When I look around me and see all I have, by whom I am surrounded and the love that encircles my life I am awe struck. I am not only a breast cancer survivor with a second lease on life; I am living a life of purpose. I know who I am and where I have come from. I am not ashamed of the circumstances that have molded me, created and made me who I am. My life, all I have and have not and everything else in between is more than sufficient. I may not have it all but I do have a life many dream of. And I don’t mean material riches, title or possessions. I’m talking about the real stuff dreams are made of like family, friends, love, faith and a life well spent. I'm loved unconditionally and accepted wholeheartedly by those closest to me. Do I deserve the love or life I have been given, not really but I am unbelievably thankful for all of it. I have been provided an education I am proud of, a job I love and a profession tailor made for me. I am married to the love of my life and together we have raised two amazing children. I wake up every morning knowing I am alive with a second chance, that I am loved, cherished and valued for who I am, not for what I can do. How could I even begin to ask for anything more than what I have now?
My family, my loves, well they are my everything. I have faced a future without them, felt deaths cold breath on my neck and listened to the devil knock on my door. I am no longer death’s captive, uncertainties victim or the devil’s scapegoat. I have been set free, allowed to embrace the beauty of free falling without fear. I'm a daughter of the King am I not? A crown though a bit slanted sits atop my head. I walk in the grace of His goodness, knowing “in the waves of change we find our direction.” And honestly I didn’t really understand the direction my life was going until long after I was in my mid 30’s. But now in my early 40’s I see exactly who I was born to be. Nothing that has happened to me was ever by chance. Every step, every moment has been carefully drawn out, calculated and navigated by the One who created me. Sure, He’s left many twists and turns to my own choosing. But in the bigger picture every obstacle was there to teach me something, to make me stronger, to encourage me to embrace uncertainty and to make me better than the person I was the day before. It took me years to understand that in the long run I was born to soar, not plummet. I was given wings to fly, not to stay perched in one place my entire life. The truth is the messy details of my life could fill up a black hole and then some. Nothing about my life has ever been typical, inside the lines or routine. I am here today not because of my own strength but because of the love and determination of a gracious Father who’s never given up on me.
My life, my family, my loves they are all dreams He’s made a reality. I have two precious, giving and selfless parents who raised me to be a strong and authentic woman. I have a husband I love with all my heart, a man who has stood by my side through hell and high water and two incredible boys who call me Mom. I have learned through heartache, disappointment and yes uncertainty “that to be with those I love is enough.” Something Walt Whitman shares so beautifully. I may not have a yacht, a big mansion, fame or fortune but I do have something no one can take from me…my family. You see they are my backbone, the pieces of my heart I can’t let go of, ever. I am truly blessed. I'm also aware just how fortunate I am. I could never in a million years give my family up or turn my back on those I love. I have been given a gift in each of them. I fully understand now I am a steward, accountable to my Father for each life I have been charged with. His unconditional love is now my own gift to cultivate in their lives.
Sure I could be angry, resentful for all I haven’t been given. I could have become bitter over the difficulties, despondent and cold due to the adversities and hardships that have touched my life. And by all human reasoning I would have a right to be that way. But, by His grace I have emerged a woman of strength, filled with generosity, thankfulness, authenticity and unconditional love. I lack for nothing; I have all I could ask for and more. The truth is this, “If we don’t feel grateful with what we already have what makes us think we will be happy with more?” This really is what life is all about is it not? We have to find contentment, gratitude and thankfulness for all we have before we can be trusted with more. Worrying, coveting, back stabbing or even playing the victim’s role in our own created circumstances only leads us down deeper, darker roads. Ever wonder why people with some of the most horrific pasts have the most beautiful souls? I can tell you, because they have embraced the struggle and found peace in it. You see they understand, "Your past is just a story, And once you realize this, it has no power over you." I love what Philippians 4:6 says about thankfulness and worry. “Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.” You see a grateful heart is a beautiful heart and a beautiful heart is a life in full bloom.
Life Lesson# 82 ~ in these small hours, my life, my loves and my everything is found. At the end of each day, in those small hours I'm thankful for all I have. In these little wonders of fate I'm grateful for every twist and turn. Sure I realize I still have a long way to go. But I'm aware my life, who I am today is 100%, authentic and genuine because of each and every one of those struggles and triumphs. Now before I wrap this up I just want to share this last part of my heart with you. One of my boy’s favorite songs is by Rob Thomas, from the movie, Meet the Robinsons. It goes like this, “Our lives are made in these small hours, these little wonders, these twists & turns of fate. Time falls away, but these small hours, these small hours still remain.” I am thankful they too understand this lesson. See the reality is we may not get everything we want or feel we deserve in life but we do have all we need. All we have, all we are remains with us but the question is simply how they remain. I am convinced, “My heart is at ease knowing that, what was meant for me will never miss me and what misses me was never meant for me.” I pray this same peace for you my friends. May you find joy in the struggle and hope in the journey. Not that it makes it any easier when the devil comes knocking at the door but as a great country song says, “If you’re going through hell, keep going. Don’t slow down. ” You’ll get there, we all do. It just takes the ability as Bob Goff says to “embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” Mine sure didn’t but now after all these years light is finally being shed on those unnamed, untitled chapters. Today is a perfect example as I sit here typing these words, for a blog I had no idea I would ever be the author of.
So yes, I'm thankful for the difficulties that brought me here. My crown may be a little bent, but it’s still hanging on. I'm the daughter of the King after all, and He’s blessed me beyond measure. I have been given a life filled with purpose. I simply cannot ask for any more.