Sunday, February 05, 2006

What I Get Instead

For the past six years I have been the founder and host of an infertility support group in the LDS community (www.2ofus4now.org). It was an opportunity to make good use of adversity, as my husband and I were married for nearly thirteen years before we adopted our first child. It is still a service effort that I am passionate about, as it gives purpose and meaning to our experiences, some of which had been very difficult. Of course, given my current situation, I find myself in a position of gratitude for those past experiences, because they taught me a lot of what I know about trusting in the Lord today.

Anyway, one of the topics we discussed as a support group was "what I got instead". When we prayed for a child and one didn't come right away, we got other blessings instead. It was fun to list the other ways our circumstances blessed us. (For example, we both had opportunities to develop our careers and talents, we had more time to volunteer for meaningful things, we had more time to enjoy married life together, etc., etc., etc.) We actually made a really long list. But I was thinking about that today, and I realized that I should be starting my own list. So here goes...

I don't have a cancer-free body (at least for now - still hoping and praying for a miracle). But for now, here's what I get instead:

  • Lots of reasons for people to tell me how much they love me.
  • Lots of opportunities for me to tell people how much I love them.
  • A chance to really focus on the things I want to do with my life.
  • More meaningful prayer.
  • A greater spiritual awakening.
  • A hunger for the scriptures, and for the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
  • A deeper-than-ever appreciation for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
  • Personal refinement.
  • Motivation to take better care of myself, including how I eat, sleep, and exercise.
  • Moments to reflect upon the great life that I have had.
  • More meaningful hugs and more memorable moments with my children and my husband.
  • Nice one-on-one time with my dad each weekday as we drive to radiation and then out to lunch.
  • An outpouring of angels from my church, who have helped with childcare, meals, cleaning, driving, and anything else I need - plus they give me such an emotional boost.
  • Bonding moments with a high school friend, who is also battling cancer.
  • More use of each day. I don't like to waste time anymore.
  • Deep enjoyment of things I used to take for granted.
  • A special thrill when I do things that mean a lot to me, like sing or dance or work...because I still CAN!
  • Yummy peanut butter and graham crackers at the cancer center!
  • A good excuse not to eat after dinner (chemo drugs requiring an empty stomach), which pays off at the scale!
  • A strong witness of the love of my Heavenly Father.
  • A "goody bag" from the cancer center social worker, including a neck pillow, books, resources galore, and even a wig.
  • Anticipation of exciting trips with my family to Disneyworld and Manhattan, where we will make all kinds of fun memories.
  • Visits from family members and friends, who make my day, because I love big gatherings at my house.
  • Cheaper auto costs, including insurance, because I can't drive! I just get to be Miss Daisy
  • A good excuse to say "no" to anything I don't want to do.
  • Hopefully a good card to play when I audition for a Messiah solo this spring (I always like to be one of the soloists during the annual Easter Sunday performance)
  • Reasons to put on my clogging shoes and dance (and a good card to play when I want my husband to dance with me)
  • Money and a shopping spree from the hair fairy!

...and the list could go on and on and on. It would be really nice to lose the cancer, because I want more years to enjoy the great life that I have been given, and I want to put it to good use. I will continue to pray my guts out for that outcome, and I appreciate the many who are adding their voices and their faith to this cause. Miracles can always happen, subject to our own faith and the Lord's good will. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I know that it will always be rich with miracles and blessings of the Lord's design.

1 comment:

Kari said...

You and your family sure have my prayers too! I'm hoping and praying for a MIRACLE for you too!