For you, it’s Day 0. Well, I guess it’s more like Day 00 because you thought your new cells would arrive yesterday, but God had other plans. [Just remember that where there are double 0’s in your life there is usually a 7 on the end of that! *smile*]
While there is a lot of excitement about today’s medical event, I know it is difficult to imagine being excited about anything ever again. I understand that life feels dark right now. You even wonder if this is how your story ends.
First Peter 1:8 says, “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy” (NLT).
I know. You don’t see Him. There are many looming questions looming, and you don’t have the energy to ask them. It’s okay. You will ask Him when it’s time. And He will answer.
He is so close to you right now. He is with you. He is beside you. He resides in you.
It’s okay to “be” right where you’re at. I understand you don’t even know what to do with yourself. You feel helpless. You want out of this situation. You want to move right along to the next and have given up hope on everything that was. But what was will come back around and be used by Him to bring even more glory for himself. It just may look different from what you expect.
Krishana, today you sit in a hospital bed, but you won’t believe what five years will bring. Five years, you say?! Right now it feels like five minutes is lasting a lifetime, especially when you’re not at home. Proverbs 29:18 talks about people needing vision in order to truly live. While all you can envision right now is an attempt to walk the halls of the hospital and a life without popsicles, I want to give you some vision and hopefully breathe life and encouragement into where you are today.
• You are intimately known and loved. This may seem like an obvious statement and you would probably chime in with “Yes, I know I’m known and loved by Jesus.” But really?! Do you know what that truly means? Within these next five years you will know more than you ever have that the God who orchestrated the intricate details of your story loves you more than you can comprehend. When people simply don’t “get” you, you can be confident that He understands you. You will be misunderstood along this journey. Your story may not look like others displayed on social media. So, when you struggle with status and identity, come back to this place. Come back to Him and those places on this journey where there is no doubt that He knew what you needed in that moment and understands your intricacies.
• There will be more cupcakes!! Today, mom brought you cupcakes. Some of your favorites. Yet, you can’t even think about eating them. Your stomach is all messed up from the chemo treatments. However, today is not the last big celebration. This is only the beginning of celebrating. What if I told you that there would be a small tower of cupcakes in your future—at about the four-year mark?
You will learn to celebrate well. You will create moments of celebration, bring others into your celebration, and even have secret parties with Jesus over things and certain calendar dates in your story that no one else may remember.
• You will pour out what you have received. I imagine you would describe yourself as empty. Of course, they killed off all of your cells and you’re waiting for these new cells to take shape and multiply in your bones. You may even use empty to describe yourself emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. It feels like this circumstance has taken everything from you. And you have nothing to give and can’t fathom having something to pour into someone else. Now, you wait to be filled.
Even as that blood courses through your veins today, He is filling you. There isn’t some checklist to be filled. You only need to be available. And every bit of that which He uses to fill you back up, you will give out.
In the next five years, you will pour out in familiar ways through investing in teen girls and through your writing. Yet, even those familiar ways will, at times, look different from the past. As God gives you more of himself, you will discover that He is so HUGE that what you receive and what you will pour out can be fresh every day. Just as Jesus told the woman at the well, “‘But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life'”(John 4:14, NLT). This will satisfy.
• Your story is an invitation for others to explore their stories. I know you like the word “inviting” and being someone who is “inviting” to others. What if I told you that all that God is orchestrating right now is part of this “inviting-ness” of who He has created you to be? Your story and who you are will invite others into a greater intimacy with Jesus.
• You will go from obviously worn to others not even knowing the story you wear. There have been many elements of your story where you have been required to wear your heart on your sleeve or even on your bald head. At times, your story has been obvious and has led to unique opportunities of curiosity and conversations. However, there will be a time when your story will no longer show on the outside. Those who don’t know you would never guess you had cancer or grasp the road you have traveled with God, especially in these last eight years.
Remember what it’s like to be worn when your wear-and-tear isn’t so obvious anymore. There are constantly people around you who, on the outside, you have no idea the story or stories they are living in this moment. But God does. They may feel worn. Allow His grace to step into those spaces and conversations as you live inside and outside of this hospital room. Maybe he will use your worn story to encourage them along the way. Regardless, wear Jesus’ love, kindness, grace, and gentleness. It may be precisely what they need today.
While there is so much more I want to tell you about the journey ahead; I will stop here and remind you what He has told you time and again (Isaiah 41:10), don’t be afraid, He is with you.
Happy “Re:Birthday” !!!
My gift to you!!
Want more of the story? Watch for the upcoming re:birthday sale on Amazon!! Share my story with someone you know or even grab a copy for yourself.
Tandem Living paperbacks: $9.99 and Kindle editions: $3.99
While I have dropped a lot of plates when it comes to this blog, there have been many plates spinning in the last seven months. Stay tuned for some exciting updates next week as I share about how this “5-year-old” is heading to school this fall.
Until then, my friends.
6 thoughts on “A letter to my former self (5 years later)”
Thank you for sharing all the wonderful things that have happened to you since an obviously difficult time. It is such a good reminder when we are in the midst of the hard–that there is hope.
Aww, thank you, Melissa! I’m delighted to share!!
Wow—it’s beautiful to read about all God has taught you through the hard times and in the five years since your cancer. He is making you more and more beautiful every year!
Beauty from the ashes, and a manifestation of what the enemy meant for harm, God turned around for His good and His glory. Praise The Lord!!
It is incredible to see how you love on and encourage your younger self in this way. It is an encouragement to me to challenge myself to love on my younger self’s rough stories and give her so much grace as you do for yours. I love the perspective you show that God has a plan for you that is bigger than you. He is after you and He is after the people impacted by you. But that is so true with all of us. He uses our stories even brokenness for a much much greater plan and it is beautiful. Wow. To be a part of that. What a blessing!
Thank you so much for sharing this!! Aww, what an encouragement to me!! <3