I Thought You Should Know

In the moment of my greatest pain and uncertainty, I was given a warm blanket. When the nurse handed it to me, I couldn’t stop thanking her. 

When my daughter came back from the recovery room on October 1st, she distinctly remembered the warm blanket that was given to her just before surgery. She called it “instant comfort.”  

So, imagine my surprise when I glanced out of the airplane window on Monday night as I flew home from Michigan and saw this. 

The world’s pain and uncertainty were being covered by a warm blanket. 

I thought you should know.

We often can’t see divine assurances from where we are—especially if eyes our weary and our hearts are closed off. 
Maybe you’ve even been wondering if you’ve been forgotten. 
Maybe from where you stand, life looks like a never-ending gray sky. 

So, let me tell you what I saw—
I saw that warm blanket covering you, too. 

Perhaps you didn’t know holding on to it is an option right now. 
So often we’re led to believe there’s no time for tears… 
That we have to be strong…
That the problem must be rectified quickly… 
That we need to get on with life. 

That is not true.

Holding on is one of the most powerful human responses to pain and uncertainty. 

It might not look like anything, but trust me, it is quite significant. 

Because when you’re gathering hope, it’s patient.

Because when you’re gaining strength, it’s quiet.

Because when you’re forming resilience, it’s barely noticeable.

But in time, this quiet, comforting, restorative process will prepare you for what’s to come.    

I thought you should know—

There’s a warm blanket within your reach, and it’s ok to just hold on – 
In fact, there’s nothing “just” about it. 

Because if you’re holding on, then you’re not giving up. 

Read that again: If you’re holding on, then you’re not giving up.

Now that I have your full attention, let me show you something else. 

See that setting sun just beyond the blanket of clouds? 

It’s gonna bring you a new dawn. 

Wait for it. 

Please wait for it. 

-Rachel Macy Stafford 

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I posted this message and image on social media on Tuesday night not expecting the response it received. Over the past four days, people all over the world have let me know it was just what they needed. Because you are a beloved reader of my blog, you are like family to me, and I didn’t want you to miss it. I also wanted to give you a little more of the story. I was flying back from a very important meeting with my publisher. For the first time in my career as an author, I was invited to share my heart for my forthcoming book and why I feel its message is so needed in the world right now. Given the influence of the people in that meeting, I felt the enormity of this opportunity. In addition, I would be speaking on behalf of the many brave young people who had shared their struggles, hopes, and fears with me and inspired the book. In a last-minute decision, I grabbed a sample cuff made by the lovely couple who makes bracelets for our online shop. Inscribed on it was the message I most often give young people when I speak in their classrooms: SHINE YOUR LIGHT. In a world that expects us to prove, broadcast, earn, and showcase ourselves, only to be told we are NOT ENOUGH, it is pressure-relieving to hear: just shine your light… be you… because you are the missing piece this world needs. 

Wearing this reminder on my wrist was exactly what I needed, and I walked out of the all-day meeting feeling such peace about what had been accomplished and what was to come. 

Before I boarded the plane, I checked the weather. Cloudy, gray skies would be greeting me back home. But as we prepared to land, that is not what I saw. From up above, I saw the most majestic display of hope—and it was too important to keep to myself. 

Thank you for being part of my story and part of my journey. 

I cherish you, 

Rachel 

*A supply of SHINE YOUR LIGHT cuffs have been ordered for the shop, but if you would like to ensure that you receive one (or more) before they sell out, you can pre-order now, as many as you’d like. They will be shipped to you at the end of October. To receive free domestic shipping, use the promo code: SHINE. Also, the prints shown below are being discontinued and have been reduced to $5 if you would like to add them to your order for holiday gifts. Click here to shop. Thank you very much for your support of my work!

putting on my “anchor” before the meeting
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