So… This started out as a Facebook post and was getting way too long. I didn’t realize I had so much to say. So, for those of you that may be reading this and have already read my crack of dawn Facebook post, you can scroll down to the 5th paragraph if you would like to finish reading the words in my heart:
Up with the birds and I mean that literally. There is a bird that shows up outside of the window closest to my bed about this time faithfully almost every morning. Sometimes it shows up with a friend or two. In either case, it sings so beautifully the same song. This morning, I woke up singing along with my faithful friend the chorus from “Same Song,” by Digital Underground. It made me think of what an amazing God I serve.
The last six years have been among the hardest of my life. And that is saying a lot, because I have come through some really traumatic circumstances that seemingly occurred in rapid succession my entire adult life. And yet, here I sit, singing with my bird, before dawn, the same song. Unlike Digital Underground’s version, mine is the song of my heart that continually, consistently, and faithfully sings the same love song to Jesus come hell or high water, be it sickness or abuse, loss or despair, turmoil or tragedy, my heart’s song remains the same.
Like poor Mumble from “Happy Feet,” my song is sung in ways that often make me feel like an outsider looking into the world of the “normal” people. My song makes me love Jesus so much that it spills over and makes me want to just love at all cost. And it has cost me greatly to do so. No matter how deep the pain or devastating the heartbreak, I just love. To do anything else is too hard. For me, it is a true challenge to stay angry, hold onto offenses, and remain in a constant state of despair. Love, however, seems to flow effortlessly from my heart no matter what I feel like or am facing at the time.
I said ALL of that to say. Only my heart’s song of love for Jesus could have me sitting here, singing with my bird friend, thanking God for cancer, because it has freed me in a way I cannot really explain. I don’t feel “abnormal” anymore. I’m just me. The stroke left me with practically no filter so words just fly out of my mouth, before I have a chance to catch and assess rather or not I should say them. Thankfully, my heart doesn’t seem to have the capability to be purposefully hurtful. So, most of the things I say makes people laugh. I have my own brand of humor that can find a joke, a laugh, or at the very least a smile in most circumstances. Also due to the stroke, numbers still make my head hurt and can bring me to tears. Money is just green pieces of paper be it $2, $20, $200, $2,000, or $2,000,000, it’s all the same to me. Spending time with the people I love doing anything or nothing is a great day.
I see, hear, and feel Jesus in a way that even seems strange to me sometimes. I talk about Him constantly, because I love Him so much and He is the only man in my life right now. He enables me to see through His eyes so I see people from the inside out, not the outside in. In fact, I can meet someone and talk with them face to face for hours, but if you ask me what they look like all I can describe is what I saw and heard in their heart. I notice smiles or the absence of them, kind, loving eyes or mean, hateful ones, hearts that are beautifully humble or pridefully arrogant, jovial hearty laughs or small fake ones… all the things that reside beneath the skin. Cancer has helped me see I am who I am and who I am may work for some, but not so much for others. Either way, I really don’t care. I’m just going to keep being uniquely me, thanking God for those who are an added blessing to my life, not mad at those who choose not to be a part of it, and holding no grudges or animosity toward those I or Jesus remove.
For Today, I am not only thankful for the opportunity to experience cancer. I am thankful I had the opportunity to experience a stroke first. It prepped me well for this mountainous, tumultuous climb. Were it not for the stroke, I would be ill equipped to handle all of cancer’s blows and nuances. As I did when I had the stroke, I look for something daily that I can thank God for that wouldn’t have been without cancer. Today, I am thanking God that I am able to be unapologetically, unashamedly, openly ME!
(SN: This post would make a great introduction for me on one of those online dating apps. Were it not for the fact that the idea of dating and all that comes with relationships really creeps me out right now, I would spend the rest of the day seeing how many “fish” I could catch, how many Christians I could “mingle” with, how many “matches” I could make, or how many men could flow with my “harmony”! 😄)