Goofy. Giddy. Laughing through the tears. Travel has magical healing properties and I nearly missed it for my family.
Imagine if I hadn't gone with my *mommy gut feeling* and instead, kept convincing myself I couldn't afford it. If I'd believed the voice in my head that said "Family vacations were for other people, not us!" Imagine if we hadn't just gone; spent the last dollar in our bank account on faith that it was an investment in our future happiness. Imagine.
We would have missed out on the healing. Our babies would have missed out on the healing.
Our laughter wouldn't have returned quite so quickly.
And 3D Travel would never have happened. The 3D Travel Family wouldn't have formed. Thousands of memories, relationships, prayers spoken and answered - all of them wouldn't have existed. It's an unimagineable cost we would have paid because of my fears.
But we didn't walk in fear. We walked in faith And because of it, we walked in joy.
In 2002 and through early 2003, our lives changed when a young man in our church youth group began assaulting our 3 and 4 year old little boys. Our story is told and retold for healing through our book and website. If you'd like to read the story or know someone in crisis, please read and share the links.
This tragedy affected us even more deeply than you imagine it would, unless you've been through it yourself. It's a raw, horrific kind of pain. Over the course of our journey, we lost our financial stability, our church, our extended families and the ability to see our way through to the happiness on the other side.
Then, we bought a home. Because of the land we used and the type of loan, plus the fact that we're very self-sufficient and can do work normal people typically contract out, we had $8,000 dollars "to put in the bank."
But "What If?" I thought, recently. "What if I didn't put that money in the bank. What if we used it to take a trip together;To make new memories we've never made before, in the place I honestly thought we would never be able to afford?"
I don't remember the conversations about it. I know I was terrified to make any decisions after the assaults, so David must have been the one to say "Let's go for it." What I do remember is the planning, reading and dreaming I did before we even left our driveway.
Somehow, our pain began to turn a corner and walk toward hope. Our conversations were about meals we imagined tasting, how our little kiddos would feel about characters, what it would be like to stay in a Disney resort!
I believe wholeheartedly every time pain looms large for you, for your children, for your family or friends, a big key to the healing is finding something to look forward to. Vacation begins when you start the planning. It's not just "one week" or a "short cruise" - it's the entire time you dream about it before you go, the bliss of being there & the memories you cherish afterwards. It's the chats and making shirts in the backyard. It's reading about the best cupcake or finding out you'll get wet on a ride and debating whether you'll bring a different pair of shoes or be one of "those families" in a trashbag or poncho. It's seeing how much ice cream dad can eat in one day on deck. It's seagulls who catch handfuls of popcorn off your verandah. It's children who dream of trips with you for the rest of their lives "Someday, when we bring my kids." they'll tell you..... It's HOPE.
I thank God constantly we got past the "shoulds" and decided to go for it. I can't imagine what it would have been like if we hadn't been brave enough to Just GO.
We have many chapters to our story, to 3D's story. But they all began when we made the decision to CHOOSE HEALING.
I hope and pray you aren't going through something quite so intense right now, but I know many of our clients over the years have suffered just that and more. Through loss and change, divorce and victimization, we've helped them turn the corner. It's a heady and amazing privilege.
And your pain is real, even if it's not so *BIG* - your pain counts. YOU count. Your family counts. You are not less than. You don't deserve less than a chance to dream, plan, vacation and cherish memories.
We started our company with the vision of creating dreams for people who didn't think they could make it happen. We counsel our clients along the way to help them find the key to unlocking their own happiness. We're all different! Every trip should be different, because you're in the middle of your own journey & we're here to help you on that path.
So, what's in your way? Budget? Payment plans and very creative 3D Travel agents can help you with that.. Too busy? There are thousands of articles about how to stop worshipping busy. Look them up & stop it, already! The days are long, but the years are short. Think about it. Perhaps you've chosen to get on the "my child is in a lot of activities" lifestyle and that takes up all your time, money and emotional energy? I'm here to tell you, that comes to an end and as great as those memories are, they're not something you can typically keep repeating into adulthood. Trips create a vision for a future as a family. Who wouldn't want that? And no one loses on the trip. It's not a competition. It's just togetherness & a common experience.
See. It really doesn't matter what your obstacle is. You'll never be able to turn that corner towards hope as a family, if you don't take the first step. I invite you to email me personally at to start that journey. Or, if you already have a relationship with an agent, email them and tell them you read this post & you want to start a new vision of hope for your family. Tell us what it is you need to overcome & let's get you started on a new chapter.
I know how it turns out. We'll help you be brave. We can do it together!
So much love to you!