This evening as I was reflecting for my daily Thankful Challenge, I realized that November 10th marks a very important day. And one that is filled with SO MUCH gratefulness. Three years ago today, I had surgery on what was supposed to be a minor, harmless ovarian cyst. Instead of November 10th being a routine day with a routine surgery, it turned out to be the first day on a journey with ovarian cancer.
The irony is not lost on me that our baby girl is due any day–three years from when I thought all of my hopes were dashed to bear a child. What a Redeemer God is. Tears fill my eyes as I try to articulate in words my gratitude for what God has done in the past three years. (The song “Unredeemed” that I have posted on here before is running through my mind as I continue writing.)
Walking through a cancer diagnosis and chemo tested my faith. Some days every ounce. On those days, choosing to be thankful did not come naturally. Yet, hindsight has made my cancer journey even more beautiful because when I look back, I see so many ways God has worked. Sure, there are moments I wish cancer was not part of my story; I wish I didn’t have to have routine check-ups, and have to entertain thoughts that many without cancer never even consider. But I also know that this cancer journey has shaped me in ways that have made me more genuine, transparent, and dependent on God. And in so many ways, those gifts have made this difficult journey worth the heartache.
I know many of you who read this blog are walking through your own struggles, and if there is one thing I can say on November 10th it is this: Keep hanging onto God. You will be amazed how He will show up. It may be in three days, three months, three years, or three decades, but He will redeem your situation. And you will look back and be amazed at how God brought it to pass. I know there will be days I need this reminder but for today, November 10th, I am so thankful for the way God redeems.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”