Hello Old Familiar Place…
Hello old familiar place, it has been a year and here I am again; the place I least want to be. Yet I’m here… I didn’t realize how fast the year has gone by until I realized it is that time again… I stand in front of your doors, my back straight, my chin set firm – trying to keep the memories of 4 years ago from flooding over me and keeping me from doing what I know needs to be done. Like a dog fighting against getting a bath, I have to pull my own arm to move jellied legs forward.
“I can do this. I need to do this. I WILL do this.” I encourage myself as I move forward, taking one step at a time.
Hello old familiar place, four years ago I walked through your doors, numb, scared, and uncertain of what the future would hold – or even if there would be a future to hold anything. Yet here I am…
I am not the same woman I was four years ago when I first entered your doors. Every year I am a little bit stronger. Every year I realize how blessed I am to have had yet another year. I am more grateful for every day that God gives me a fresh page of life to write on. I am more aware of the fact that none of us are promised tomorrow. When I walked through the door four years ago, the pages of my life were written in water colors. Now – they hold a precious vibrancy and boldness as I have learned to embrace each day. The truth is that none of us know what tomorrow may bring – which is why we have to be thankful for today.
Hello old familiar place, I did not want to revisit you, yet every year I faithfully come against my will but with the strength of better judgment, because I know I have to take care of me.
I am not a statistic, I am not a number, I am not a previous diagnosis – and I most certainly am not “in remission.” I am a thriving survivor. I am healed. I am a child of the utmost high God. I will walk through your doors trying not to let the flood of past memories overwhelm and terrify me – but to walk in the strength of the Lord holding on to my faith remembering Who it is who is the Author and the Finisher of my faith. My life is in His hands. It always has been and it always will be. Although you can’t see it and I appear to be alone – I am not, you see, He is holding my hand. I can hear Him whispering in my ear:
“My child I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you, through rivers you shall not be swept away. When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, nor will flames consume you, for I, the Lord am your God .” (Isaiah 43:1-3)
“I have made you the head and not the tail.” (Deuteronomy 28:13)
“You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you.” (Philippians 4:13)
Hello old familiar place. God used you once to save my life – that is why I return every year. Every year I walk through your doors I am thankful anew at the previous year God has given me. I am hopeful that I will be given another. I should have felt that way before any of this had happened, I thought I had – but I realized I had taken life for granted… I’ve learned not to. I have metamorphosed in a way I never imagined I would. Yet even though I didn’t know what would happen – God did. In the dark place I have been He has brought the amazing light of other women into my life who have been where I have been. Women from ALL walks of life; women with the same questions and worries and wonders as I. A pink rover line that needs to end, no new members joining in on it; but in the meantime – we squeeze each other’s hands. We laugh, we question, we cry, we rejoice, we share, we LIVE.
Hello old familiar place – when my testing and appointment is over I shall run out your doors not realizing I had been holding my breath all the way through. I shall release it and I shall go forth with a renewed commitment to live life FULLY and to make sure that I pay it forward. I will love more deeply, hug my children harder, I will laugh more heartedly, I will savor each moment of life as it was meant to be savored and I will dance as David danced. In fact, I shall dance out your doors and not look back but forward until we meet again.