Life is ever changing, and sometimes it is hard to let go of the past we loved in order to make room for the future ahead. We hold on to things tightly, dreading the thought of letting things go that we cherish so deeply. But what we have to recognize is that as much as we have loved the past, we have to be willing to allow changes to occur in our lives with the happiest of attitudes by recognizing that it is the changes occurring that are taking us into an amazing future that lies ahead.
Letting times in our lives that we have loved tremendously come to an end is always hard, and I believe the reason it is hard is because we hold this fear that we may never experience that level of happiness again. We think “what if this moment is the happiest life ever is?”. I know that I have thought that myself at different stages of life.
This past summer was one of those times for me. It was a summer full of amazing blessings. We moved into our new dream home that we painstakingly built over the prior year, my son returned home after serving a two year mission for the LDS Church, I was able to take the entire summer off of work for the first time in my entire adult life to spend 100% of my time and focus on my family, and the four of us (my husband, myself, my son and my daughter) were able to have all kind of fun adventures together as a family taking trips and just enjoying our time together. It was a truly unique time in my life and I enjoyed every single minute of it. I so badly didn’t want the summer to ever come to an end, because I knew that when it ended there would be major changes ahead in our lives. I thought to myself “what if this moment is the happiest life ever is?”, and I didn’t want to let it go. But time stops for no one, and so the summer came to an end and the changes began: my two children both left home to go to college, leaving me and my husband empty nesters. The vacation was over and it was time to get back to work. And my daughter announced that she was turning in her papers to go serve an LDS mission which meant she would be leaving for 18 long months! Everything was changing, and I was forced to begin adjusting to life as it now was, which is very different from the life I had before.
Life was teaching me a valuable lesson, which was to have faith in the future and the glorious things that it holds. Life was teaching me that it is up to me to be hopeful and excited for changes that come, because 1. They will come whether I welcome them or not, and 2. They will be for my best good if I allow them to be, so move forward with hope and faith for the future.
As I move forward I am beginning to recognize these tremendous new blessings that are coming into my life. There is a freedom that comes to parents who have successfully sent their kids out into the world as adults. For me and my husband it’s like being young single people who get to go on dates again! Guilt free!! And we now get to focus our time toward giving back to the world through community service, religious service, and charitable service through our foundation (www.ipop.org ). We also get the joy of watching from a distance as our children are stepping into their own adult lives. Watching my daughter Ashley open her LDS Mission Call last Friday night was one of the great joys in life. She received her call to leave in February 2015 to serve in the Arkansas Little Rock mission (Spanish speaking), which covers all of Arkansas, part of Mississippi (where her brother served his mission), and part of Tennessee. I am so proud to have two amazing children who both have chosen to sacrifice of their time to go out and serve other people. What more can a mom ask for?
C.S. Lewis said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” I love that quote because it reminds me to look forward to the future with hope and faith, believing that the greatest times of life are still ahead. I have decided to change my thinking from “what if this moment is the happiest life ever is?” to instead be “as happy as I feel in this moment, I can only imagine how much better it gets from here!”
Have an amazing start to your November everyone! And remember, the best is yet to come 🙂