World Cancer Day/Going Through Impossible Circumstances ❤
Happy Sunday. 😊🙏 I hope you're enjoying a day of rest.
This past Friday (February 4th) was World Cancer Day and I was reminded by a Facebook memory that on that day 11 years ago, after a couple of weeks of research I made a decision about what I would do for my cancer treatment. I was facing a 7-24 month prognosis (depending on which doctor I asked) and it was scarier than anything I ever imagined I'd go through. The way I saw it was I couldn't give up because I had people to live for, so despite not knowing if I was going to outlive my prognosis, in hope I took one step at a time forward into the unknown, terrifying, foreign and UNCOMFORTABLE. Thankfully, I had the love and support of many and that helped carry me through. (And, I healed!)
This past summer/fall I faced circumstances that from my perspective were worse in some ways than what I faced in 2011. There was a point at which I believed that the pain and disappointment of my life was worse than not living at all, and I made a plan to give up. I knew that if I gave up in my mind, my body would follow naturally. Thankfully, God knew what would make me change my mind... little miracles started happening - gifts of encouragement, and I got sick with Lyme disease. I then began to try to pursue purpose and joy again. By God's grace I succeeded in small steps, though I went through a very intense mental and spiritual battle for a few months. I continue to notice small evidences of personal growth and increasing joy on a fairly regular basis, despite continued challenges, and for that I'm very thankful!
I'm sharing this to encourage you that if the work of healing or living seems too much, too difficult, or not worth it, IT IS!!! YOU are an incredible creature, you are glorious, you bring the world great joy, you are beautiful, you are worthy and you are so very very loved!! You can keep striving and being a blessing to others, despite imperfections - even fatal flaws (think king David in the Bible who God called a man after His own heart).
Maybe this message isn't for you if you can't relate to experiencing such a struggle to survive or thrive. If so, I'm really happy for you and I think you're amazing! 😊🙏 Then I challenge you to pass this message along, to pick one person today to intentionally encourage. Sometimes it's obvious that a person is struggling, but sometimes it looks like the opposite, like the person is happy all the time and is very far from deep depression (think Robin Williams and other celebrities who ended their own lives despite appearing to have everything one could ever want); so maybe pray about who needs your encouragement the most. You could be giving that person a lifeline to know that her/his life is very very important, valued, loved, worthy and cherished, so that she/he too will hope and take a step in a positive direction that boosts her/his confidence and morale and draws her/him back from the edge. If you do, I trust you will be blessed. 😊
If you'd like to watch a short video about these reflections that I shot on Friday, click here or on the photo below.
With love, (and happy almost Valentine's Day! 😉)