It is an honor to be asked to share one’s thoughts and I’d like to thank the Loudoun Times Mirror for providing this opportunity. At first, an inner voice spoke with me about what to write … while at home enjoying our recent winter weather. The snow had closed areas schools and Loudoun Interfaith Relief (where I work) was closed as well. With lots of extra time, I found myself consumed with all sorts of ideas about what to write.
Then – it hit me. I am not fortunate for any single reason; I am so fortunate for a multitude of reasons. My family, my friends, my work and my community are all so special and supportive of me. I know this may sound trite, but never the less, it is true.
Right now – I’m in one of life’s comfortable places, but that has not always been the case. I’ve had my struggles and my challenges. I recall that during darker and sometimes miserable times, my mother told me not to worry, “… it will all get better. You are not alone. Just as in everyone’s life, you will have to overcome something – perhaps more than once.”
Those simple words have always been special to me. I have even found myself sounding just like my mother – and saying the exact same thing to my own children.
As the Executive Director of Loudoun Interfaith Relief, I have thought about saying those words to thousands and thousands of people. Everyone coming through our doors has had to overcome something. Even the prospect of walking through the doors of a food pantry can be a daunting challenge to those in need, but they continue to overcome this challenge and allow us to help.
So, I am quite thankful that the founders of Loudoun Interfaith Relief realized the importance of making the passage through our doors an easy obstacle to overcome. I am also quite thankful for the many people in our community who are willing to give so freely to make certain that there is enough food to feed families in need in our community. I am grateful that I work with an amazing group of people and I am particularly thankful for my family … for my co-workers and family have guided me, supported me and allowed me the time and the tenacity to do what I do and live the type of life where I can truly feel good about myself.
So, during this time of joy, don’t forget to look inside yourself … knowing that you can and you will overcome something difficult and challenging in life.
You are not alone. You too will find support and you too will find hope. . And please, please … hear those words in the soft voice of your own parent.
Bonnie Inman is the executive director of Loudoun Interfaith Relief.