sunrise on beachI always marvel at the editorial piece in Oprah’s ‘O’ Magazine, “What I Know for Sure.” How can you know anything for sure except that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and we are born and at some point in time we cease to exist. The in between is up for grabs. There is no surety. You are born and then life happens. Every day is different. It tugs and pulls you. Sometimes it knocks you over, at other times it lifts you up.  With each breath there is change. What surety is there in life?

To say that the events of 2014 pulled and tugged at me is an understatement of great proportion.  Life knocked me down to my knees with forearms and elbows on the ground,  head bowed, only to transform me into a being unknown before.  It brought me to my present. Every breath anew, not taken for granted.  Every experience an opportunity to be and become something more glorious and beautiful, full of grace.  I’ve gone deeper within myself, examining my values and purpose for living.

My Cancer Journey followed the expected path, hitting all the major points along the road.  I’ve completed the journey several times and find myself making yet another revolution. It is a result of this journey that I can say what I know for sure:

  1. There is a God in heaven that is sovereign over all – the good and the bad.
  2. God continues to shower me with grace and mercy.   Every day that my eyes open and my lungs fill with air and I can stand and walk with a reasonable portion of my right mind in tack  is a blessing.
  3. The present moment is all we have.  Every day is a gift from God.  Actually every second of every day is a gift not to be taken for granted. One small change can set off a chain of events that in seconds can totally transform your life forever.
  4. As God is sovereign, I control very little in life: only how I respond. I wasted time over the years attempting to control the events of my life. I began to examine my reaction to the challenges of life.  I have faith and trust that God will orchestrate my life to his glory an my good.
  5. People can be ugly and hurtful. My existence on this planet has been shrouded by some ugly, hateful events aimed at Black people generally and me specifically.  These people don’t know me, yet choose to judge me by the color of my skin, my sex and age, not the content of my heart and mind: The root of which I can only attribute to greed and fear.   But I serve an awesome God that loves me unconditionally.  In spite of the ugliness, God’s love abounds!
  6. Life with all its complexities is still beautiful and nothing short of amazing .Sunrise to sunset, love won and lost, birth to death,  challenges won and lost, bees in flight, seasonal changes that bring about flowers and plants, the rain and snow,  the evolution of all creatures, the air we breath, it’s all miraculous. That this planet of mostly water, can float in a vacuum 93 million miles from the sun, is astounding. That I feel firm and solid on the ground as it spins 1,040 miles per hour as it revolves around the sun is beyond belief.  That we cannot feel the earth orbit 67,062 miles per hour around the sun without flying off into space is phenomenal. Life is beautiful! God is awesome!
  7. I am resilient beyond anything I can imagine. In one 12 month period I survived chemo, radiation, brain surgery, moving, loss of love and loss of job. And, through the grace of God, still I rise!
  8. Life will end in the death of my body, but not my soul. I hadn’t thought a lot about death until 2014. Yes it was looming in the future. But the cancer made it real. My soul’s salvation became real.  My relationship with God deepened.   It empowered me with the ability to fashion my sense of an appropriate ending. I have the ability to determine what matters most, how much and when to stop. I have unwavering faith that God will car me through.  I am so empowered!

I am sure as I continue my journey I will add to the list.  But for the present, for today, for this moment – I am content with what I know for sure.

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