When I pinned this quote on Pinterest some time ago I don't think I understood how hard it would be to say "and that's okay." Some days it's easy to say it's okay. And some days my heart says it's not okay.
It's easy to say it's okay when I'm laughing with Tanner as we hike 5 miles then get a lift down by strangers. It's easy to say it's okay when people hear my story and say they're encouraged. It's okay when I look back and see how far I've come and how God hasn't abandoned me.
But when the music fades and I'm dealing with a migraine because of the atmosphere pressure change (I wish the rain loved me as much as I it) alone in my apartment, it's hard to say it's okay. When I get a call to answer questions about a friend who put me down as a reference and the gal on the phone asks where I work, the okay feels pretty distant. When I get to hold all the precious babies in my life I get a little sad (side note, don't stop letting me hold your babies. I think the more babies I hold the quicker my hormones will catch up). Seeing people have jobs they love and decorating their first home and going on beautiful vacations makes me a bit jealous.
I guess that's my problem: jealousy. "Comparison is the thief of all joy" is so true. But it's hard to not think about pre-diagnosed Rebekah and where she was hoping to be and where she is now. I'm not living in NYC, working at a random coffee shop, hearing the most dirty and beautiful stories from the most interesting people.
Maybe contentment is my problem too. Paul found it. He found contentment in prison! So why can't I? He had so much peace and joy that no matter what life threw at him he was going to be okay. Why? Because the God of the universe loved him so much that nothing could rock his boat. Nothing so bad could happen to him that would change his foundation. If he lived he had the opportunity to share God's hope and glory. If he died he'd be with his Saviour. That's contemptment at its finest, folks. But you have to believe it to your core.
This past weekend I spent a lot of time processing and thinking about where I was a year ago. I was dying and could have cared less. Today, a year later, I'm walking and talking and leaping and dancing. I'm capable and confident and victorious. I'm alive. I see the beauty of life in the Colorado mountains, in the many people placed all around me, and in God's goodness. I'm alive.
I'm a fighter. Always have been and always will be. Expect for a year ago when others had to fight for me. But as a fighter I, for the most part, know I'll make it through anything. The first year through treatment when I could hardly breath I knew I'd make it. Call it stubbornness, pride or faith, it got me through. But with that thinking though, I lose sight of how amazing it is to be alive and how I can't take it for granted.
All that to say, this past weekend I got a new perspective shift. Instead of seeing how life didn't turn out how I planned, I'm seeing how it did turn out. Because no matter how many babies I don't have or where I live or what I do all day- I'm alive. I'm alive. I'm alive. I'm alive. I made it. Through God's grace and kindness and complete mercy I made it.
And no matter what I don't have or where I'm not I can still say I'm alive. I get to experience laughter and pain. I get to go on walks and watch the clouds change. I get to sit with my family and share memories. I get to watch sunrises and sunsets. I get to eat yummy food and drink Redds. I get to hold my husband's hand and remind myself of how blessed I am to be called his wife. I get to experience the good the bad the ugly and the beauty of life, cause I'm alive.
I'm alive. I'm alive. I'm alive. I'm alive. I'm alive! (Name that David Crowder song)
And so are you. No matter what life throws at you, your world will not change. No matter what does or doesn't happen, you're loved by Jesus Himself and nothing can change that.
Let's stop playing the "it could be worse" game. That's not encouraging someone to be thankful, that's cutting their feelings down. Your hard may not be my hard, but your hard is real to you. Don't feel guilty and pressured into being grateful because you have more then those people or your situation is not as bad as that one. Be grateful for your life because you're alive.
Now go smell a flower and soak in vitamin D. Stare at the mountains. Eat good food. Cry with those you love. Laugh with strangers. Hike the physical and metaphorical mountains in your life and dance at the top. You're alive.
My life has not gone as planned at all. But that's okay because I'm alive. It may not have turned out my way, but I'm here and it did turn out.
~ "I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift." - Shauna Niequist