10 years today? Has it really been 10 years since the start of this Journey? 10 Years ago today I became a mom for the first time. I met Noel. My life has never been the same since 11-17-2006. I know any parent can lay claim to those words, “my life changed the day I had my first child.” But literally everything I knew of life changed that day. Noel was born through a c-section, when she came out she didn’t make a sound. That was my first inclination that something was wrong, but then when all the nurses and doctors were silent too, that was my second clue that something was very wrong. As a woman you dream of the day you meet your babies, you get to know them for 9 months in the womb and you can’t wait to meet them and hold them. You play out what the delivery room will be like, full of excitement, joy, noise and crying. When none of those things take place you know something is not right. Over these past 10 years every part of who I am has changed and been challenged. When you are told of countless surgeries and procedures your child may have to have and then you watch them endure every one. When you’re told your child might not walk and 10 years later you watch your daughter drive herself around in a wheelchair, unable to walk. When you’re told your child might be on a ventilator the rest of her life, and the constant noise of a machine breathing for her is the same noise you’ve heard every single time your with her for the last 8 years. This is when you are challenged. I would say my Faith has been the number one thing that has been challenged and refined in these last 10 years of Noel’s life. I have had to come to such a deep place with God in order to choose joy in the circumstances. To give complete and total control to Him. To pray for healing when you don’t see it; yet to still have Faith that God can heal. To not try to think of the “what if’s” and try to not grieve the “what nots.” It has been a hard, challenging, sad, frustrating, divine, deep, priceless, beautiful journey. Noel has changed me. I am better because I am her mom. I love more deeply, I see life more precious and I have a deeper Faith than I knew possible. Noel’s life has taught me so many lessons, but probably the most meaningful is how we deal with circumstances in our life is a choice, we don’t have to be a victim to our circumstances we can choose to be an overcomer. So I challenge you today on Noel’s Birthday, choose to overcome something in your life. Choose to not let your circumstances define you, but choose to see it through the eyes of Faith and overcome it. Happy Birthday Noel, thanks for making me a better person!