Out of the ashes.

“At times it seems, if for no other reason than the size of the global population, that there has never been more pain, more disease, more famine, and more heartbreak on the planet than now, and yet God has trusted you with this moment in history! You are to be a force for good on this earth. Chayil. When everything around you is in the midst of chaos, when your own world is quaking, you are to be she who rises… she finds her brave and she rises.”

I’m not gonna lie, I’m scared. I’m so afraid that I’m going to die from this cancer. This past 5 months have been the hardest since I was diagnosed. I’ve argued with God, I’ve said that I don’t know if he cares about me. I pray and hope and wish and nothing seems to change.

It’s been 11 months on the 8th that I’ve know I’ve had cancer. It’s taken every. thing. from me. I’m on a medicine that is right up there with chemotherapy drugs. My hair is falling out, my vision has changed, bright light gives me a headache, I’m in pain all the time, I sweat like I’m running from the popo, I forget a lot of things, most of all it took away the person I worked so hard to become. My self-confidence is shattered. Like so many pieces I don’t know where to begin shattered.

As most of you know, as part of my treatment plan I’ve elected to have gastric bypass. I’ve completed every task, yet because of insurance changes and too many hands in the basket I legitimately don’t know when I’ll have it. Y’all, this could be the difference between life or death…

Now that I’ve told you all the dark and dirty let me tell you where I’m going with this.

Last knight about 4am I lost it. Crying, sobbing, thinking I’m literally losing my ever loving mind right here. I’m afraid of dying, afraid of this cancer, afraid of never amounting to anything, afraid of never find true love, and afraid I’ll never get the chance to hold my babies. Afraid that God has forgot me. Then my precious momma told me, “Samantha, there is not anything more you can do tonight. Give it to God and go to bed.” I’ve been struggling with this past semester, between the fatigue and the memory loss I didn’t know if I’d make. Today at 9:30pm I finished my final paper of the year and submitted. I gave it to God and he gave me the strength to persevere. When I was sobbing I looked at the verse of the day and it said,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

A little after that it goes on to say, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I had never had such peace as I did when I read that. I don’t interpret this to mean everything will work and be sunshine and dasies, but that out of the ashes something will come if it. I don’t know what the next day holds. All I can to do is put one foot in front of the other. Faith it till I make it. Put on my brave and give it to God.

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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

What’s ahead and the real me.

0799fd3a5014478aba3d98c41bd4bba3I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this blog. I’m an avid reader so I read several blogs and I compare myself. I’m not as well written, or put together, or wordy, the list could go on forever and often I want to be as good as some of those other bloggers, but I’m not them. I’m me. I love the written and spoken word, I like to write about how I’m feeling or what I think about something or about God and how he works in my life or body image and if you like it then great, if you didn’t then I’m sure there is another blog more suited for your taste. In then end though, I hope I touch at least one person. It doesn’t have to be life changing or affirming, but simply to let someone know they aren’t alone in what they think or feel and maybe start a dialogue about that certain topic. I feel like my life is spent trying to make someone like me or to be someone I’m not. It’s exhausting. I feel like I’m trying to be skinner, prettier, smarter. Being ashamed of liking something or feeling something and it’s sad to say I have wasted 22 years of precious life doing this. I spend so much time trying to fit in and be what others, family, friends and even what complete strangers want or think I should be. I let them dictate my worth and my feelings and y’all, I’m done. I’m 22, almost 23 years old and I have no idea of who I am because I’ve spent a so much time being someone else! I have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m tired of letting people tell me how I should look or that I’m not good enough because I’m fat. Yes, I said that horrible word. One that our society is so afraid of. I have so much to offer and not one single thing has anything to do with how much body fat I carry. I want to lose weight to feel better about myself, not to subconsciously want people to like me better or so I fit the size 2 society I live in or so I gain the attention of a pretentious, snobby jackass who only sees a women for the size of her waist and how f@#$able she is instead of seeing the size of her heart and how much soul she has. Cause’ let’s be real here, that’s why I started losing weight, because I’m 22 and never been kissed. Sounds like a book title, doesn’t it? Maybe someday I’ll pen it. Who knows? But I do know that the world is my oyster and is mine for the taking. So I’ll continue to exercise and move to lose weight but now because I want to and because I get this insane high when I’m able to push myself a little further than before or when I’m able to do something that I couldn’t before. In the meantime, I’ll love and appreciate this body that gets me to the classes that I love or runs half a mile now or reads books that make me giddy, or that has this brain that is incredibly amazing or that worships a God who is able to do more than I can think or imagine or that has a heart that loves bigger than my entire body. I’ll continue to do things I love or that are beneficial for my physical, emotional and mental health. I won’t let someone tell me what I feel isn’t valid and I won’t worry if they don’t want to hangout with me, that’s their loss. I’ll continue to be outspoken, because I’ve spent too many years being the shy, quit girl in the corner trying not to take up too much space. I’ll continue to write on this blog because I like to write. I like to talk about what’s going on in my life or how I feel about something. It’s cathartic and helps me process the crazy going on inside my head and maybe, just maybe someone that felt singled out and alone will read something and can say. “Hey, I’m not the only one to think that.”

In the end, I don’t want to look back on this one precious life and say that I wasn’t the amazing human being God made me to be.