A year ago, tonight…

I was thinking about going to bed early because I had to get up so early to get to the hospital to have major surgery to have my tumor and about a foot of my large intestine removed.  I didn’t know at all that it was cancer, not to mention an aggressive, advanced stage cancer, but I was worried it might be something at least a little bit bad.

I was actually more worried about the surgery.  Funny how, now, that surgery seems like a walk in the park compared to the bomb-drop of my diagnosis and five months of chemo.

That surgery started this journey.  This tough, scary, exhausting journey that has taken so much time, energy, money, emotion, comfort and the general sense that all is well.  And, that surgery is part of what’s kept me alive this past year.  So I think of it with mixed feelings.
Anniversaries can be tough.  Tonight, I’m a little unsettled.  Some days I almost forget I had cancer and other days, it seems to be lurking nearby, waiting for my guard to be down so it can pounce.
But I’m also grateful.  Awed by the kindness of my family and friends.  Humbled by God’s grace.  Thankful for the gift of the past 12 months.  Glad to have been blessed with a tenacity and grit you can’t get along an easy, uneventful life path.  I’m a little aggressive sometimes.  Sorry.  I learned to fight with all I’ve got and fight to win.
It’s ten days away from the anniversary of my diagnosis.  Interestingly, in between today and ten days from now marks another anniversary.  18 years ago, in a dorm room at Ohio University, I made a conscious decision to follow Jesus.  Exactly half my life.  I’m so, so thankful for the people who had a part in that.  It’s fun to think of you as your younger selves.  I long for the innocence of those days!  When the days stretched out so far, and there was enough time to do almost anything.  And we loved each other and were in such fresh awe of God’s love for us.
I’ve needed every minute of those years of growing faith, built slowly, brick by brick, each one added by moments of love, grace, forgiveness, lessons learned, reconciliation, prayer, worship and serving together to get through the past year.  What a journey.
So thankful to have been anchored firmly in faith of God’s power and goodness.  It overcomes so much.  Thankful that light chases away darkness.