When I was a kid I used to wonder what my life would be like? Of course, my life wasn’t perfect.   I had my share of encounters that weren’t pleasant and memories that were painful.  But whose life wasn’t painful or unpleasant at points, right?  So, I’m not different.  Of course, I didn’t see it that way when I was younger and I had so many questions.  So naturally, as I got older, I thought I’d find the meaning to my life and how it played out all those years.  It took a winding road to get to where I am today and there were points of my life where I wondered if I was making any head way?  Because I felt like I was on a treadmill or that I had a huge invisible elastic at my mid section and that every time I walked forward something would always push me back.  If you’ve experienced this, you know what I’m talking about.  And I couldn’t figure out why?  There were times where I thought my life wasn’t going anywhere.  And honestly, the only thing that kept me going all this time- was something that I witnessed as a child.  During after school Catholic program, we were told we’d be watching a movie and the movie we watched was about the story of Jesus.  It would become the most life changing period of my existence.  When the movie was done, I questioned, “if that man is real where are the people like him?”  So it would be that from that moment, I wanted to find people like him.  I trusted whole heartedly that they were there, somewhere.  I didn’t know when, where, or how I’d find them but I knew that they existed.  Of course, I was only eight when I seen the film, and my mind was still growing.  But in my heart, I knew I had to trust myself.  But as it goes, like in many stories, life happened.  And it kept happening.  The next thing I knew I was a wife and had four children.  And parts of even that life, weren’t pretty.  So when I separated from my husband, I began searching for who I was.  It was hard because I had to care for my children at the same time.  It was not easy.  But it turned out that my husband gave up the thing that tore us apart and we became a family again.  The road ahead wasn’t all roses, there were bumps in the road but it wasn’t as bad as it once was.  And because we got involved very quickly at the beginning of our relationship, through this new period, we were still learning and changing.  And it was hard.  There were ups and downs and winding roads.  It wasn’t perfect.  But we kept on going.  And it would turn out that I would learn that the very story that changed me a kid, was the same story that made him see life in a different way than others.  We were both searching for the people who were like Jesus, it seemed to guide us throughout life.  Of course, we know that no one can be exactly like the man we learned about so long ago, but people can come close.  We have met so many amazing people in life that have touched our hearts and moved us beyond expression that we know now, that they do exist.  So my belief in “everything happens for a reason” that I learned along the way showed me everything I needed to keep believing.  To believe in touching stories, in triumphs, achievements, life success, life altering events, and our human spirit to overcome what life brings us.  We all have the power to change.  And at any point in life.  There is no time line when we have to change, we can do it at any time.  Another point that I learned was, if we slip and fall one day, all we have to do the next day is to get back up and go again.  To never be defined by our failures but allow our failures to give us the will to keep going.  And pain?  Pain is our trainer in life, it’s like a coach who pushes us to our limits so that we can bring out the best of ourselves.  Everything that happens in our lives happens for a reason, God makes no mistakes.  What defines us is our journey to find the pieces of who we are throughout our time here.  It becomes our strength and the bridge that gets us to the other side of life.  And when we reach that point, we know, that our journeys and our stories were not something there to hurt us but to grow us.  Life is about elevation and there is only one way to go and that is- UP.