So it’s been a tough path for quite some time now.

Lots of stumbles along the way, falls of course and the odd storm that comes out of nowhere and pours torrents down making everything slippery and treacherous.

There is a temptation to look at specific incidents and circumstances and allow them to define my entire experience. The slip into the gully becomes life in the valley; the momentary shower seems an eternal storm; the odd rock thrown becomes a Biblical hailstorm bent on my destruction.

Still one plods on because there is a destination in mind and, of course, through it all there are small hints, like shafts of light through clouds, that one is getting nearer to that place.

It occurs to me that I have not been walking into a valley, or even on level ground for that matter. I have, in fact, been treading upward toward peaks above the clouds. I have seen evidence of it.

When climbing it is not uncommon to come to small valleys along the way. It is not uncommon to fall or to enter a cloud bank at a certain level where you lose all sight of what is before you or behind you. It is not uncommon for the rain and periodic darkness to settle in.

But those small shafts of light and the destination make it all worth while. I was reminded recently by my sister of the shafts of light that have been penetrating the clouds (she is one of them):

My family – my children, sisters, brothers, mother, aunts and uncles all there for me

My friends – I have never been one to have many friends. I have a very few, very deep friendships and many acquaintances. Any one of these friends is worth everything.

I am loved – What else needs to be said. Starting to sound a little Stuart Smalley but that is fine. I am loved and loved deeply. This is profound – I have found the pearl of great price.

I have a great job – Seriously. It gets better every day and I work with awesome people. They are investing in my education and the opportunities continue to grow with every passing day.

I own a home – I am blessed to own a home.

I own a car – It’s a 20 year old Oldsmobile but it is fantastic nonetheless.

The bills will get smaller – While finances have been brutal for years a friend pointed out a simple truth to me – it will get better.

I guess what I am saying is I have come to a place on the climb where I have, with the help of others, been able to stop and find a lookout point…and the view is spectacular. I have seen where I have been, how far I have come and where I am going. Incredible.

Who could be more blessed really?