Last week was spring break, and we had the opportunity
to visit Kevin's parents on the North Carolina coast
for a few days.
It was great to see them
and it's always wonderful to feel the sand between our toes
and smell the salt air.
It was peaceful and relaxing;
there's just something about the beach and the ocean
that is life-giving to us.
Perhaps it's the sound of the waves.
Or the feel of the gentle, constant breeze.
Or maybe it's standing on the edge of something so vast
that it demands an acknowledgement
of our smallness.
But there is an intimacy that I feel with my Creator
that is easy and constant at the shore.
This time I was a bit overwhelmed, actually.
The last time I stood on this sand
was last Labor Day weekend,
just days before my surgery.
While I was a bit anxious anticipating that procedure,
I had no idea the life-changing events
that were just on the horizon--
minor surgery turned into a total
a diagnosis of stage 2 ovarian cancer,
months of chemotherapy.
Certainly the most difficult time of my life
in many ways.
So much can happen in a short period of time.
The sand and the waves looked the same.
But I realized how much I have changed.
How much I've grown.
Hardship will do that to you.
I've heard it described as unwrapping the gift of suffering.
No one wants to receive that gift.
as hard as it was,
I don't think I would want to change it.
There is a gift in the midst--
a closeness of Jesus that I had never experienced,
a better understanding of things eternal,
an understanding of what's truly important in this life.
My faith has grown immensely--
it has to when you're faced with making a choice--
do I trust God in the midst of this
or do I live in fear and worry?
I chose to trust.
And He proved Himself,
again and again.
I don't think I would ever want it to be any other way.
The ocean, like God,
does not change.
But oh, have I.
My hair is starting to grow back
and my body is healing from its war with chemotherapy.
But while I start to look more like my former self on the outside,
I hope I never lose the lessons
I have learned on this journey--
the desperate need to be close to God,
to love well the people He has put in my life,
to enjoy every day that He grants me
and to glorify Him always.
That's really what life on this earth is meant to be,
love to you all,