Today is a GIFT!
By Nancy Dickens
Life can change quickly. The Bible warns us that our lives are like a vapor, or the grass of the field, which pass quickly and are gone. I know that and yet would never have imagined that in a few short months I would go from Crusade staff member, tennis and basketball mom, supporting girls in college and helping out at my 4 year olds' preschool to dealing with cancer, losing all my hair (yes, I am balder than my husband now.), dealing with nausea, fatigue, and various other side effects, and learning to live and flourish in the midst of it all. I could never have imagined. My life over the past few months has brought me to a place of serious evaluation and contemplation. When I was diagnosed with cancer I quickly realized that certain truths in my life had become more crystallized and in focus, and that certain extraneous habits and fears were something I no longer had time or energy for. I no longer had the luxury of looking at life and events through the eyes of one who is confident of the future and expectant of all of the milestones that would be a normal part of living out life together in a family. I had never been guaranteed that future and realized after my diagnosis how much I had presumed upon it. The first moment of this realization came at a baby shower just a few days after I was diagnosed. At all of my baby showers I collected the wrapping paper from my gifts so that I could wrap my gifts later in life for my children who were then having baby showers of their own. I have wrapping paper saved from Beth, Bri, Drew, and Will's showers, for the day I can celebrate their children's births. As I was explaining this tradition to my friend at the shower I realized, "Would that be me? Will I be there when my children celebrate the births of my grandchildren?" The second moment came when Dave was looking out the window as we were driving and saw an RV. He mentioned something about that would be us when we were older - something we have always joked about. I couldn't help thinking "Really, will that be us? Will I be there with Dave when I am older, ready to travel and spend our later years together?" It didn't take me long to realize that I needed to process through a good deal of "life change" and decide what my diagnosis and treatment would mean about how I would live life and experience the Lord in the midst of sickness and uncertainty. Here are some of my ponderings regarding the Truths in My Life: . God is the source of everything and worthy of all praise and honor. I have never been more sure of the privilege it is to be in a relationship with Christ and more aware of how He is my sustainer in this process. . David has always been "the one" for me. I have always been keenly aware of how fortunate I am to have David as my husband but that has definitely been brought even more to light during this difficult time. He continues to be such a perfect match for me that it makes me incredibly thankful. . Life is meant to be lived with care given to each day, for each person brought across our path, each child that needs our attention, and each kind and compassionate word that needs to be spoken. My life is not about which milestone I will survive to see, it's about which person I choose to care for today and who the Lord will bring across my path that I will truly choose to see and touch. Life seems too short to me right now for anything less.
My addition: Why does it take something like this for us to remember how precious life is? After reading this I found myself smiling more at my children and just being generally happier. Today is all we get! Why do we forget? Besides all of that we need to rejoice in the Lord, not in our life. I try to rejoice in a clean house or obedient children and it fails me, only the Lord can give me the real joy in my life!