What should I say?
How can I say it?
How can I convey the hope, the courage, the strength, and the peace that I want to share?
All the convictions I feel deep down in my soul, emotions so deep that they are not a part of who I am, but they are the whole of whose I am. These traits, nothing of which I can boast, are not of my own doing. I didn't set out to gather these like a basket of apples. I didn't search for them as one searches for a friend. I wasn't even aware of their presence until the day that nothing else mattered. The day when a loved one's touch, a friend's kind word was not enough. Though I relish those things and enjoy the warmth of them, they cannot sustain me in the dark of the night. I found these deep within me when I released the reins of my life. How funny that I thought I could sway my life to the left or to the right. But when I relinquished my control I found them - hope, courage, strength and peace - God's gift to me.
There is a time that comes when sickness is more than a diagnosis, more than a file that is 8" thick, more than medicines and side effects. It is in that moment when the question is asked - will this sickness define me? Will I be the woman with cancer or will I be God's child that walked the path laid before her.
Hope, courage, strength, peace.
I want everyone to look deep within themselves and see these gifts that God showers on those that seek Him. I see the faces of those with cancer. I see the young couple that probably hasn't celebrated many anniversaries yet; I see the aged couple - one trying to have enough strength for the other; I see the new patients, bewildered by all the information they have been given. It is frivolous to say to them that everything will be okay. They know, they all know, that sometimes it is not all okay. Sometimes the disease wins. Not because they didn't fight, not because they were weak. Sometimes the disease just wins.
Do they know? Do they know these sufferings are only temporary? Do they know the God of our tomorrows, the King of kings, the Great I Am? That despair can be exchanged for hope, fear can give way to courage, our weakness can make way for His strength. Do they know He is the Prince of Peace?
I cannot be satisfied with knowing these things for myself. Everyone must know. I begged God for a purpose larger than myself. I prayed for the chance to make a difference. I have been gifted with this opportunity to live my life out loud. They have to hear! They have to know!