Off- Season refers to the time between when my first round of radiation ended and the reemergence of cancer in my life this past June.
Truth be told I never anticipated a second chapter to this story….and if I can be so arrogantly bold I thought my merkel cell story was Won & Done in April.
You would think with an attitude like that I’d been ready to climb the next mountain, tackle the next big project, restructure my life plan, but for me the off-season was a season of complacency. I withdrew, I went through the motions, and had I been honest should have acknowledged I was probably depressed. I expected everything to look different on this side of treatment, but the problem was I never changed the lens I viewed my life through.
I think it is important when you experience something similar to this, you allow time to regroup before immersing yourself back into routines. There can be an overwhelming urge for your life to return to normal, the only problem is what was normal before may not be normal now. Trauma is trauma (could be grief for a lost loved one, could be separation or divorce, could be job loss) and the mental rehabilitation may be more important than the physical rehabilitation with the results far less visible.
For me, not taking time to come to terms with how all this affected me minimized the effect it had on me which kept me from appreciating the potential for what God could do through me.
Wearing a yellow bracelet might signify I was a survivor……only problem was I didn’t feel like much of a survivor, only an existor. OK, existor is not a word, but it is the only term that describes the place I was in. Everything on my horizon lacked significance in my eyes. Sure I had family, friends, a job….more than what a lot of people could say, but I was also turning 46 and there were a lot of things left unchecked on my “to accomplish” list.
As I struggled, a key realization was brought to light when, in the span of 48 hours, I was reminded 3 times the opening line of Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Life–“It’s Not About You”. My lack of purpose and significance stemmed from the fact I was trying to leverage my cancer experience for my benefit, rather than consider that God’s plan all along may have been to leverage my experience for His benefit. Each time “It’s not about you” was quoted it gave me a glimpse of what effect life with cancer could have on me and what God could do through me if my focus shifted from me and was leveraged where there was significance and purpose.
This blog is not the significance I speak of, but it’s a component; doing my job better has purpose because that income facilitates what and where my focus can be leveraged. What the effect now looks like for me is being more intentional in all things and modeling what I believe. Survivor bracelets are great….they raise money, and they show support for the cancer community, but wearing something and being something are two different things.
So before I place a bracelet on my wrist I need to do a little recasting of my DNA, that way the makeup of who I am and Who I serve will be the place I find purpose and I hope that will be the place God begins to leverage this experience.
If what you’re committed to isn’t Who you’re surrendered you will have a tough time finding purpose in your life and an even tougher time finding peace-my life lesson.
Is there something standing between you and the purpose your heart craves?
What is keeping you from removing those obstacles?
trusting God period
Off Season is part three in a series of posts called Life Lessons, all centered around life with cancer. Check back for Fast Forward which will bring this journey into the present tense.