At first glance, these two words don't fit together. They appear to be an oxymoron. How can cancer, something so horrible and devastating, be paired with such a lovely word as blessing? How can a word that brings on the feeling of mire and darkness sit next to a word of hope and light?
I would say that they do fit together. I know my sister Amy would.
Amy and I have been in almost daily contact since her diagnosis. Many of the days have been dark and scary. But even in midst of some of the worst days, Amy has always been able to speak of the things in her life that were good. She has never lost site of her blessings in the blinding storm of cancer.
The following are just a few of the many, many blessings she has.
Amy is able to stay home with her son. She hadn't had the opportunity to do that before as she was the major source of income and health insurance in her family. Cancer forced her to take time off of work. Because she has had this time, she is able to spend more time watching her soon to be teen aged son grow and become a wonderful young man.
She has always been blessed with a husband who has always been incredibly nurturing and supportive of her. A hidden strength in him has been revealed as she has watched him solely take on the role of provider and protector of their family. Through this trial, they have both had to take on new identities in their marriage, and as a result they have grown stronger and closer as a couple.
The many people she has met who are sharing the same battle as Amy, have also been a blessing to her. She is blessed to know that although others are there to support her, only those that have fought the fight can truly understand what she is going through. She has been able to be a support to them as well as receive support from them.
Amy has found the ability to rejoice with those that have good news, even when hers is bad. She has also learned to not feel guilty when she rejoices in her own good news even though those around her may not be doing as well.
She has learned just how much she is loved and by how many people. Old friends, relatives, new friends and mere acquaintances have shown her love that she didn't think she was worthy of (of course those of us who love her, know she is worthy of it.) She has had help with meals, transportation, house work and daily tasks by people who are committed to helping her through this battle. She has even had co-workers donate enough sick days for her to maintain her position as a teacher until January.
She has had a crash course in releasing things into God's control, and knowing that it is OK that she can't control everything or even anything. She has learn to let go.
She has learned to appreciate and see the beauty in the small stuff. When her son didn't wake up to his alarm and she had to drag him out of bed, she was grateful that she will have more time to drag him out of bed while the alarm is blaring. She enjoys her home and the pond in her backyard. She sees an amazing beauty in them that she didn't fully recognize before.
Seeing God in the "trenches" has been an incredible gift in this time. She has found strength and hope in knowing that no matter how deep the pit, she can never fall out of the reach of God.
This is just a list of a few of the blessings she has received.
Cancer Blessings.....I think those two words sit together in an awesome juxtaposition.
If you have Cancer Blessings, please be a blessing to someone else by sharing with an e-mail, a phone call, or a comment to this post.