I'm happy to say I've come to the sunset of breast cancer season. Yes, I hit the one year anniversary of my diagnosis. My twin Susie and I sat on that same beach, looking at that same pier as last year when I first learned the news....and just look at the beautiful sunset God gave us. At first the sunset was a non-event and we almost left the beach for our room, but then we saw a lovely pink cloud behind us and decided it meant we should sit a little longer. We were not disappointed. The sky changed colors for a good 30 minutes. What a show!
We marveled at all God has done over the last year. He has been so faithful that I've struggled a bit with a survivor's guilt. All I had to do was have a double mastectomy-no chemo, no radiation. Every time I hear about another woman facing the diagnosis, many facing so much worse than I did with a very long treatment plan ahead, some even facing a terrible prognosis, I earnestly pray for them. And then I pray that I do not allow satan to steal the glory of God in my story because I feel guilty. Living bound by survivor's guilt is not helping anyone but the devil.
I'm still trying to figure out the Double or Nothing way of life. It doesn't mean I suddenly stop working and travel. It doesn't mean I do whatever, whenever I choose. It means I change my perspective. It means I enjoy the little things more than ever and don't hold onto the negative things.
I remind myself that I am a pilgrim on this earth journeying to Heaven. There are many enjoyable parts of the journey with glorious views and good times. There are also many flat tires and uncomfortable hotel beds. Heat waves and road rage. I can't hold on to any of it, good or bad. My goal is to glorify God and become more Christ like through it all.
Interestingly, my most favorite seashell is the scallop. I fell in love with the uniformity of their shape, yet each one unique with so many colors and shapes. We are all humans, but each one unique.
(Side note- The scallop is a prominent symbol of the Camino, marking the pilgrimage way. It has long been a goal of mine to walk the Camino with friends, but I've collected scallops years before the Camino was on my radar.)
I found this little grey scallop, marked with a few wisps of orange, while taking a final walk on the beach. After the walk I sat down to journal my final reflections on the weekend with this little guy in front of me. I stared at the scallop and wondered about it's journey through the ocean. What gave it those little orange wisps? Good things? Bad things? Both?
It was a reminder of my pilgrimage of the last year. A journey of a lifetime. A journey marked by blessings and miracles that far outweigh the pain.
I imagine myself as a scallop. Am I grey with wisps of pink? Am I one of the burgundy ones with waves of pink sprinkled across it? (I know I have pink somewhere on my shell!) Whether waves of pink or wisps of pink, I hope one thing is clear....my markings come from God and are all for His glory.
Wherever you are on your journey, sunrise of a new season...good or bad....or sunset of a season ending....good or bad...may you know you are chosen and marked by a mighty God.