Monday, January 2, 2017

3 Lessons I Learned From Cancer (with my 2017 Bible Verse of the Year)

My hubby and I sat discussing 2016. Cancer colored our year, forcing us to do hard things. Anger and sadness make us wish so much wasn’t.

But would we undo it all?

It’s a breath-taking question.

When life knocks us on our knees is all a loss? When our world is flipped upside down does the good go with it?

No it does not.

Though we would never choose the situation, we realize there are gems from the year we would.

No (wo)man stands alone. Letting others in breaks down glass walls. I thought the quiet protected me. That keeping things to myself and dealing with emotion in the dark would free me from the self-projected pain of discovery and conversation. I don’t know who I thought I was - that I could deal primarily on my own - but I’m glad that was a fail because I would’ve shorted myself some of the most beautiful goodness and friendship-deepening moments of my life.

God uses cracked spirits to glow bright. My girls love glow sticks. You know, the ones that look like nothing until they are cracked? Well, I’ve come to recognize that parallel with life. When we first found out about the cancer, my greatest fear was that if people saw me for my real emotions, feelings, coping, I would somehow let my family name or God down. Wrong, God said. If we claim that we need a Savior but live like we are our own, then we miss the pulse of our faith. And, the most appealing people in life have never been nor will ever be the ones that have it all together, but the ones who name struggle and draw people into God’s grace through it.

My pain shapes me into something more. The invisible scars I carry are not something to hide from but unique invitation to do something that makes a difference. Some of the experiences that form us feel overwhelming. Cancer feels a beast, but I can lay down in defeat or choose to use my experience to impact tomorrow for better. Do I feel “enough?” Hardly. Yet it only takes one look into the Scriptures to see that, since the beginning of time, God has used unlikely, unqualified, unfit people to accomplish His purposes.

Who are we not to think we are one of them?

With these lessons in mind (and real opportunity on our local horizon), I’m choosing

Micah 6:8 as my 2017 Bible Verse of the Year.

Did you choose a verse or word?

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