us) what burns in your heart to do? And what stops you from doing it? Make a plan to do follow your dream. There’s nothing to lose but precious time, and it's never to late to start.