Journeying to the Other Side of Breast Cancer: Today My Life Begins…

Last Wednesday, the day before I went to the oncologist to find out what my treatment plan would be, I went to lunch with one of my dearest friends, Yvette. She is the kind of friend you can sit and talk with for hours and feel as if you have only been talking for minutes. She is more of a sister to me than a friend. When we met for lunch I shared with her that days before as I was walking pass the mirror in my bedroom the Lord asked, “What do you see?” I paused in front of the mirror and was surprised that I couldn’t answer the question. I saw my face, my hair, my body, but when I looked into my own eyes I honestly didn’t know what I saw. I knew the person looking back at me was physically me, but I didn’t know who “me” actually was anymore. So, I responded, ‘I don’t know what I see. Right now I don’t see anything, but a face looking back at me.’ I told Yvette it was in that moment I realized whoever I was before the cancer diagnosis on January 10th died. That day and the days since the diagnosis have fundamentally and forever changed me. The rest of that day I felt pretty somber inside. I really felt like someone died.

The next day, last Thursday, I met with the oncologist to discuss my treatment plan. After some discussion that day and a review of all of my test results the following day, it was confirmed that chemotherapy would be a part of my treatment plan. As much as I hoped I would only have to do radiation, my perspective remains unchanged. I know every moment of this cancer journey will ultimately work for my good and God’s glory. And I am still determined to be the best example of Jesus that I can be throughout. That is my perspective.

However, how I feel right now is quite different. I spent most of the weekend extremely upset and angry with Jesus. I cried. I fussed inside and vented to several of the beautiful, Godly women in my life who allow me to say whatever I need to say however I need to say it. They continually respond to my pages of texts with only love, encouragement, and support. Not once has any of them judged or quoted scriptures at me. They simply hold me accountable to what they know I believe.

By Monday, my emotions were beginning to subside a bit. The weather was nice so I took a walk around the lake. As I walked the Lord said to me, “Lisa, your perspective about what I have permitted before and what I am permitting now is based upon the thought that I have allowed these things so that you may be a light for someone else who is traveling in darkness. Though that is true, I have permitted all that you have experienced and are currently experiencing more for you than for anyone else.” I was completely stunned by this. He went on to say, “I asked what you saw when you looked in the mirror, because I want you to mark this moment. The moment you recognized a death has occurred. I Am the Resurrection and the life (John 11:25). Only in death can one be resurrected. I know you don’t understand My plans. I know you are upset with Me. Cry as much as you need to cry. I understand every emotion you are feeling. My desire is that you simply trust Me. On the other side of this, when you look in the mirror, I want you to see Me looking back at you.”

I would love to say His words instantly made me feel better inside about the chemo, but that is not the case, at least not yet. I did mark the moment in my mind. I look forward to standing in front of the mirror one day, on the other side of this, and seeing Jesus looking back at me from the inside of me. I can only imagine what my brand new, resurrected life will be like.

Yesterday, while I was on my iPad a video popped up as a suggestion to view. The video was made by someone who used a song called “Today My Life Begins,” by Bruno Mars, that I could only find on SoundCloud, as the background for their slideshow. The words to the song immediately captured my attention, encouraged, and stayed with me all day long (click here if you want to check it out). It reinforced what the Lord said to me on Monday at the lake. I was also reminded of the the yellow flowers (pictured above) I saw in the midst of the barren trees as I walked. In the midst of all of the dead looking trees there was a glimpse of beautiful life. Before long, I will go to the lake and the trees will be full of life again, surrounded by even more beautiful flowers. For today, I have decided today is the day my resurrected life begins.

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