life is a gift

"You Have Cancer"

  "I can't believe it". "This is not happening to me". These are the words that were swimming through my head several years ago as my doctor delivered that dreaded phrase! I remember asking the doctor to bring my sister, Cissy, in the room and after sitting there for a few minutes we just agreed that we would face this head on. Full of fear and uncertainty, we began to make decisions and change our plans.

I am not very demonstrative with my emotions, therefore, no tears were shed when my doctor told me I had cancer. As I sat back in my seat, it felt like my blood became cold and was slowly and painfully draining from my body.  I was stunned.  And, I was angry.  My mother had just transitioned to heaven a few years earlier,  my family was still working through the devastation of our loss and now this! The prevailing thought racing through my mind, like a freight train that slipped off the tracks, was the notion that I would miss the opportunity to have children. "I am not going to have kids." Isn't this every girls dream? I was not married and would not have the chance to bear children.  I was overwhelmed and disheartened.

As I write this post, I am met with the same emotion I experienced when I first heard the news. I am, however, still alive and while I will never have the opportunity to 'have' children, I 'have' children.  I call them my God-kids.  My life has been enriched by several individuals that think of me as another mother.

Through my experience I have learned a few things:

  1. You only live once. Life is a gift, a free gift that will cost you everything you have. :)  My challenge to you: Live with audacious tenacity.  Enjoy those around you. Live with passion and purpose. Love without reserve. Forgive as you have been forgiven.
  2. We are not alone. We are designed to exist within the realm of relationship with others.  I found that I had (and still have) a number of friends and family members who were willing to stand with me in prayer, cook meals, sit and talk, or remain quiet or drive me to doctor's appointments if i needed or wanted them to.
  3. Life is not easy.  There is no way to know what one will face in life.  This is why I choose to stay connected to a Source that is much bigger that I.  Being a Christian, I trust God will give me grace to endure the challenges and victories that come my way.  I choose to believe He will take care of me through the storm. Even when it doesn't seem like it (there are times).
  4. Whether I live or die, I win.  This was a tough one for me.  I had to personally work through this reality on my own.  You see, I believe that the life I live, right now, is temporary. Death is a transition from this 'life' to eternity. I will see my mother and others who have passed on.  I will live forever.

If you, or a loved, have been diagnosed with cancer or any other disease, my sincere hope is that you have a community of people to surround you with loving care and commitment, as I have.

 

Fashioned for This Moment

For many of us life has become quite busy, making it less and less likely to live in and enjoy the present.  We rush to get to work and back home, take the kids to school or soccer, coach the team, plan meetings, attend meetings, pick up the kids, shop, cook and clean (take a breath).  We get to bed, only to start the same routine over again in the morning. The created woman is fashioned for the moment. However, with so many ‘must-do’s’ on the list, it requires some effort to take the time to S-T-O-P and smell the roses that have been strategically positioned along life’s journey.

Here are a few reminders to help you slow your pace, take a break and engage in the now moment you are fashioned for:

1.     Enjoy the beauty of your journey.  Life is a gift.  One that is to be cherished, respected and shared.  Each adventure is littered with ups and downs, good times and difficult times, moments of feasting and periods of scarcity.  The interesting fact about this is everyone is affected. There is, however, a power found in working through the difficult times, understanding they are temporary and can be used as fuel for the future.  Another noteworthy truth is we can learn from every single experience.

2.     Walk slowly through the crowd.  This nugget can easily get lost in the daily grind.  In the midst of busy-ness, we sometimes forget to look up and take in the expression of beauty found in the moment.  God placed the people around us – family and friends – along with nature and our environment in our presence, for our pleasure.

3.     Let go of the past.  If you are not careful, yesterday's experiences could have a negative impact on today's perceptions.  It is important to understand that the past does not have to dictate your presence, the present or your future.  Take advantage of the many resources that are available to help navigate through the challenges you may have experienced, so you can fully engage in the present.

While it is important to look back and thank God for bringing us through the past and it is necessary to know that our future is in His hand.  There is nothing like the present.  I challenge you to own it, engage in it and share it with those around you.

As a Created Woman, fashioned for this moment, how do you engage in the present?