Chaplain’s thoughts … Choose the brighter side of life

Staff Sgt. Maria Lopez (Courtesy photo)

When I was asked to write this article, I could not come up with a single idea at first. I asked myself questions like, “What do our Airman need to hear? How can I convey something valuable? Who reads the newspaper anyway?”

After giving it some thought, I decided to share part of my story and personal perspective, hoping that you will also see the brighter side of life, so here it goes.

In the past 2,136 days, my spouse and I have been physically together for approximately 812 days. Overall, it may seem like lonely nights, missed birthdays, holidays, FaceTime dinners, and looking at your phone all night waiting for a call from an undisclosed location can be hard.

However, what it looks like to me is entirely different; I reflect on all those weekends we’ve run away to a nearby oasis to spend as much time together without distractions. I can picture us recapping all the priceless memories for endless hours. I see the unconditional mutual support we have for each other, as we spent hours reading, volunteering and completing school to keep our minds occupied. I am grateful for the fantastic friends that intersected our life and opened their homes and their hearts to us during tough times.

Recently, life has been a little crazy.  Not being able to do many things we considered to be part of everyday life is now the new normal. Yet, canceled TDYs and the ability to work from home has increased the time spent together as a family. The truth is, there is always a gift in every hardship. The time we have together is a gift, and I am grateful. Life is about quality and not quantity. My husband and I are trying to accept all situations regardless of the difficulty. We remain thankful for all of the amazing memories we’ve created and all of the fantastic people we’ve met along the way, knowing that the best is still to come.