Thursday, May 17, 2012

I was asked a question...

I have been attending a cancer survivorship series on Thursdays. The men and women that surround me each week are truly amazing. Everyone has a unique story of struggle and disappointment but one similar strand of truth can be found in all…each one of us chose to fight and we came out victorious against an attack on our lives. I am proud to stand with these “warriors” and I am also proud to say I am one of them. I have to admit that when I walked into the first class everyone’s face said that the high school volunteers were down the hall and that I was definitely in the wrong place. Quickly after introducing myself I found that I am not alone in trying to find my way after being diagnosed with cancer. I have people who “get” me and I in return “get” them.

This week’s class is about finding hope and meaning so for this week’s homework we were asked a question that has had me stumped. We were asked to bring an object that symbolizes something that has meaning in your life; it must be something you can hold in your hand and it can’t be a picture. If you already know what you would bring just after reading that question you certainly have life much more figured out than I do. I have been walking through my apartment opening drawers, looking in boxes just searching for something that symbolizes importance in my life. Day after day I continued to search and came up with nothing. I felt defeated until I stopped and took a moment to think about it. What if something that has significant meaning in my life isn’t a trinket from the past but wouldn’t it make more sense if that meaningful object is something I use and see every day? I sat down and looked at my empty palms trying to imagine holding something and a smile stretched across my face. I turned my hands over and there staring back at me were two meaningful promises. On my right hand a ring that I have had on since I was 19, a promise ring. On my left hand a ring that symbolizes a promise but it is a little more meaningful. My wedding ring symbolizes the loyalty of my best friend. The best friend that stood by me for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer and in sickness and in health and trust me in the last two years we have seen worse, poorer and sickness. We are hopeful for the next few years we will see the better, richer and health parts. Can I get an Amen?

I felt pretty happy when I had finally found my meaningful object but something else was tugging on me. My heart was telling me that there was another object that held meaning and hope and that it was right in front of me. The only problem with that thought was that the only thing right in front of me was the TV. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing something so I stared into the black screen for a few minutes and it wasn’t until I gave up and started to get up that I finally saw what I was looking for. As I started to move I saw myself in the reflection and another smile stretched across my face. This time my meaningful object wasn’t something I could hold in my hand but the meaning and the significance was off the charts. Me, myself and I. My life has meaning because I am still here. My life has hope because I chose to conquer over a cancer diagnoses and continue to live out the life that God has given me. If God was done with me He would have brought me home and since He didn’t I must still have value here and I must still have a purpose. I am a woman who symbolizes meaning and hope! I am a walking billboard for God’s love and redemption. I still don’t like everything that cancer left in its wake but I can think of my scars as badges of courage and strength. Yes, I wish they weren’t there but each scar is a constant reminder of my incredible journey to becoming the woman who God destined me to be. 

Love Always,

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