Hello and welcome to my blog! It has not been my lifelong dream to write a blog, but I have done a great deal of reflecting these past few months and feel like this could be my best platform to share what I have been learning and what the Lord has placed on my heart.
Five years ago this very day, my veins and chemotherapy met for the very first time at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Just a few weeks before that on May 28, 2004, I found out that I had cancer at the age of 23. My actual diagnosis was revealed in the weeks thereafter; Stage 4 large B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Many of you reading this will remember that time vividly, and others of you may be saying, "wow, it's been five years." And still others of you may be hearing my story for the very first time. I often cannot remember what I was doing yesterday, but June 14, 2004 is forever etched in my mind and on my heart. For the past two weeks, I have debated what I would share on this blog and what I truly wanted to come from my time spent writing. I want to make this very clear: I have one purpose in sharing my thoughts and reflections and that is to make God's glory known and to share what He has done in and through my life and what He continues to do five years later.
I have been overwhelmed with emotion going back through my journal and reading the words I wrote five years ago. Though I wasn't the best at writing consistently, what I did write says so much about how the Lord was blessing and protecting me through the hardest of days. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, I am going to share some of my entries with you. Not because I'm such a great writer, but because it's so clear the Lord was using this time of suffering in my life for His greater good. One of the greatest lessons I'm continuously reminded of is that my time on earth is not about me. It's about what the Lord wants to do through me. And I can see how God has bigger plans for my life than I ever could imagine for myself.
Another reason I decided to make my words public is that I've seen a need for young people facing a cancer diagnosis to hear the story of someone else who has gone through something similar. I am now employed by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Houston, but also serve as a volunteer through our First Connection program. This program pairs up someone newly diagnosed with someone at least one year post-treatment with a similar profile. Through First Connection I have had numerous opportunities to speak to young people all over the country battling a blood cancer. Recently I spoke to a girl who just wanted to talk to someone who had actually lived after her diagnosis. The people she knew had all passed away. For her, I represented hope. Hope that better days were ahead. Hope that this was worth fighting through and hope that she would feel good again.
For those not facing a cancer diagnosis, I want this blog to give you hope too. Hope for this life and hope that you will find a greater purpose in whatever you are doing, wherever you are. The past five years have been filled with more blessings than I can count, but I also will be the first to admit that I have experienced some of my darkest days during this time. I have struggled physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and continue to struggle today. I have experienced some of the best moments of my life and I have made some of the greatest mistakes of my life. But I have hope for this life and that hope is in Jesus.
So with that, I'm going to leave you tonight. I have a lot to share in these next couple of weeks and hope to reconnect with many of you. My first post on this blog is a song I have fallen in love with called "Blessed". If you read the lyrics you will discover that the name of my blog is a line in this song. I do have hope today and I'm grateful for this opportunity to share that hope with you.