Even the struggle is Beautiful!

If you have been an avid RC blog reader, then you know most of Ethan and I’s back story. If not, well then it is your lucky day! I am taking it way back today, to share more of my own personal journey.

Just this past Sunday, I had a friend (more like a Mom to me) reach out with a blog post that I should read. The original post is on HOPEANEW.com called To The Mom Who Is Broken. It had me in tears with the similarities that it felt like I was reading my own story. I wanted to put my own spin on the writers idea and add in my story. So here we go!

This is Mom and Dad Rios. A long time family friend of the Bohlman’s. We call them Mom and Dad as well as our kids call them Grandma and Grandpa Rios!

I was born on December 23, 1991 as the six child with 4 older brothers and a sister….. just kidding, we won’t take it back that far! Growing up, life was wonderful, I was one big fat caterpillar munching on all the knowledge that I could. By the time I hit my senior year in high school, I started to become complacent, dropped out of some sports and found a boyfriend. My chrysalis stage had begun. This isn’t to say that I lacked ambition in everything, I had just become comfortable enough to not stretch myself. I dated the same guy until my last semester of college, breaking up right before Christmas. My first crack appeared in my carefully built fortress.

The Jessee Family! This was from this passed Christmas!

Suddenly single for the first time in four years, I felt a little lost but liberated at the same time. I could see the light of something new inside of myself and it felt amazing. Six months, is the time period I gave myself to reset and figure out who I was as a single person. A week after that time period had passed, guess who I met on an extremely awkward triple date? You got it, Ethan. God knew exactly how long I needed to work on myself before throwing me back in that dating pool. I wasn’t swimming long, since I knew I was going to marry Ethan on our third date. A few more cracks appeared in the hard shell of a chrysalis.

Ethan and I dated for a few months before the unexpected news of Ollie coming, shattered our world. We weren’t ready to be parents, we weren’t even married yet! The cracks kept coming hard and fast after that. Ashamed but confident that being together was the only way to raise this child, we told our parents as well as the rest of our families. To this day, I will always remember what it felt like to have to share our news. Ultimately, our families were supportive but our church was not. Ethan, being very involved in ministry, was raked through the coals. We no longer attend that church but it provided so many learning experiences for us that neither one of us would change a thing.

We were married in May of that year, and set up our home in the back of Rustic Corner. Yes, the store you all shop in today, was where we came home to after our honeymoon! When we moved in, we had no toilet or shower yet. Rustic Corner was officially open for business in July and we brought Ollie home in October. Talk about a whirlwind! By that time my chrysalis was a goner and I was simply trying to stretch out my wings a bit.

One of our many trips to HDVCH.

Life with Ollie was a mystery. We tried to do all of the research that we could and tried leaning on our specialist for help. Ollie’s first infection came that winter. We were in New York visiting my Grandma at the time and had no idea that this was just the first of many more to come. Ollie averages about four to five infections a year and with every one, I felt a little more discouraged. There are times when Ethan would comment that I wasn’t the fun, peppy girl he married. It was true.

But I’m trying. Everyday my wings become a little stronger and my confidence for flying builds. Now I am no where near where I need to be but boy am I glad that I am not the fat caterpillar anymore either. With every bump and conflict along the way, I have matured into someone beautiful. Flawed but beautiful.

Now the process of metamorphosis is not just my story. There is change that is happening in each one of you. You might still be that fat caterpillar munching through life or even in your chrysalis. Better yet you might be fighting to spread your wings. Wherever you may be in the process, realize that it is all a part of the journey. I wouldn’t change my journey for the world. It has made me into a better wife, mom, business woman and child of God. So wherever you are, don’t mourn for who you used to be. Celebrate the changes and dance with the knowledge that God is turning you into someone beautiful. FLY!

Photo Credit goes to my beautiful mom!

2 thoughts on “Even the struggle is Beautiful!

  1. Hannah,
    What a beautiful, beautiful post! I know that with each struggle, and bump you are being shaped and sharpened to be strong and pliable. I too am not who I was when I first was married and starting a family, nobody stays that way. My husband and I started off the same as you and Ethan in many ways. God loved us through each phase and metamorphosis and change. Believe me I have been in ugly stages and beautiful ones and many in between ones. All the while trying to stay true to myself and do for myself and be happy for my family and make them proud. However, it is not easy. Motherhood, being a wife, being a business owner and trying to be an individual with grace and realness mixed with weakness and strength, brokenness and wholeness is complex. You my dear woman are amazing! Keep being broken and whole, weak and strong: God is making a masterpiece in you. I love how real you are and how vulnerable you are in your posts. You are beautiful in your very own special way. You are flying!


    1. Thank you Wendy! Your words are a true encouragement!


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