Instagram and Life Lessons Share this...FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin Chills. Tears. Gratitude. Fear. ThankFUL. All this happened to me in a split second just recently. See, I’ve been in the process of telling “our story” through pictures on my Instagram. I went into it thinking it would be a breeze. Boy, was I wrong. What happened instead was anger, fear, and pain from the past few years – it crept back up on me without warning. I was reminded of the scariest time of my life – a time when my husband was fighting for his life. Death was staring us right in the face 2 years ago. While he was fighting to live, I was watching my best friend suffer. I pulled up these old pictures and felt every emotion pour through my blood and bones. It was two years ago, but sometimes it feels like two days ago. I took a few deep breaths, and texted my husband. I needed to remind him that instant how far he has come~what an inspiration he has been to me and to so many others. It’s moments like these where I can appreciate the struggle we have been through. I say “we” because even though Jordan is the one with a cancer diagnosis, I am his confidante, partner, and soulmate. When Jordan suffered, I was suffering as well. He has his journey. I have mine. And “we” have ours. If you’re like me, you haven’t gone through this life without dealing with a hardship. Perhaps you have gone through something horrifying and utterly painful. If you’re reading this, you made it through right? You survived it. And deep down, I know you are a better person because of it. Those pictures popped up and I felt emotional. Did it shake me to my core? Yes. But, they also reminded me of how far we have come. I was again reminded how lucky we are to be alive today. I am reminded of how important it is to not sweat the small stuff… But even more so, I have started to fully appreciate “our” journey. I remember people saying (what seemed at the time) silly sayings to me like “things happen for a reason”, or “God only gives you what you can handle.” Ironically, these words couldn’t be more true. The struggles in our life teach us the biggest lessons. When Jordan first became sick, I became overwhelmed with financial responsibility. Overnight, I became our family’s sole provider, a caregiver to my young husband, while having to care for our two daughters all with a smile on my face (very hard)! It was at this point in time I realized why starting my own business 3 years earlier was the smartest decision we ever made. Because I run a home based business, and work for myself, I was able to be fully present for Jordan while he was in treatment. From Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City, Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa Florida, Excel Nuclear Diagnostics Center in Houston Texas, to Bite Hospital in Mexico City, I was able to be there for Jordan. Ultimately, through research and great doctors we found the right treatment that saved his life. I found myself trapped in between two worlds: a world of taking care of my husband and a world of taking care of my children. Part of what kept me sane was being able to work my business from where ever Jordan’s treatments were whether it was from a hospital, or another country. Thankfully, because of this business, I was able to to earn my own money and take care of my family all on my terms. In a time where Jordan’s health was uncertain and unstable, I found stability in having a business I could call my own and satisfaction in achieving professional success. This is a collage of our first trip to Mexico City where Jordan had his first cryoablation with immunotherapy treatment. He was there for close to a month, while I flew back and forth between him and the girls. Starting from top left: Outside our hotel; With our Dr. before Jordan went in for the procedure; Jordan and Dr. Williams; Jordan, my Uncle Martin, and our dear friend Craig at the pyramids; Jordan outside our hotel; On the plane coming home; Out to lunch with our dear friend Mark; In the hospital after the procedure; A few days after the procedure; Laying in the hospital bed healing up. What I wish for you is that you never have to go through what we had to go through or any hardship for that matter. But, after going through all this I do believe strength and growth are born through overcoming adversity. I can say today, I am grateful for our struggle. Through these challenges, I’ve realized how important it is for a woman to stand on her own two feet. Unfortunately, none of us are immune to tragedies like divorce, sickness, or job loss. I know how it feels to not earn enough money to save for the future, take the extra vacation, or buy yourself something special. Maybe you, or someone you know is looking to change their financial future. And this change can start right now by doing something part-time or full-time – and I would love to help show you how to make this a reality.To know more, feel free to reach out to me here. On our most recent company trip to London with one it’s founders; Dr. Kathy Fields (dermatologist). This is right before we went back to Mexico City for a second treatment. Rachael Braunshweiger The voice behind Guts & Gloss, Rachael is on a mission to share everything she’s learned about having guts, taking risks, turning obstacles into opportunity — and living with style (of course)!