This post is going to be different than any other post I have ever done.  I’m ready to bare my soul and share what I’ve learned in these first 45 years of my life.  Today is my birthday and what better day to take stock of where I’ve been and where I’m going.

Quick synopsis of my life

  • Graduated from high school, college, and received a Master’s Degree in music performance
  • After graduating, worked in retail to pay the bills and took auditions to follow my dream
  • Met my late husband, got married, ditched the dream, had two kids
  • Diagnosed with RH factor with my second child, difficult pregnancy ensues and he is born 5 1/2 weeks premature, tough first 6 months with my second child
  • Moved to Boulder,Colorado to be with my late husband’s father who was battling brain cancer and died of it soon after
  • A year later, my late husband was diagnosed with lung cancer and we moved back to Chicago to be with my family and to receive better care
  • Husband passed away leaving me a single mom of two kids – ages 4 and 7
  • Met my current husband through Match and got married 3 1/2 years later
  • Became a wardrobe stylist and fashion blogger soon after
  • My dad passed away from bile duct cancer

When you look at this list, there are some good things but a lot more bad. I am a pretty upbeat and happy person for the most part so being hopeful wasn’t too hard, but I still struggled with the fact that many people I loved around me were in pain.  I felt hurt as well and didn’t understand why certain things happened to me. (Especially the death of my husband.) I looked for ways to fill the hole in my heart. I wanted people and things to fill my heart with happiness and still it was never enough.

I am Catholic and went to church regularly with my family when I was younger, but God remained an abstract concept to me for the first 40 years of my life. I believed in God but didn’t really take it farther than that.  When my husband was dying, I prayed regularly but still didn’t have a relationship with God.  Soon after I started dating my present husband, we talked about death and he said he was not afraid of dying.  I gasped and couldn’t believe that.  Death was something I was so terrified by, especially after seeing what my late husband went through.  It got me thinking and it set in motion a gradual connection to the Lord.  I eventually went to therapy to deal with my husband’s death which lead me to connect with a spiritual advisor. Around this same time, I became a stylist and one of my first clients became a trusted friend who shared her faith with me.  I started seeing that the Lord was by my side the whole time and was trying to guide me every step of the way.  What a blessing! This world will never be perfect but when you realize all you need is to surrender to the Lord and his will, you can experience joy no matter what is happening.

All of those difficult, life-changing moments would have not of brought me to the here and now for which I am so grateful. I have a husband that supports me and loves me.  I have two healthy and wonderful kids (who do drive me crazy). I have a family here, a family in Colorado, and a family in Arkansas which I am so grateful for.  How many women can say that they went on vacation with their mom, their late husband’s mother and brother, and their current husband? Family can come in all different forms but the grace of God brought them to my doorstep. I also get to play my flute at my church and glorify God every Sunday. Plus, I get to share my passion for fashion with you guys every week.  Best of both worlds! Yes, most of these things that happened weren’t in my plan for my life but I’m so happy that I wasn’t in control.  His plan was perfect.  So if you are struggling with all the ups and downs of life, know that God is at your side and if you let Him, He will bring you joy that you have never felt before. Here is my favorite scripture when I am stressed and feeling lost.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Parting thoughts –  My mom always says that the 40’s were the prime of her life and I’m starting to agree with her.  I thought I knew it all in my 20’s, then in my 30’s I realized I knew nothing while trying to please everyone. The 40’s have shown me that it’s now time to enjoy the fruits of wisdom that came from my mistakes and move forward into God’s grace without fear.  I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me, but hopefully I’ll still be rocking the fashion world for years to come!

Mid-Life Reflection at 45 -