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Hope from the Ashes

"The heartaches of this past year have taken a toll. Pain struck me to my core and I was left shaken, unsure of if I was strong enough to get through it."
  I read the above words from a journal entry I wrote a few years ago and I find myself in the same place today, just different circumstances.  
  How many times have I come back to this question:
Am I strong enough?
   Am I strong enough to survive the stresses life blindsides me with when I least expect it? Strong enough to walk through the nightmares when they are close to becoming reality? Strong enough to be the Momma my children need, the wife my husband deserves, the friend my friends can count on?  

  The pediatric specialist walked into the exam room with neon yellow shoes and a rainbow colored bow tie. His outfit was so cheerful and filled with hope, but his words brought darkness and fear. He bluntly told me to prepare myself for a long road ahead. An x-ray had shown a mass in my seven year old daughter's lower…

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