Thursday, May 30, 2013

Forecast

Over time, changes happen. Things transform, people mature, circumstances are altered, and seasons come and go. In the midst of these changes, we can be resistant to them at first as they are not "the norm", but after a while we adapt and get used to our "new" way of life. For instance, take the weather and the changes that occur with it each year. In middle Tennessee, there are very few days from early June through late August that are not in the 90 degree range. They can be oppressive and uncomfortable to say the least. Summer makes me want to stay inside by the air conditioning vent and eat popsicles all day. Even my kids are too hot natured to be outside for too long in the summer months. But then autumn comes and things cool off drastically. We go from 90 degree days to 60 degrees and the leaves take on a whole new color. There is one street in my city that I usually will avoid because of the traffic on it, but during the leaf changing weeks I will purposely drive that road because of the gorgeous reds and burgundys, oranges, golds and even deep purple leaves on the trees that line the sides of the road. It doesn't last as long as I would like before winter sets in. Now, keep in mind that Tennessee is in this weird weather area. We can have absolutely zero snow one year, and the next have 7-8 inches in March (which for non-local readers this is considered a blizzard!) Mostly, we just get the treacherous ice which makes winter all that more unbearable and uncomfortable as it's difficult to go anywhere on ice which means that I am stuck in my house until the roads are cleared. And again, in middle Tennessee, there are not that many salt trucks to pre-treat the roads. But then, after the ice melts, and the time changes, spring is here signifying new life and new beginnings.

For 4 years I have been right in the middle of the winter season.  At times it has simply consisted of beautiful snowflakes trickling down and landing on my eyelashes as I behold the moment and try to enjoy it for its beauty. Other times though, the winter has been a full fledged blizzard with limited visibility making me want to get out of the storm as quickly as possible.  I have had to rely on God more over the past 4 years than at any other time in my life. He has been the companion and warmth I have needed and felt when the days were below freezing. For example, I sought protection by hunkering down, bundling up, and retreating away from everything except my own thoughts. When I needed comfort in the storm, He was like my hot cocoa, fleece blanket, and warm fuzzy socks when nothing else would or could do. He was my best friend and journeyed through every single day of this LONG winter with me, never leaving me alone in the cold. He wrapped me tightly in His love, held my hand, and fought for me when I couldn't fight for myself. He led me when there were white-out conditions and I couldn't see past the minute that I was in. He also promised me, and sent many reminders when I would forget, that no matter how long my winter lasted, that spring was sure to follow. And follow it finally did.

Spring is here! I can say with confidence that the snow has melted, the gray skies have lifted only to be replaced with glorious sunshine, birds chirping, blue skies with fluffy clouds, and only light rains which are sent to make the flowers and trees bloom with beauty.

My oncologist told me at my appointment the other day that I am healthy. We also talked about what my risk of recurrence is. The forecast has not changed from 4 years ago as there is still a 25% chance that the cancer will return. That is okay. I will not get hung up on that number. When the meteorologist reports that there is a 25% chance of rain, I don't wear my raincoat, rain boots, or call to check that my flood insurance is up to date. I may make sure that my umbrella is in the car but I won't stay in expecting the flood. I carry on as if there is not a cloud in the sky. And the same applies to my health. I can't sit around and wait for cancer to come back. I can't continue to put things on hold anymore. I am not going to wait for the storm to come. The sun is here! I can feel its warmth and I am ready to bask in it.

I feel absolutely alive again and am enjoying things that I wasn't sure I would ever really enjoy again. I love going outside to play with my children. I love having the energy to keep up with a very active 4 and 6 year old on most days. I have so been enjoying helping out at Chloe's school in her class and with the PTO this year. I'm excited about traveling this summer to do mission work in Ethiopia and cannot wait to see God move in only ways that can be described as miraculous. I am excited to see what God has planned for my future. Did you catch that? I just said FUTURE!!!

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