What a difference
a year makes!
Lots of fruit. Even
in the pruning.
I had a hard time titling this blog. I have had a hard time writing it not wanting to be the "what do you want to do in 2013, or the endless lists of whatevers or how to get the most out of your new year, or what did you give up?" I think because I was working hard at thinking of some cutesy name, some name that has not been used for 2013, some title that @Google+ would love and would draw readers in. As much as I think I can control that, I can't. As much as I would like for all that to be so, it might not reach half of them. And as much as I want the success, to see the fruit of my labor, "success without integrity is failure" Anonymous.
But what fruit am I looking for, what fruit am I looking at and what fruit am I planting forever? Will anyone read about or know me in 2079 when I am long gone? Maybe not, but the fruit I plant, harvest and share NOW will and can affect those generations.
We turn over many new leaves as a new year begins. Make all kinds of generalizations hoping to find a way to be successful in most of them. And we press on into the unknown of what a year can bring to our lives. I would have to say that when the ball dropped two years ago in 2011 I had no idea cancer would be a part of what would come my way. So with that news your life changes and your year seems to come to a screaming halt. Praise the Lord, I survived. As the ball dropped in 2012, I pressed on through my treatments learning more and more each day, meeting amazing people and going to incredible places sharing what fruit I had picked thus far.
I have come to the realization that simplicity even when my world felt like it was turned upside down was the best way to find my misplaced priorities. The gospel needed to turn my internal pride that rejects Christ upside down. C.S. Lewis said, "pride is defined as any of our self worth or value that is anything other than the Love of God". OUCH! When the angel came to Joseph, a righteous man, he was willing to divorce Mary, so to speak, and let her go have a life of her own BUT the night he decided this, an angel came and he married her anyway. He became the earthly father to the living God. If faced with the same, would pride have gotten you into trouble?
Where Jesus lives there is no room for pride.
What God taught me was doing life together, because life is hard not easy, encouraged me to go deeper still with Christ, deeper still with my community and deeper still with my family creating a community of fellowship unlike before 2011. My life changed because of cancer yes, and for the better I believe. It has changed my body, the way I look at myself and others and helped me be more sensitive to others. It made me stop and think, "do my actions reflect my words?" It made me wonder, "what are the things I know for sure?" And it made me realize there are significant interruptions in everyone's life. How do I begin again? How do I stand in the way of divine appointments? And to greet everyone as if they had cancer.
In the Bible, Mary knew for certain, though scared at what she was to ponder, the call on her life.
I knew for certain this cancer call still has a purpose. What was laid before my life, though scared at what I had to ponder, trusting the process, putting my life in other peoples hands and most importantly, believing God would take some time to wrap my head around.
In the verses labeled "Mary's Song, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior". If this is what we did every day wouldn't the "dis-ease" we suffer be easier to handle? She goes on to say, "For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed". I think this speaks to the heart of my search for significance. My desire to make a difference, and my hope to live a full life where my children's children will call me blessed. That my God will say, "Well done my good and faithful servant".
There were many incredible things (too many to mention) in 2011-2012, that were divine appointments. I was aware of them more, I think, because cancer made me more aware, of everything. It taught me that I had been walking around with blinders on, with muffs on my ears and eyes closed about a lot of things. It showed me how much clutter I had in my life not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. It did not define me but it defined a new way every day, it defined a new purpose and definitely made itself known to me every day. How could it not? All I had to do was look in the mirror.
Because of physical restrictions I stayed close to home most of 2012 combing and walking my entire backyard dreaming of what it could be. As a friend I met in radiation taught me, "It is a blessing to be on this side of the ground". Amen!
I have seen it come to fruition. My dream sprouting up on this side of the ground.
Here is a little video you can watch of its birth, knowing there is a great deal more to come.
I call it My Saving Grace Garden.
I would have to say I have seen the fruit, literally, and it tastes so sweet.
I think when there is uncertainty in my life seeing things come to completion gives me a sense of permanency, that what God starts He finishes. I felt a new work starting in me and I welcomed it. Very much a Happy New Year every day from July 7th, 2011 to the present. I have headed round the bend and can see the finish line as far as treatments. In some ways I don't want to be finished, I don't want the divine appointments to stop or the heightened sense of His spirit to dissipate.
The only thing that stands in my way of any of that happening, is ME!
Daily I will ask God, "What are You inviting me to believe with certainty today that will compel me into action?" I believe You are who You say You are and You can do what You say You can do.
His truth penetrates my heart with sweet conviction that compels me into action.
That I would live differently by His truth.
Am I listening?
The song we have recently sung, "Emanuel, God with us".
He is with us.