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Unexpected Change: How it can Build or Break You.

In the past year, both my family and I have undergone significant changes. While adults often advise to expect the unexpected, the extent of unforeseen events never fails to surprise me.

Within the last year, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law faced formidable health diagnoses, undergoing challenging procedures and surgeries in their battles. Meanwhile, my own parents coped with health and life changes from a distance of five hours in North Bay.

In January 2023, I made the tough decision to step away from one of my cherished gym communities in Kincardine and embark on a solo business venture. Although unplanned, numerous factors influenced that decision.

Over several years of countless doctor appointments, we finally received a diagnosis of Epilepsy for my eldest daughter. While we had been grappling with her chronic illness for years, putting a name to it came as a shock.

Growing up, my father battled chronic illness, and now having a daughter navigating daily challenges of medication, side effects, and the highs and lows of managing a chronic yet acute illness has proven incredibly demanding.

Here I am in January 2024, feeling tired and drained, having gained weight and lost strength. While I guide others in their health journeys daily, reflecting on my own presents a unique challenge. I'm weary of self-discipline and the constant need to persevere. Yet, there's no respite in sight.

Looking ahead to the coming year, I contemplate how to navigate the road ahead. Giving up is not an option, as it only leads to worsening circumstances, but a pivot is necessary. My expectations have undergone a significant shift. My workouts and self-care routines look different, and my time is often not my own as I juggle doctor appointments and support my daughter while maintaining roles of mother, wife, daughter, friend and neighbour.

My faith, family, and friends serve as an anchor for which I am profoundly grateful. However, I acknowledge that I am not the same woman I once was.

Working with numerous individuals aspiring to lead healthier, happier, and stronger lives, I am acutely aware that balance requires active decision-making—knowing when to say yes and when to say no. Understanding our priorities is crucial, as they shape the decisions we make. My priorities and responsibilities have evolved, demanding a new approach to life's challenges.

In life, it's crucial to acknowledge our vulnerability and understand that challenges are inevitable—they have happened, and they will come again. The actions we take each day and each week contribute to shaping our character and building resilience.

One of my favorite verses encapsulates a powerful truth: "knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope."

Consider your "Why." What motivates you to keep moving forward, even when each step may feel like a struggle? If you find yourself grappling with this, take a moment to reflect on the people who surround you—those who love and cheer you on. You are not alone; we need each other. Suffering indeed yields endurance, defined as the ability to withstand unpleasant or difficult processes without giving in.

Don't give up. The ongoing struggle is not in vain; it is constructing strength within you. In moments when weariness sets in, when weakness clouds your determination, and when the desire to quit surfaces, remember that "suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope." This cycle of growth is a testament to the resilience embedded within each challenge you face. Keep moving forward, for within the struggle lies the transformative venture toward hope.

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Thank you for sharing your heart, your struggles, and your willingness to persevere. Life changes us, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up. God remains faithful and He is conforming us into the image of His Son.

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