My fondest memories from childhood all seem to take place in the fall of the year. I loved going back to school and seeing all my friends (those were the days before cell phones, Facebook, and every kind of camp you can imagine, so unless you lived next door to someone, your didn’t see them all summer), going to football games, and school dances. I liked cool weather clothes…jackets, sweaters, jeans…lots of layers made me feel all snuggly and well, less exposed than I did in summer attire. (that’s still true!) I enjoyed new teachers, new classes, and making new friends.
For me, autumn seems to hold as much of a promise of a new beginning as New Year’s and Spring do for most people….maybe I just need more “fresh starts” than the average gal. This has been a difficult year. The threat of cancer has cast a shadow on every part of my life for almost a year now and to be honest, I am a little tired of it. I’ve been cancer free since April and am quite honestly tired of living with the fear that it could come back any day. I am ready to give the fear of the possibility that the cancer may come back over to my Creator and let Him carry that burden for a while. It is just too heavy for me to bear any longer. So, autumn 2009 holds a very sweet “beginning” for me…I am cancer free. I've come a long way in only a year. This year I am blessed beyond measure in a new and amazing way…I am a cancer survivor and despite 4 surgeries on my vocal cords...I still have a voice!
I have struggled over the past 11 months with the darkness of fear….fear like I have never known in my life. I have had to trust complete strangers with my voice and my very life. I have leaned harder on God than I ever thought possible. Many days, I did not even have the courage to lean on Him…He had to just pick me up and carry me. Through all of this I tried very hard to be very brave. Now that it’s over, I realize that I am absolutely drained. I am closer to my Lord than I have ever been. I understand more about Faith than I could have ever understood outside of this battle. I am more in love with Christ than I could have ever imagined possible…..but I am tired, and feeling a little empty, so I am casting my cares on Him....again-but I am not taking it back this time. I'm done. I am just too exhausted to carry it any more.
I am grateful beyond words that I can reach out to my sweet friends during this time when things are so frightening and uncertain for them. I am grateful beyond words for the tenderness, compassion, and empathy in my heart when I pray for them and with them. I am grateful that my family can minister to theirs, that my husband understands how their husbands feel, and that my son knows how my one friend's son feels...and I am eternally grateful that Brian and my friend's son are friends. I would never have chosen the past year for me or my family, but I am eternally grateful that our Father, in His infinite wisdom, carried us through that valley and I am humbled that He would use that journey to minister to others.