grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

July 2010 – July 2015 :: A Cancer Survivor’s Retrospective :: Day Eleven

on July 11, 2015

When I wrote this CaringBridge journal update, I had just celebrated my two-year cancerversary and had just received a diagnosis of mononucleosis. Talk about two completely different ends of the spectrum…victory and celebration on one end and defeat and exhaustion on the other.

Don’t the dichotomies of life – and their ensuing tensions – just make your head spin sometimes?
Mine, too.

And when my head is spinning (in a loopy, disoriented way, NOT a Linda Blair-Exorcist way, just to be clear *grin), it takes a lot of deep breathing and soul steadying and remember-practicing to grasp hold of the truth that I am most powerful when I admit and acknowledge my weakness.

Admittedly, for me, even the admission doesn’t erase the tension, the confusion, the question.
You know the one, right?
The ‘How do I survive this?’ one.
I’ve found that letting the question hang, suspended in the air, whispered by my heart, is just the invitation God needs to step in and calm my jittery, anything-but-serene spirit.
With His reminder that that question?
It’s His to answer.
In His time.
In His way.
And, even though that way, His way, is frequently beyond my puny understanding, there’s comfort in that.


July 29, 2012
I am powerful as I navigate this unknown territory called ‘Survival’.

I am powerful as I learn better how to truly rest after recently being diagnosed with a case of mononucleosis.

I am powerful as I look forward to getting back to the gym – back to an aggressive workout schedule that I believe is increasing the faith I have in my body and what it can do, instead of feeling like a victim of it, like it has somehow betrayed me.

I am powerful as I struggle to define friendship, the being a friend and the having a friend, after experiencing significant betrayal in that arena.

I am powerful as I hold on to hope with a tenacious grip, even when not much of anything in my current life resembles that of the one I lived just a couple short years ago.

I am powerful as I continue to be faced with decisions in and around more upcoming surgeries – surgeries that may bring a bit more of a sense of ‘normalcy’ to my experiences.

I am powerful as I remember all that I have survived even before I became a cancer Survivor.

I am powerful as I find my voice – my real voice, not the one I’ve previously put on and used based on what others expected of me.

I am powerful as I see the changes that I need to make and summon the courage to make them…even if I fall down sometimes in the changing.

I am powerful as I take the hand with which I often find myself self-consciously covering my throat and place it upon my heart, absorbing strength from its every beat.

I am powerful as I listen to the Truth and what He says about me and allow it to take the place of all the old, dated messages that seem hell-bent on keeping me down.

I am powerful as I choose to disregard the words some others would use as flaming arrows, meant to be lodged in my heart, and instead silently offer them grace edged with a measure of pity.

I am powerful as I embrace the ones who’ve chosen to stay – even when it has been messy, hard, confusing, and tiring.

I am powerful as I look behind with the knowledge that regrets can become mentors, making what’s ahead better than it could have been without them.

I am powerful as I stand under the weight of the grieving – losses of what was, losses of what could have been, losses physical and relational — but losses that will not define me.

I am powerful as I practice looking into the mirror and offering love and acceptance to the me I see – curly, thinning hair, single-breasted, heavier than is healthy, kind eyes, beautiful smile, broad shoulders, muscles in process…and realizing that the me I see is so much more than any mirror can reflect.

I am powerful as I celebrate my strength – physical, emotional, spiritual.

I am powerful as I give glory where glory is due – to the One in Whom the power I claim originates, the One Who so graciously and faithfully and mysteriously offers Himself as the Power in which I stand.

For you see, ‘He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!’ 2Cor 12:8-10 (Amp)

…and in all these areas, at one time or another, I feel weak.

Incredibly weak.


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