As I sit here tonight, I am still in a bit of shock. These past eight (8) weeks have seemed to fly by and seemed to be moving in slow motion – both at the same time. It’s been a physical, emotional and spiritual journey leading me to this – I am now
I say that knowing that I am not completely “out of the woods” so to speak. I will need to go back for tests every 3-6 months to ensure the cancer has not started in other places, but for now – as I sit here typing – I am Cancer-Free!
With that said, a great friend and mentor asked me this question:
What Have You Learned Through This Journey?
So, I have been thinking about that question these past few days – What Have I Learned?? Here are a two things that keep coming to mind:
1 – Attitude is Everything! Keep My Focus on God!
People have asked – How do you do it? You seem to stay so positive.
I am truly not 100% certain how to answer this question. All I know is that I have continued to only focus on that which I can control and give the rest to God. And, I didn’t take it back (I have the habit of giving Him something and then within 30 minutes, taking it right back…)
Matthew 11:28-30 (GNB): “Come to Me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke and put it on you, and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and You will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”
By focusing only on what I could control and giving the rest to God, I truly felt light. When people would ask questions about things I couldn’t control, I didn’t engage in those questions. I replied – “That is the protocol” or “I can’t control that” or “I trust God has that covered.”
Even as I type this, I know it is easier said than done. It takes practice…lots of practice. And, it takes support. Many people aren’t used to having these conversations. Think about it, it is easier to talk about the bad, the scary, the difficult instead of the happy, the hopeful, the easy. The latter aren’t the most interesting conversations to have. But, the Bible says this:
Romans 12:2 (GNB): Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and pleasing to Him and is perfect.
2 – I Have A Lot More to Learn
I say this because, I am not 100% certain what I have learned during this journey. I don’t have a Bible verse for this one, but I have a section of the Bible – Genesis 37-50 – The Life of Joseph. You may also have seen the play / movie – Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. Here is why this is so relevant.
Quick aside – we bought the kids a 365 days of Bible Stories book several months ago. Unfortunately, due to my travel, we just recently made it out of Genesis.
So, here is how it relates…
We were reading the stories about Joseph. And, we talked about how Joseph was always loyal to God, no matter what terrible situations he found himself in (to no fault of his own):
Thrown in a ditch by his brothers
Sold into slavery by his brothers
Thrown in jail due to a lie from Potiphar’s wife
No matter what, Joseph was always faithful. He knew God had a plan for him. And, he knew God would make that plan known when the time was right.
Joseph went through many trials. And, God was always there, helping to make the best of every situation. And, allowing each situation to prepare Joseph for His plan – saving Egypt (and the entire region) from famine and serving the King.
So, after these stories, I said to our oldest child,
“You see, just like God had a special plan for Joseph, He has a special plan for your life, too. That doesn’t mean life will be easy, it means that God will take even the most difficult situations and help you grow and learn through them. Each of those times (all the good and all the tough) will help to prepare you for the plans He has for you. You are special in His eyes. He has a special plan for you. And, I can hardly wait to watch that unfold.”
With all that said, I came to bed and thought about my journeys. Each of my toughest times were followed by some of my greatest experiences. He has used each experience to help me learn and grow. So, while I know this has taught me to:
Keep my focus on God
Control what is controllable and give the rest to God
Keep a Positive Attitude
I also know that there are many other things this experience has taught me. Some will become more apparent in the short-term, and others won’t be realized until much later.
All in all, I do know this. God has a very special plan for me. I can hardly wait to see what it is!
I have so many reasons to be thankful. Thank You for giving me the courage and words for this blog – not just this post, but for the entire blog. You nudged me a year ago to start putting my thoughts into writing. Little did I know that this would be my saving grace. You knew it all along. You kept nudging me until I did it. I am so very grateful for that!
And, Lord, thank You for Your Strength through this most recent journey. While not written in the Bible, it is often said that You will not give us more than we can handle. I do believe that – because You never expect us to handle anything alone. Your Strength can handle anything & everything. When we give it to You, You can handle it all. Thank You for that!
Finally, Lord, I know You have a special plan for each and every one of us. And, I know that You will use each situation we are in to help build and mold and strengthen us – to prepare us for Your plan. (Jeremiah 29:11 (GNB): I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.) Lord, I fully accept each situation, knowing it prepares me for the future You have planned for me. And, I ask that You help open my eyes, my ears, and my heart to see, hear and understand the teaching of each situation.
I Love You and I Thank You!