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.
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.
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
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