As I celebrate 14 years of being cancer free this year, I look back and notice an important role so many have played in my life. Some are family, some I have picked up along the way and others have been newly invested friendships that are just beginning. Each one has had an impact on my life. I am a better woman because I have been surrounded by you. Each of you has spent time and effort lifting me up and adding to my full life that I have lived. May 10th may always be just another day to some but for me that was the day my life truly began again. 5 years, 10 years and now at almost 15 years I have survived. I have survived many of things but the thing I treasure the most are that my friendships have survived with me. Many of you have endured the countless surgeries, rehabilitations and those awful crutches and leg braces or the sleepless nights of infomercials I am so notorious for. Lets not forget the tragic task of getting me inside the back seat of a car!
Time changes people, relationships, and even friendships. The older I get I realize it is not about the quantity but the quality. I learned some hard lessons those early years in my teens. I was hurt, I was disappointed and rejected. I felt that made my 20s even more special because I learned what it was like to be a friend and what it truly means to be a friend to others. Selfless love; giving even when the person could not ever repay you. What not to do what I should do and when I need to just keep my mouth shut. Hard lessons. Approaching my 30s and I will reach the half-way point. I will have had “survivor” after my name as long as I had lived a healthy life before cancer. Before my new normal before my world was forever changed. I may be a survivor and beat cancer but I live with a daily reminder of what I have overcome and where I have been.
That is a lot like my Christian walk. I have hurt, disappointed and rejected God. I have learned hard lessons. My walk with God these past few years has changed and grown far beyond anything I have ever expected. I know HIM.I know he is for me. I have a hunger I never experienced before. But I have a daily reminder of where my heart use to be and how I have come so far and how I never ever want to go back to the person I use to be. My heart was hardened and cold. God has shown his love to me; Selfless love. The type of love given to me so undeserving and I have no way to ever repay the gifts he has given me.
Yes, I am a survivor in so many ways. To survive means.
To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere
To live, persist, or remain usable through.
I have carried on, I have persevered and I want to remain usable by God. So, thank you. Thank you for being a friend to me; For loving me through those hard, cold times and also sharing in so many happy memories. Thank you for the new relationships that have come into my life. As iron sharpens iron so do your relationships stretch, strengthen and mold my Christian walk. Old and New, young or old each of you have and continue to play a part in my life. So here is to 14 years and many more! May the next 14 years be more about HIM and less about me.Last but not least to my mother. I know mother’s day has past but I don’t think there is ever just one day we want our children to express gratitude so here you go. I would absolutely not be here today if it was not for your utter selfless service all those years. You have put in the time, you have sacrificed and you have ran this race with me! From start to finish there has not been a day you have not cried, prayed and poured into my life. If I become half the mother and women of God you have been I will feel accomplished. You are the constant in my life and the source of so much encouragement. Many jewels for your crown and my love tank is overflowing tonight from all the love you have shown me. Thank you.