Courage to Continue

{Untouched photo of the sunrise out my front door}
Tuesday night, after my first good day in a long time, I walked over to the church for Women's Bible Study.  It's just myself and two other ladies, but our time is treasured.  You would imagine that a walk in the dark in Alaska would be peaceful.  And it was.  But it wasn't quiet.  The wind was whistling through the trees, making my insides feel hollow.  The dogs in town (there are probably as many dogs as there are people in Marshall) were all barking and howling at the giant moon that hung heavily in the sky alongside a scattering of sparkling stars.

As I trudged loudly along, ice cleats crashing on the ice with each step (we still don't have snow, just frozen dirt & ice patches) I braced myself against the cold, only my eyes peeking out between my hood and my scarves. (Yes, I wore two scarves.  It was that cold.)  The ambient temperature was 16, which is tolerable.  But with the wind blowing at 23 mph, it felt like -2 degrees.  It took my breath away!

The relief of making it to the building and slowly peeling off the layers is unlike anything else.   You can finally take a deep breath without it stopping halfway through your lungs because the air is so cold.  Your shoulders, once tightened up near your ears begin to come down; and your body, once tense in a fight with the invisible frigid air, begins to melt into the warmth the bright room offers.

It's the same when anxiety leaves you.  You are struggling, against the wind, uphill, when suddenly a break comes, and you can't believe the weight being lifted off your shoulders as the layers peel back and you are left with hope that perhaps the long journey is over.

I know I still have a long road ahead of me.  It's only been six weeks since the D&C (I got a bill in the mail today for my $500 copay.  Now I'm going to have a monthly payment plan to ever so kindly remind me of my loss) and I have a lot of healing left to do, but I can feel the weight lifting.  And I can feel my hope for a good future returning.

I believe Winston Churchill said it best,

"It is the courage to continue that counts." 

And so I will carry on.



Tabitha Studer said...

Sending love. Beautiful descriptive writing in this post Shelly. Xxoxoxo

Kimberly F said...

Love this quote!