Today I woke up planning to go for a run, however knowing in my heart that isn't what I needed, I sat down and began putting my thoughts on paper. It's been a year since I sat by my grandma's bedside and held her hand for her last and final breath. In that moment I was scared to let go of her hand and scared of the unknown that was ahead of me. There are two people in my life that have always understood every aspect of who I am with no judgement at all, so the thought of being without either of them was heart breaking. After losing my dad I felt lost and alone but each day I spoke to my grandma she gave me purpose and reminded me that we couldn't give up. She helped me never lose sight on the future God had planned for me. She was more than just my grandma, she was a true angel sent from God to walk with me and teach me the meaning of faith.
As I look back on the past year I am amazed at where life has taken me. In the past three and a half years I am even more amazed at how God has used me. At the time it's difficult to see how something so tragic can bring about good, however with the right people around you and God as the forefront it's possible to use pain to bring healing. In fact, I truly believe that our pain has a direct effect on one's ability to be healed. You must be willing to release the initial pain to find the deeply rooted emotions holding you back from seeing true light. The reminder of the painful trials you have endured is the place where true healing begins. You are forced to accept what has happened in order to move forward with mercy and grace. For me, the past five months has been a time where God has forced me to take a deep look at where I came from but with a constant reminder of what is ahead of me. Heartache can rip you apart in a multitude of ways but it can also build you up and truly shape your heart. Years ago I knew that I wanted to help people but I wasn't sure what that looked like. To be honest, I don't know if I was actually prepared to help anyone at that point even though I thought I could. I was in need of being helped and had to accept that I couldn't do it on my own. A good friend took on the challenge of walking with me and showed me what the true meaning of love is. Love is something we say so often, which causes us to question whether it actually holds meaning. Love is being able to truly care about people despite their baggage because we all have a large amount. The ability to take the time to walk with someone through the good times and the bad. Putting your life on hold because you know that someone else needs you more in that moment.
Love and hope are two words that if you know me are thrown around very often. These are two words that I believe have truly shaped my life and are helping build my future. The other night I thought to myself that trials we are forced to deal with have the ability to give us fuel for the future. Hope is what fuels my life and through that I have been shown how to love people with true compassion. I have witnessed people being at their weakest state with nothing left except the slightest bit of hope, in fact I have been there before. Yes, hope is a word that is mentioned as if it holds no meaning but there is so much more to it. Feeling as if the darkest cloud surrounds life with no purpose to continue and in that moment a small amount of light enters, that is hope. Hope forces us even for a second to escape the dark thoughts and find light. Hope is a true life saver allowing people to keep fighting when all they want to do is give up. A simple word is what defines my purpose in life. Giving people hope when they can't find any. It is what drives Give'N'GetFit and will continue to allow us to reach new heights. It's a hope that through our efforts and the efforts of so many others, that lives will be changed and the length of those suffering lives will only continue to grow.
I feel blessed to have known so much love in my life and although I have lost a lot, there has been so much to gain in the process. Although at times it's difficult to admit, the people I have lost have made me who I am today and without them there is no telling where I would be. Today is just a reminder of one of the amazing people I was fortunate to know. A reminder that my life is better for having a grandma that was such an incredible person. She is with me every single day, giving me the faith to never give up and reminding me of the love that God has for me, as well as, every other person. I am thankful for the moment I had one year ago when I walked in the room and her face lit up. I am also thankful that in that moment God gave her the ability to speak the words I love you one last time. It is that moment that makes the rough days a little easier to handle. It was in that moment that the fear holding me back from moving on with my life was released. God used death to bring life and purpose back into my life. I am forever grateful for that day and for my grandma.