It all began one afternoon while visiting The Gilda's Club recently. I was meeting with a social worker in the hopes of reading and sharing my book with the families that participate in the cancer support programs they offer. After introducing ourselves, we entered the "It’s always something" room. We sat down on comfy chairs and began a candid conversation. She commented on how much she enjoyed my book and then kindly asked me to share my story.
She was easy to talk to and her empathic spirit soon became apparent. As she listened intently to my every word, I found myself becoming more vulnerable, open, and transparent. I couldn't stop myself. A flood of emotions came over me. I unintentionally began exposing my emotional war zone and aftermath from my cancer diagnosis. The list began: The crippling fears of it coming back, the damaged relationships, the anger and feeling powerless, the frustrations of horrible options, the doubts, and the insecurities of my new bodily image. I also shared the joys when given good news, the hope of a new beginning, the new relationships and friendships that were formed, the reassurance that I’m not alone, and the unconditional love that was shown to me daily. It was at this point she mentions a profound statement, "There is NO expiration date with a cancer diagnosis". The Lord knew I needed to hear that! Yes! Physically I have been healed, but cancer is forever embedded to my soul. It is branded in my heart. Whether you are standing on the starting blocks of your cancer journey or a 20 year survivor who has crossed the finish line, the date reads eternal. God's love and faithfulness has no expiration date either. He continues to mold, shape, and use my unexpired diagnosis until His work in me is complete. I heard a cancer survivor say once that "Cancer doesn’t DEFINE her but REFINES her." I'm not damaged goods, but aged wine that only gets better with time!
When I reflect and allow myself to be still, I see God's faithfulness and His little touches everywhere. Through each trial and tribulation He remains close and constant; never changing. May the faithfulness of His birth and the promise of His return go with each of you this Holiday Season.