June is a big month for me! Yesterday I celebrated 27 years (some of you didn’t even know I was that old) Bone-Cancer-Free! *The crowd goes wild!* Yes, thank you! It is amazing! I’m so thankful!
Yesterday was also my 13th wedding anniversary! *Awww!* I know! Thank you! I’m so happy! But marriage isn’t just about happiness, it’s about compromise and struggle and work but at the end of the day coming back home to one another, being honest and choosing to see the good no matter what. BUT since this is not a post about marriage, let’s continue:
Another anniversary June holds for me is in just 20 days at which time I will be 3 years Breast-Cancer-Free! Wow is June a great month for me! It really is special.
As I reflect on these anniversaries I wanted to share a bit more of my story with you from the book Finding Myself...Facing Cancer. I hope you will find it encouraging and inspiring. So without further ado:
The Number of My Days 8/17/15
I've been feeling so exhausted lately. I'm almost certain it is from sheer mental and emotional overload. The recent days have been filled with doctor’s appointments, trying to arrange and rearrange schedules for more appointments, and an upcoming surgery, all the while planning to send my oldest baby off to kindergarten. The last two events are ones I am not in the least prepared for. How could I be?
I read something about how surprised by time we (and "we" being everyone) tend to be. We remark about how fast summer has gone, how quickly babies and children grow, and how holidays seem to run together these days. But what is more natural than the passing of time? Yet I am one of the first to make any one of the mentioned remarks and to truly be amazed by it. When I consider these things, I become almost frantic and sad. I can never have yesterday back. Bobby will never be a "preschooler" again. The phases my children have passed through are gone forever now. That makes me sad. Forgive me for being graphic, but when I consider the permanence of cutting off a body part or two as step in my cancer treatment/prevention, it makes me sad. I have actually envisioned waking up from surgery crying, realizing that what was done can never be undone.
So perhaps part of this exhaustion I'm feeling is a byproduct of the grieving process. Grief is a natural and arduous journey through various emotions all in relation to the loss of something or someone. (My definition.) Our society tends to take what is known as ambiguous loss for granted; those losses that are not directly apparent. For instance, it's obvious one would grieve the death of a loved one or pet, but not always "obvious" to grieve an unfulfilled dream or the sale of a childhood home. In my case, I'm grieving a number of things: the loss of health for starters, but also the disruption of my family life, and what will be lost after a bilateral mastectomy, to name a few.
To balance out the sadness (not dismiss it or minimize it), I have made it a point to look at the flip side of the coin. This deep sadness has led me to deeper relationships; grief has taught me greater empathy; frustration has led me to seek peace in solitude; and disruption has stirred up creativity. I bless God for the fact that my family is healthy. I am so thankful for an abounding support system. There is beauty in the midst of pain and emotional exhaustion.
When I become anxious about the fleeting passage of time, I realize that it is wise for me to learn to be more mindful and present of and in each moment. As I have been reflecting on these lessons, I find these words coming to mind "teach me to number my days." To me, this is a measured approach to mortality, a reminder that every moment is rich. Instead of whipping myself into a frenzy so as not to "waste a day," I am savoring each moment. I am not rushing in to tomorrow. I am not bemoaning the passage of another day. I simply am. I know that I will not be forever. But right now, I am.
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in You.”
Psalm 39:4-7 NLT
So, after another day of mental and emotional exhaustion, I've decided to rest here, understanding and being content with the fact that my life is but a breath. I don't need to rush around, gaining nothing and missing precious moments. I put my hope in God and find peace in the moment.
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That’s the show for today. As always, friends, thanks for stopping by and until next time: find peace in the moment and allow yourself to Create Something Great!