Recently Mark and I had dinner with some good friends. As we were sitting around talking after dinner, my friend asked, "Laura, would you say that cancer changed your life?" Mark and I both laughed out loud, looked at each other, and immediately answered, "Absolutely!" And then she asked, "In what way would you say your life has been changed?"
The thought of it left me almost speechless. The change has been all encompassing. The only words I could speak were, "In every way" And those words seem so inadequate to describe what has happened. EVERYTHING about me is different. I may look the same on the outside, it may seem that my life has returned to the way things were, but the truth is that everything has changed.
The way I think, the things I think, the way I feel, the dreams I have, my relationships with family and friends, my relationship with God... there is nothing that has not been profoundly affected in some way. I am a completely different person on the inside.
And I wouldn't change it for the world!
I am stronger than I have ever been. I am more confident than I have ever been. It has caused me to speak my mind even more than I used to. I'm not sure that Mark thinks this is a good thing, but I am very happy to do so!
I am not afraid of anything. I have an unshakeable peace. I know without a doubt that my life and my future are held in the hand of God. There is nothing that can come against me that God and I together can't handle. I know that He will always stand on my behalf. There is tremendous peace in the knowing.
My priorities have become more focused. I don't waste time or energy on things that don't fit into those priorities. Family matters. My friends matter. God's Kingdom matters. And that's about it!
I am constantly aware that life is fragile and death is certain. That may sound morbid, but honestly, it makes each moment sweeter because I recognize the gift and value of each day I am given.
So, yes, cancer changed my life. Completely. Thankfully.