Iris over at Sting My Heart is hosting a wonderful "Thankful Thursday" and I just couldn't help but join in today with all the other wonderful people who have found so much to be thankful for. She had picked as her theme the following verse, and it just seemed so appropriate to what has been in my heart today, too.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: … a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
I've had so many "times" and "seasons" in my life. Sometimes it's a wonderful thing to reflect back and see the times of planting, the times of plucking, the times of things being born, and yes. . . even the times when loved ones, ideas and plans die. The sum of it all is . . . .ME! Who I am. Who I've become. The road I've traveled. What I've left behind. What I've picked up along the way. Who I've met. Who my friends are. Friends I've lost. What's important. What I've come to realize is not important at all.
Some of those seasons were wonderful --- I call them Springtime. Times when I looked forward to new places, new adventures. Some of those seasons were Summers of hot, toiling work, wondering if it was all worth it. Other seasons were Fall with harvest, colors, the fruit of labors (or realizing that it was all in vain). And then the season of Winter. . . .
I think Winter is where I am now. Cancer has a way of stripping you of all your outward defenses. No more plastic smiles and cheery phrases. No more looking strong and pretty. No more dress up to cover what's eating away at you. It's like the Lord has taken me like a seed and shoved me deep into the earth for the Winter season, and we're waiting to see what comes up in the Spring. No blooms right now. No song. No productive activity. No nest building. Just . . .Winter.
But even in the season of Winter there is hope, isn't there? The sun still shines, even on the darkest of days, and when I have no song, someone else has one to give me.
I wasn't very thankful yesterday. I whined a lot to God, my sister, my roommate and whoever else would listen. Yet, the Lord never said a harsh word to me, never put me down, and gently saw me through the day.
Today? In the midst of my "winter" season, I am so thankful for:
1. A new day to start over with more strength than yesterday.
2. A Dr. visit (that I almost cancelled!) with great news that the tumor has shrunk and the underarm cancer involvement is way down!!!!!
3. I lost 6 more pounds.
4. My sister who never gives up on me.
5. My neighbors who pray constantly for me.
6. My blogging friends who lift me up with encouragement and prayers.
7. And best of all for today. . . .
While walking into the Cancer Center today, my sister and I looked up and saw two eagles circling overhead! My all-time favorite bird, I think. I could not help at that moment but feel that I was rising up on wings of eagles, and that I WOULD walk and not be weary, and that I WOULD run and not faint!
The Lord sends encouragement just at the right time in the right way for each of us, doesn't He? Sometimes it's a phone call, sometimes it's a card, sometimes it's a slobbery, wet Buster kiss . . .and sometimes its a bird with a reminder that His promises are as good as His Word and will stand no matter what. . .even through the Winter seasons of our lives!
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