We will persevere.

2016 has not been what I expected it to be. It has not been my year. It’s been full of heartbreak, but much like life, it’s had its share of good times too. As a sit here and write this I have so much swirling through my head. My heart is hurt from the recent loss of what I thought were lifelong bonds and y’all, I’m really struggling with this one. It’s never easy to loose someone that you thought would be your friend forever but just like the year, all things have its season. I was diagnosed with cancer this year and that by far, was the most devastating thing I experienced. It’s changed my life in the course of a year. I think after hearing those three words, the very cells that make you are completely altered. My course of treatment has been decided, I will continue on the Megace and I will be having bariatric surgery sometime in the near future. I’m hopeful that this will save my fertility. My oncologist at Duke really thinks this is the way to go. It’s hard to really discern the right course because of my age and it being so rare in someone so young. I’m thankful for my cancer though, I don’t think I’d ever have the courage to change and to speak my mind if I didn’t have it. My relationship with my mom has grown by leaps and bounds this year, she is truly my best friend. This year has been an eye opener in that respect, I’ve really seen people’s true colors. My faith has grown deeper. I could not do this without God and would not be here without him. The outpouring of love and prayers from my community for me in this season has been the biggest blessing. We would not make it through without y’all. I don’t really have any insightful things to say to you about this past year. I think it just really sucked for all of us. But we know this to be true: God is on the throne and he is always good. Forgive me for being random and my prose not as flowing but my point of all of this is that we will persevere. That as long as we have breathe in our lungs, it is not too late to chart a different course. May 2017 be a year of great things.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:37‬

Giving Thanks.

In a season where it’s hard to be thankful, I really try to find something to be thankful for. Because if I’m honest cancer life sucks. It’s a forever waiting, hoping, wishing thing. There is a reason they call cancer a beast. It takes on its own life form. Its the waiting, it’s keeping you from normalcy, it’s how people leave you out of things. Read this blog, it really explains things so much better than I could. I’m forgetful these days, it’s hard to hold a conversation now; but my point is that even with this really crappy thing I find myself more thankful than ever.

I’m thankful for Gods grace and mercy. His provisions for Mom and I. His ever present voice saying Courage, dear heart.

I’m thankful for my mom. She is just the best person I know and my best friend. She’s my constant companion and her faith in me is never wavering.

I’m thankful for my cancer. I don’t know why, but I feel thankful for what it’s teaching me.

I’m thankful for my family. I spent the afternoon with them and despite our issues there is a loyalty and love that is never wavering.

I’m thankful for my dad and his spirit lives on in so many things.

I’m thankful for this life and another day to live. Tomorrow isn’t promised.

This break from life has been nice. Mom and I re-vamped our porch and spent time together that didn’t involve dr appointments. I’m thankful for our little house, it’s not much but it’s home.

Life will get hard again and it’ll be hard to remember all this but in the end it’s important to tuck it away and have it.

Your prayers and support are very appreciated and something I’m very thankful for. Keep them coming.

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Life and little bit of this and that.

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I wish I had some big, verbose thing to tell you but I don’t. I’ve just been thinking recently about cancer, life, boys, and God and how I have changed. It is entirely by Gods grace that I’m not the same person I was not too long ago. I fought hard to become this person I’m becoming, but cancer, it sucks. It kinda puts a stopper in any kind of progress. As my dad would’ve said ” it has a way of knocking you on your back so you’ll look up.” So  I have. I’ve found God in all the corners of my life lately, it’s a scary time at its core. I put on a brave face, but cancer is a cold-blooded killer and I’m not ready to die. I feel amongst all the yucky-ness of this that there is a silver lining waiting to be discovered. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and in the words of one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott,

“Sometimes when a lot of things around you start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born. In other words, perhaps it needed you to be distracted so it can be born perfect.”

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future and He makes broken things beautiful. My life has been so broken the past four years and I saw how He worked in dads life and I saw how He works in the messiest times of grief. I choose to believe that He’ll show up and work in all the brokenness of this season. Speaking of brokenness, I recently had several encounters with dating in this modern generation, and they all sucked. Guys these days are quick to want to hook-up, play little mind game, and be terrified to catch feelings. Well, my heart has been cracked and I’ve omitted pieces of myself to fit what their looking for and I’m done. Life is far too short and too precious to waste on that. In the words of my homegirl Bey,

“middle fingers up and tell em’ boi bye.”

I’m worth being pursued and worth some effort. I’m too old and mature to play stupid little games. If you like me, tell me. I’m worth a man that can stand his ground and sees me for more than an object. Yes, I like the skin I’m in, but you should see my brain. It’s far more sexier. My life is spent taking it minute by minute. I’m going on with everyday life, including college because I have no intentions of dying this soon. So they’ll be plenty of time to check off my bucket list. Plus let’s be real, who has money to do that when they have cancer? Do they know how much it cost!? If anything, cancer has certainly made me more introspective. And let’s you know where your priorities lay…

What could’ve been.

Life sucks sometimes, I think it’s ok to say that. It’s not meant to be roses and sunshine all the time. Hard times make you appreciate the good ones all the more… I’m in a weird way lately, missing what could’ve been and what might not ever be. I had an Mri on Thursday, I was sedated for the the 2 1/2 hours. Which was an hour longer than planned. Nothing goes normally or according to planned with me. I’m not sure of the outcome or if they’ll be able to read this one. Scanxiety is real. I’m grieving for things that might never happen and how my life is nothing like it should be. People my age are getting married or having babies and starting their careers. I never planned to have cancer. Now it’s taken so many things from me, how does someone cope with that. I just feel broken and who wants anyone that’s broken.

A day forever ingrained.

“The world will turn and we’ll grow. We’ll learn how to be, to be incomplete…”

It’s been 3 years today since you left us. I think that day will forever be ingrained in my mind. I felt my heart break that morning. I miss you, dad. We miss you. The world isn’t the same without you, it feels as if it’s missing a vital part. I miss you all the time but the dance of grief is becoming a familiar companion. Some days I cry because I wish for one more of your hugs and other days I smile knowing you’re always walking with me. I’m a better person because I had you as an example of what a good person should be. There is not a day that goes by that there isn’t a memory or funny story of you come up. You are still such a integral part of our life. We’re learning how to live without you. Some days it’s harder, others it’s a bit easier. I can’t help but think you’re missing some of the most important parts of my life and I can’t help but think that is so unfair. I need your guidance, dad. Life is so hard and constantly changing. I think about all the trials and changes you endured. You had this outlook on life that I hope to have a 1/3 of. Despite dealing with my health, we’re in a good place now. Days are not always a struggle. Smiles and laughter come easier. We put one foot in front of the other and carry on, despite the days we don’t want to. I hope I make you proud. The world still spins madly on and we carry you in our hearts, while we learn that we’ll always be incomplete.

I love you, dad.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. -Matthew 5:4

 

 

 

Awakening Love

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being single. I’m 23 and never had a boyfriend, in today’s society I’m as rare as a unicorn. At times when I think about this I feel like something is wrong with me. Friends assure me that I’m not repulsive and little old ladies tell me I’m beautiful all the time, but there is something to be said about a guy telling you that you’re pretty or pleasing to the eye. Guys see things differently than us ladies and I guess ultimately I’m seeking approval. However, I digress.

Back on topic.

I’ve been having the same conversation over and over lately about standards I have set for “that guy.” While it’s not a super complicated list, it hits the major qualities that I desire in that guy. I really have had the best possible example of what a man should be in my dad. He was the epitome of a what a man should be. He set the bare extremely high for that future man and I’m grateful for that. (Read this to see what I’m talking about.) But in a moment of weakness and if I’m being honest, loneliness I let those standards and examples go out the window and I forgot how worthy of respect I am.

I recently had a less than pleasant encounter with a dude on a dating website. While I was reading his messages to me It really hit me that he saw me as an object and not a person with thoughts and feelings and a heart. In the moment it seemed like complements but all I was really doing was devaluing myself. Proverbs 3:15 says

She is more precious than rubies: nothing you desire can compare to her.

I let all my self respect go for some praise from a boy. Of course this immediately brought on a flood of tears and text to my best friend asking her if something was wrong with me.

Am I the only person not content in my singleness?

I think its natural to want that one person to connect with on the purest level.

But my point in this is, am I harming myself by searching for this guy?

While reading Song of Songs after all this happened I read a verse that I know by heart but it never spoke to me the way it did then. Verse 3:5 reads,

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

It hit me that I’m trying to force something that isn’t meant to happen right now and by doing this I ultimately will not end up with the right man at this time in my life.

While that is a hard pill to swallow, I know that it’s in God’s plan for my life. But I can’t help but ask myself, why do I have these strong feelings right now?

God works in funny ways. Who knows? Maybe He’s trying to teach me something with this.