Wednesday, January 29, 2014

365 days

365 days ago, I went in for a biopsy on a mole on my leg. A slightly painful start to my birthday but I didn’t think too much of it.

359 days ago, I got an urgent call from my doctor’s office to come in right away. And then I heard those three words that brought a stop to my world….“you have cancer.” Malignant Melanoma which I promptly nicknamed M&M and even ate some M&M’s.

358 days ago, I went in for surgery on my arm and leg, including a skin graft for my leg. My two verses of the day were Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.” ~Isaiah 26:3

356 days ago, my brother & sister-in-law came to visit me which came as a shock and yet brought me great pleasure. I don’t get to see my brother very often and it was an amazing gift that he would take two days off school to be with me and help with my recovery.

349 days ago, I got the news that I was cancer free. It was a long 9 days waiting for this news! It was Valentine’s Day when the doctor told me the positive test results.

335 days ago, I was I was overwhelmed with pain and ready to give up. But I was also reminded that I was not alone. I was not treading that path by myself. I know He carried me.

334 days ago, I was reminded again by a friend that I was not alone. “You, child, are sheltered in the secret place of the Most High, and you abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  Stay close to Me.  Drop your burdens.  Drop them.  Give them all to Me.  Stay in My presence, and you shall overcome.”

333 days ago, I was telling myself that falling apart is okay because every day I felt like I was falling apart. Even though the test results were positive, the pain remained. The healing was taking oh so long.

332 days ago, I was learning a new lesson – to SLOW DOWN. Enjoy life at a slower pace. Trying to listen to Him. Letting go of fear. Resisting the lies of the enemy. Soaking in His truth. Praising God for His healing mercy. 

331 days ago, I had another surgery, this time on my back. I was so upset about yet another procedure which would leave me in even more pain. The verses I held on to were from Ephesians 6:10-18.

329 days ago, I found myself asking a lot of questions that began with “Why?” Why is the healing taking so long? Why is trusting God such a tough thing to do? Why can’t I sleep? And so many more questions flooded my mind. The key verse for me that day was Proverbs 3:5-6.

319 days ago, a poster I made the year before became something of a lifeline for me as I continued to process fear and questions and work through the pain….

STOP.... ....beating yourself up ....putting yourself down ....dwelling on the negative ....dwelling on your insecurities ....anticipating the worst Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

START.... ....trusting in God's love ....accepting love from others ....believing in His total forgiveness ....trusting in God's goodness ....accepting gifts from Father God The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? ... Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~Psalm 27:1, 14

310 days ago was my final surgery – on my head. While I was nervous, I was also relieved to know that there was finally an end in sight!

261 days ago, I hit a milestone….with a heavy heart. It had been 13 weeks since I heard the news that I was CANCER FREE!  It was a milestone for me and yet it was a bittersweet moment as I considered so many that I know who are still in the midst of their fight with cancer.  Or those whose fight is now done and they've gone on before us.  If you know someone in the midst of their fight with cancer, wrap your arms around them and say, "I love you."  Just be there with them.  One of the best gifts I received was simply the presence of people.  Even if I didn't want to talk, just to have another person in the room was an incredible gift.  Each person's fight with cancer looks different but one thing is always true. Cancer sucks. So I marked that milestone with a heavy heart for those still fighting and for those who have lost someone to cancer. 

249 days ago, this verse was so important to me…."In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." ~Romans 8:26-27

248 days ago, I was clinging to Psalm 119, "Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path."

195 days ago, I was embracing the adventure of life as I stepped out and began to feel “normal” again. Sometimes I do seek out the adventure.  Mostly though, I'm trying to figure out the adventure that we call life in Christ.  When you say yes to Jesus, your life becomes an adventure in Him.  He may lead you on paths that you never anticipated.  He may allow situations in your life that you never thought you could live through.  But those adventures lived in Him are not lived alone.  You don't face those things in your own strength.  Rather, we have a Savior who loves us and who gives us what we need to face the adventures He puts before us.  My adventure has more questions than answers.  A lot of jumbled thoughts and crazy ideas.  And too often words spoken without thinking.  But each day, I learn more.  Each week, I grow up just a little bit.

177 days ago, I was celebrating a 6 month milestone. Six months since the first surgery. Six months since life came to a screeching halt. God brought healing to my leg. He strengthened me and kept me focused on recovering the right way. He taught and is teaching me so much every day. I'm in awe of His grace and I need it more each day. I'm humbled by His mercy and overwhelmed by His love. Every day feels like another gift, another chance to become more like Jesus. And even though I fail Him time after time, He keeps loving me and drawing me back to Himself.

149 days ago, I got to participate in a 4 mile walk and my leg didn’t hurt!!

146 days ago, I was reminded that religion is spelled D-O. It's about rules and tasks and adding up all the good things you can DO in your short life. But it'll never be enough and it's just plain tiring. Christianity is spelled D-O-N-E. Jesus did it all. He paid it all on the cross. He did what we can't. He paid the price. For me. For you. And he wants us to trust Him. This world is not our home and we're only here a short time.... 

140 days ago, I was so tired. Tired of the demands of life. Tired of feeling overwhelmed. Tired of the silence. Tired of the endless noise. Just tired. Tired but clinging to hope. Choosing to rest in my Jesus. Knowing that He is in control. Knowing that He loves me. Rest. That word was balm to my weary soul.

134 days ago, my little brother’s third daughter was born and I am a proud aunt to Elsa Joy.

130 days ago, I was living in the white space and yet learning to choose joy and faith. Choosing to dig even deeper into the word that is the lamp for my feet and the light for my path. Believing that He is going to guiding me. Trusting Him to give me His wisdom, in His perfect time.

122 days ago, I just wanted more of God. More of His love. More of His grace. More.

119 days ago, I was breaking the mold and shocking police officers because I don’t fit their expectation of someone who helps recover stolen heavy equipment. And I was challenged to consider what labels I apply to others that probably aren’t fair to them.

And on and on and on I could go. 365 days of memories. 365 days of life lessons. 365 days of tears, laughter, pain and healing. 365 days of God’s grace. 365 days of God’s unending faithfulness.

What will the next 365 days hold for me?

For you?

(1,550 words)

1 comment:

Nancy Sutton said...

WOW! Such a faith building time for you! God is always your anchor! I love you. I am proud of you!