The Darkest of Storms

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain playing a steady rhythm on my roof. Wrapped in layers of quilts and pillows, I lay there silently for a while, enjoying the moment, my little dog curled against the curve of my leg and my cat purring cheerfully on the pillow next to my head.

This has been a good year.

The fact that so much has changed this year does not escape me, and the memories of painful transitions, heartbreak, and rebuilding my life doesn’t change the fact that I am more in love with my life than ever before. There has not been a single year that brought more challenges in all of my time on this earth, but I choose to view those struggles as gifts that have brought me to a place and to be a person I love.

We all go through pain. It’s inevitable. When we choose to love and trust others, whether those others are romantic partners, friends, or even our own family members, we take a risk. We unlock the doors and expose our most tender parts, guiding others to our deepest wounds and most fragile scars, hoping all the while that they help us to heal instead of hurting us more.

But sometimes they do hurt us.

My year started out like that. Injured and fragile, I made my way back to the only home I’ve ever known, 1,500 miles away, to make a new start with my son. That we did. We not only forged a new beginning, but we changed the plot altogether, learning to nurture each other and ourselves along the way.

Quite unexpectedly, I found I am not alone. New friendships have formed, and old ones, though far apart, are more important than ever. Life this past year has not been without its bumps and bruises, and there have been disappointments, struggles, and pain along the way, but I have also found kindness, forgiveness, and love.

Life is such a journey! In the course of a year that began with being broken and alone. I have shared wine and reminisced with family I hadn’t seen in years, realized that I love my friends fiercely, embraced someone special high atop the Eiffel Tower, sunbathed in the warm breezes of the Bahamas, traveled the corners of Africa, and sat on the bleachers of hometown football games watching my son thrive in the high school I once attended.

It has, indeed, been a good year.

As the rain fell this morning, casting the room in a dim, warm gray, I felt such a sense of comfort. This life is so full of gifts, some of them joyful and some of them disguised as pain. Even in the darkest of days and the most dismal of storms, there is always a rainbow waiting somewhere at the end.

About the Author | Amanda Christmann

Amanda is editor for Women For One, and is also a human rights advocate and founder of Compassionate Journeys, a volunteer organization spreading awareness and creating economic, educational, and quality of life opportunities for trafficked children in Ghana, West Africa. She is an avid cyclist, a world traveler, and is mom to three boys, two dogs, and two sassy cats.

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