Today I am not at church. I am celebrating 9 years without cancer and I’m going into the big one, ten years cancer free healthier than I’ve ever been. To celebrate I am running, like I do every February, with my sister in Florida. Running is a place I feel most alive, most grateful, and most in tune with the God nudging I received all those years ago.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was scared waiting for the test results. Unsure of how my life was going to change. And my life changed in a big way, just not the way I expected.
I finally woke up.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I realized how dry my bones had become. How much I took life for granted. How much I took life with God for granted. It has been a nine year journey of grace. A hard road, an uphill battle, but I keep climbing and keep running.
Now I know where I’m heading.
When I line up for the race I will go not to beat my time, not to beat the person next to me, but to breathe deep and let God carry my legs. If you have ever run long distances you know the first 3/4 is grit and the last is all grace.
I am thankful I have an opportunity to taste a different life. One that is less frantic, less worried, less bitter, less angry, less hurt, less alone. When something unexpected and unwanted happens we have a choice, to roll over in bitterness or fling ourselves into joy.
I chose joy.
Most days are still hard. I still struggle with anxiety and I still brush with bitterness, but everyday I am learning I don’t walk this life alone. There is always someone right here with me.
Loving me. Knowing me. Choosing me.
This Sunday I am not in a church building, but I sure am worshiping God.