This is week two of my gratitude lists (third if you count Thanksgiving). I have much to be grateful for, always do, but I am feeling extra excited to share with you the thoughts and feelings God has placed within me. So, without further ado, here we go.
1) I am grateful for HOPE. Without it, there’d really be no reason to live. No reason to breathe. We all hope for something, whether or not we admit it to ourselves. My faith that there is something more to me than this life propels me forward. I’ll be a good soldier for God, speaking about my faith, standing strong in the face of my enemy, which is this world. Really. I mean, think about it? Where do the temptations begin? In this world? Sometimes (all right, most of the time) we are so selfish, only thinking about ourselves, what we have, what we want, what we will get. We think about what we don’t have. Sometimes, it turns into an obsession. And it’s unhealthy. It doesn’t matter what we have or don’t have. In the end, we can’t take it with us. And why would we want to? What’s ahead is so much better than anything this old world has to offer. That is hope. That is real. I believe everything happens for a reason, even though sometimes we can’t see what it is. Sometimes we are so blinded by sorrow that we forget. We forget where we came from. We forget where we are going. We have purpose. I once read that one way to test that is by realizing you were still alive. If you still have a pulse, you still have work to do here on earth. It’s as simple as that.
2) I am thankful for the people who God works through to make HOPE possible, doctors, especially. Specifically, the doctors who are working on a cure for childhood cancer – for example, the doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. I have read great things about that place. They’re cutting-edge. If anyone discovers a cure for cancer, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was there. And the best part is? They treat ALL cancers – not just childhood cancer. Not just breast cancer. Not just any ONE cancer. ALL of them. This is what this country needs. Equal attention means equal survival rates. Yet, we live in a world where childhood cancer awareness is crowded out by breast cancer awareness. Is that right? No. Everyone has the right to live. I am grateful that people are starting to sit up and be aware. Kids get cancer too. I was one of them. Cancer does not care who it attacks as long as it is someone. Some people get that. And they are working tirelessly around the clock to fix that. True, they are only human, but I have faith that God will direct their minds and hands. The Great Physician cures everything – in His time. Not ours. Time is irrelevant. One day, we’ll realize that too.
3) I am grateful for the promises that HOPE brings, no matter if they are unfulfilled at the moment or not. The promises are tomorrow’s secret. They dance in the air like leaves, except they are unseen, like the angels. At the moment, all we have is our hope, our ache, our loneliness, our whatever. But tomorrow? Tomorrow, who knows. Tomorrow, all our dreams could come true. Tomorrow, life could be beautiful. Which is not to say that today isn’t beautiful, because it is. I am reminded now of that poem or quote or whatever it was that went something like, “I painted a rainbow for you in the sky, but your eyes were too clouded by tears to see.” That is just heartbreaking, isn’t it? I think so. The people who have slipped away to the next part of their story – they do so want to see us happy. Just ask them, when you see them again, in your dreams or after you take your last breath. They understand, trust me. They understand our grief, and they understand that we need to move on. How do we do that? One moment at a time. One day at a time. They’re always with us. Always.