Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014

Today is the five year anniversary of my stage 3 rectal cancer diagnosis.  I have always wondered how this day would feel.  I've given a lot of thought to how I should celebrate.  A giant dance party with DJ?  An amazing trip?  Or having all my family gathered together?  Should I invite the church?  Invite my friends?  Invite my doctors?  How would I feel?  What should I do? 

Today is the day - 5 years - that magical milestone that every oncologist is working toward, every cancer treatment's goal, and every cancer patient's dream.  The dream of survival.  Five years is  the marker that says, "You are healed.  Your chance of being diagnosed with cancer in the future is now the same as the rest of the population on planet Earth.  Go live your life!"

So how will I celebrate?  It's 6:00 AM.  The rain is falling, birds are singing.  Praise music plays in my head again:

"Now death where is your sting?  Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated!"  (Kari Jobe)

Mark is gone to jury duty.  My family is scattered across the country and the globe.  It's just me and God today.  A quiet morning together.  And somehow that seems like the perfect celebration.  Just like so many private moments together on the couch during my treatment - private tears and anguish shared; heart poured out; hope beyond hope that everything I believed was real.  And He was there, in all his glory.  And He is here with me today.  

My heart is so full it feels like it will burst.  I am so grateful that the only way to express it is with tears and the quiet deep longings of my heart - crying out for more of you.  I understand why "angels prostrate fall".  There is no other way, no other response to a God so magnificent and Holy, so good and kind, so loving and gracious and giving.  My words fail.

I remember today my sweet friends, so many who have gone on before me - Stacey, Melissa, Tony, John T., John D., Brandon, Dr. Keller - and sweet Roosevelt who cautioned me not to follow in his footsteps!  I try to imagine the joy they experienced as they stepped into Your presence - again, I am left mute.

God, I love you, I praise you, I bless you, and I thank you.  May I live every day conscious of your presence in my life.  I am yours, body and soul.

"For the Mighty One has done great things for me - Holy is his name."  Luke 1:49