I never know how I’m going to feel today, and how to celebrate my cancer anniversary.

I’ve learned over 18 years that there’s no “right way” to celebrate a day like today.

Some years I barely mention it, other years (like last year when I wrote “17 Reasons God Meant Colon Cancer for my Good” and hosted a Facebook Live on my writer’s page), I make a bigger deal about celebrating the day I first heard “you have cancer” and that fact I’m still alive.

My husband makes sure I wake up to flowers, coffee and a note every year on this day.

How to celebrate my 18-year cancer anniversary?

A few weeks ago, I began pondering what today should look like and I asked God, “What should I do for my 18-year cancer anniversary?”

Each time I asked Him, I sensed the same answer. It came through the soft, subtle whisper. “Tell them about me.”

But how, why, and what to say felt a little big. Not to mention, scary.

Opening the doors of my heart and expressing my faith brings a strong fear and real hesitation. I’m fully aware there’s people whom I love dearly who either don’t believe the same things, or struggle to accept the words I say as truth.

But, the softness of the whisper felt strong and I found myself invited into the same places of many heroes of the faith. It’s a place of surrender that says God’s plan is better and bigger than my fear, and I must obey it.

What I found in my journals this morning confirmed and affirmed His nudge to share.

20-years-of-journals

To the end

I pulled out my plastic, blue tote where I store my old journals and I began to organize them chronologically. What sight to be seen of Jehovah Rapha – God is my healer.

The 20+ journals that followed my earliest ones (many containing entries from when I was first diagnosed) were answered prayer requests before my eyes.

I started thumbing through my oldest journal, the one I began as a freshman in high school. Tucked away in its front pocket behind several other papers and photographs, I found a folded, yellow-lined sheet of paper with a poem.

When I saw the date, I froze.

Twenty years ago today two years before I would be told “you have cancer” – God inspired me to scribble down these words. As I go back into the memory of writing it, my imagination can see and feel Jesus sitting next to me on my bedroom floor as I jot down His heart for you, and for me.

I’m convinced this is what He wanted me to tell you about Him today.

to-the-end-gods-message-20-years-later

To The End
1-23-99

It’s OK, my friend
Everything will be alright
Just let God’s love surround you
And let Him hold you tight

Know that I am here for you
Each and every day
And what I can do for you
Is hit my knees and pray

You are special to me
And a very close friend
Whatever you are going through
I will stand by you to the end