Going for a walk around our neighborhood is one of our favorite activities. Brit always grabs her stroller and puts her precious Baby Monkey in it while Evan insists on riding his tractor down the sidewalk, threatening any mailbox that stands in his way. Eric and I always enjoy the view from behind and like that we can actually catch up with each other and get a moment to talk. Tonight was a beautiful time to refresh and recharge and…remember.
It was a gorgeous early spring evening with a crispness in the clean, fresh air that was so invigorating and I thought to myself, “I don’t want to forget this moment.”
Just as quickly as I had that thought, a whole range of emotions came over me as I realized that the only reason I was truly taking in this sweet moment to its fullest was because not long ago I wasn’t promised this time. There was a time not so long ago that I was so close to losing my life and somehow…I had forgotten.
I’ve been laying a little low lately – almost trying to see if maybe I could forget. Forget what it felt like to be facing death eye to eye. Forget what it feels like to need to “wrap up the loose ends” that we all have in life. Trying to forget the feeling of being helpless to take care of my family. I was trying to forget the pain and heartache and physical and emotional hardship of living with stage 4 cancer.
And my health has been conducive this way of thinking as I am completely stable right now. No major pains, no treatments, no appointments, no scans (until May).
Life is, well, back to normal. Which is all I ever wanted from the start of this! Or so I thought.
Tonight I realized tonight 2 things:
1. I can’t forget.
There are constant and inevitable reminders of the fact that, yes, all of this really happened. My body is scarred and in several places grossly misshapen and often painful. I still have my port. My kids know too much about death and cancer for their own good and I realized that although I had grown slightly uncomfortable in discussing it, they had not. There are medical bills still coming in regularly and I still need seizure meds as I still have a brain tumor and thyroid meds because radiation killed my thyroid. I can’t forget these things.
Our family has changed because of it. Our marriage has changed because of it. I have changed because of it. And this leads me to #2.
2. I don’t want to forget. I see now that my diagnosis is on a similar level to that fateful day at the age of 23 where I walked down to the altar and finally found where I belong. I met Jesus that morning and accepted His unimaginable gift of salvation and my life has not been the same since in the best possible way. And I consider it not just an honor but a duty to share all of the ways He has been faithful to me since that day. My battle with cancer is no longer something I want to forget because it too has so deeply changed me and affected how I see and relate to the world.
I always say that sometimes I feel too “Christian” for the secular world and feel to worldly for the Christians. I often feel like there’s not a place I “fit”. But God is amazing and has used this as a beautiful testimony and a way to reach other people who also feel like outsiders. People who doubt. People struggling with shame and loneliness, just as I once had. I never want to forget my life before Jesus. It wasn’t pretty a lot of times, but it shows me just how deeply and truly He can change us. I’m forever grateful and will spend my days forever glorifying Him.
So I apologize if I start blogging way too much! I’m not trying to be annoying (it just comes naturally to some of us 😉) it’s just that I’ve learned so much and have had so many amazing experiences that I need to use every chance I get. And I look at this blog as another opportunity to bring praise to God. And honestly, I’ve missed the interaction and connection to others that I feel in doing this. Its been a great way to meet people, pray for people, and hear other people’s stories.
I’m not trying to forget anymore. In fact, I will be trying more and more to remember what this journey has brought because ultimately it has borne fruit in me and I’m so grateful.
And why would I want to forget that??