While speaking to them both today, they both decided to let me in.
Into the life that lies behind all of their wonder, joy and happiness.
And I was reminded that life is never perfect.
No matter how perfect we try to make it look.
We are not perfect.
Behind the smiles, the laughter, the family pictures and vacations - life can be hard. It can punch you in the guts. It can leave you blinded and out of breath. You can feel lost, alone and unable to move forward.
I am still amazed by both these women.
Even more so now because I see how hard they have to work. How much effort, blood, sweat and tears go into their everydays. To keep the smiles on their faces. To wake up each morning. And to make the best of the trial they have been given.
Everyone feels pain and disappointment.
But not everyone can get up everyday and press forward.
Not everyone can smile through it all and lean on their faith, knowing that it will one day work out.
Struggles are not an easy fix.
If they were, they wouldn't be struggles.
I was humbled today.
By these amazing women.
By their honesty, but also by their extreme fortitude and faith.
And I was grateful.
My struggles are my struggles.
And I know my Heavenly Father gave me struggles that I can handle, so I can press forward.
So the next time you read a blog and feel down because everything seems so perfect, or get a Christmas card that is so cute it makes you want to scream, or have a phone conversation and everything they say is cheery and bright and you want to gag- remember, things are never as perfect as they seem. And if it's pretty darn perfect looking, just know it's most likely not.
All you can do is lift your chin up, smile, have faith and press forward.
It's going to be okay.