Eight years ago as my mom and I waited for a shuttle, we sat next to a few fish tanks lost in the overwhelming news and reality of the moment. My cancer was gone. As relieved as we were to receive the news and be headed back home, the joy was hampered by relief and uncertainty. I was excited to be going home. Living out of a hotel while going through medical tests and surgery is not something I highly recommend. However, more surgery loomed in the future along with the possibility that the cancer could reappear.
Certain anniversaries since then have held special meaning. Three years in the clear was the first hurdle towards long term remission. Then I made it to five years and all my doctors breathed a sigh of relief. 10 years will mark the final nail in the coffin for medical insurance red tape. So what is special about eight years?
The number eight in the Bible signifies Resurrection and Regeneration. It is the number of a new beginning. Eight is 7 plus 1 and since it comes just after seven, which itself signifies an end to something, so eight is also associated with the beginning of a new era or that of a new order.
In the past eight years I have graduated college, worked a few jobs, married a pretty cool guy, got a new dog and became a mom. In the last month I made the decision to change my career path and focus on my adventurous toddler and develop my entrepreneurial skills. This is a new place for me. After nearly 7 years as someone’s assistant, I am taking a step towards a new beginning.
Pursuing opportunity is intimidating when there is more than one option, but never moving forward and embracing risk keeps us in stasis. Life is vastly out of our control, as much as we don’t want to admit or accept that fact. Living intentionally to intercept change and flourish despite of it is the goal.
Regeneration can be regrowth or reformation and both of those words seem applicable in 2017. As I celebrate remission, I look forward. Whether it was cancer or _____________________, it changes us. Let your blank be your motivation and live to the fullest with what God has given you.
For Such a Time as This,
My three year wedding anniversary is within weeks and I find myself reflecting on words and advice of what to expect as life progresses. Pre-marital counseling, blogs, magazine articles and books often referred the first year of marriage as the only enjoyable year and to expect the following years to reveal a relationship filled with fewer moments of romance and increasing disagreements and butting of heads. I understand that many of these articles desire to bring an honest perspective to a Cinderella saturated world. While I don’t find my marriage falling prey to this downward slump, I’m not sure it has had the chance.
Since getting married, Austin and I have found ourselves on the defensive from a series of life’s hard balls, curve balls and fast balls. We no more than recover from one strong pitch, only to be fronted with yet another. We try to be prepared and anticipate the incoming, but each time the balls come flying from a different direction. While the balls sting and sometimes flatten me to the ground, if there is any positive result from them, it is the fact that I haven’t had time to become complacent.
Complacency in life and marriage is a silent killer. Truly, it is in the struggles that we overcome, where we find the most growth. In the immediate, there is nothing pleasant or desirable as we struggle. However, when the balls stop flying for that brief moment, it is then that we see how much we have grown. I’m currently waiting for my brief moment and praying for enough strength to keep holding up my catcher’s glove.
Life sucks, but as God has been reminding me lately, there is great hope in eternity. In all honesty, it is hard to grasp that when stuck in earthly time constraints and to have the courage to make it through the next 50+ years of curve balls. However, I find comfort in the promise of God’s presence. He doesn’t guarantee anything will be easy, but he does guarantee to walk with me through life. If I have the creator of galaxies on my side, paying my bills doesn’t seem quite as intimidating.
So I press on. Another day, another week, another year. I will take risks, I will choose to love and by golly my catching arm is going to look the Hulk by the time I reach the end of this journey called life.