What a miracle am I!

The family is spending our last evening of winter break enjoying one another and I have the following childrens song going through my head. Do you know this one?

I’ve got hands, watch them clap

Oh! What a miracle am I

I’ve got feet, watch them stomp

Oh! What a miracle am I

Oh what a miracle, Oh what a miracle

Every little part of me.

I’m something special, so very special

Ain’t nobody quite like me!

Tonight I am feeling the miracle of my life. Six years after a stage 3/4 melanoma diagnosis, I am returning to work full time! I’ll be doing my dream job with a dream team at the kids’ school. I feel prepared, energized and as ready as I can be (with perhaps a little nervousness mixed in!)

It’s strange that without reflection this feels a bit like I’ve been home with the kids for these 11.5 years just doing the stay a home mom thing. But with reflection that comes with saying goodbye to a dear friend who passed away Jan 1st after a melanoma battle, hearing a friend jokingly say I should be given credence because I had dodged death, sharing my story of hope with a friend looking into clinical trials for pancreatic cancer, I relaze this is HUGE!

I’m not proud of myself for surviving this far. I have done nothing to deserve this. I am a beloved child of God, but so is my friend who passed away this week. I am seeing amazing doctors in a time when medicine is advancing quickly and successfully treating many cancer patients. So was my friend. I didn’t juice or kale my way healthy. I am lucky. And thankful for that. SO thankful. And tonight I’ll sing that I am a miracle. Not out of pride, but with a thankful heart and full of hope for my friends who are facing melanoma and other cancers. We all deserve miracles.

Tomorrow and for the rest of the semester, I will go spend the day with 28 2nd graders. We will get to know one another as we study fractions and adjectives and write poetry. My students won’t know about my cancer journey. It’s not a secret, but it’s not applicable in the classroom.

CANCER will NOT be relevant in every area of my life!

Thank you God. Thank you to everyone who has supported us. My cancer journey isn’t over, but it is limited in it’s power. I’ll give it one day a month when I go have my infusion for a few hours. And I’ll enjoy this gift of life. Oh what a miracle.

  

I err on the side of love

Today I am thinking about my dear friends who sincerely believe that the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage is wrong. They feel this is an embracing of sin and wonder why I am celebrating it. I understand this view because there was a time not so long ago when I would have mourned this ruling. My motto was “hate the sin, love the sinner.” A phrase which makes me cringe now. When someone identifies himself down to their DNA as something. You can’t separate that as sin from the soul of that person. And so to say “hate the sin, love the sinner” you are heard as “I hate you and who you are.”

I have a unique perspective as a 35-year-old who is past her expiration date. The type of cancer I have and the path I was on, I quite simply should be dead today. I’ve thought a lot about what my legacy will be and someday sitting with God and discussing the life I have led. I want to have erred on the side of love. And if God says I erred too much on the side of love, that’s a decision I am willing to live with at this point. That’s a choice, a risk I’m willing to take because I feel I am walking in the footsteps of Jesus in defying the religious culture of his day to err on the side of love.

Jesus only once during time on earth gave a “new commandment” explicitly. He said clearly “A new commandment I give to you, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

So today I celebrate that love wins.