Beauty for Ashes
There are some words that can truly take the wind out of you, causing an otherwise great day to come to a grinding halt. Reading the words, “It came back,” certainly halted mine’s. Frozen by those three seemingly obscure words, I sat there with the iPhone screen glaring up at me as I tried to make sense of the text I had just received. I re-read the message nearly three times before my phone vibrated again revealing the piece of the puzzle I secretly feared would follow. "You know, the cancer came back," my friend wrote followed by three periods in succession. Cancer? How? You sure? I wrestled within myself as I struggled to find the right words to say.
I had my own personal story with cancer so every time I’d hear or see the ugly word, old memories came flooding back reminding me of my mother who I lost to the disease years prior. "This has to be a mistake," I mumbled under my breath as I went to go share the news. I had so many questions but what my friend needed most wasn't a barrage of questions about the diagnosis but rather a leaning shoulder, listening ear and most of all, a supportive friend. I learned a lot from this friend over the months that followed that I'd never forget.
"No really, how are you feeling," I asked while juggling groceries as I crossed the threshold of my home one Saturday afternoon. "I just started chemo and I know I'm going to beat this," her calm voice echoed on the other end of the line. That was and continues to be the response she delivers if asked about her treatment. It didn't matter what the doctor said to her, deep down inside she knows things are going to change. I couldn't help but smile when I sat the phone down on the counter.
I've been through many things In my short thirty-two years of life but there's one thing I've found to be true consistently and that's the good Lord truly helps us get through the tough times and he makes all things beautiful at it’s appointed time. Confidence is developed from truly believing the previous statement. Focusing on setbacks and hardship tends to only magnify it’s perceived dominance within our lives. Releasing our fears and activating our faith births a reassuring peace within us that gives us the confidence to face another day despite what the odds may appear to be. Things don’t happen to us, they're happening for us. There are great lesson’s to be learned from every situation that comes our way.
What are you hoping to see change in your life today? Are you facing a negative health report? Have you just been laid off? Are you in a rough situation that feels so hopeless that you're struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel? I want you to shout at the top of your lungs, "Things are changing for me!" I wrote this piece today to remind you of the beauty that's to come.
Often times when we're in the midst of our trial it's hard to see beyond what is directly ahead of us but when you take a step back and remember all of the things you've overcome before, you realize the situation you face right now is merely a bump in the road. Before the rest of this essay is over I want you to smile. Smile because you're an overcomer. Smile because you'll have a success story to tell that’ll inspire others. Let's all take a page out of my friend book. Just like she's standing up to cancer with her chest poked out refusing to be defeated, may we all take that stance toward everything that attempts to knock us down. In life, we may get bruised, and we may face temporary setbacks but we'll never give in.