I've been thinking. I know...thinking can sometimes prove to be an unsettling thing, especially when faced with a major life crisis. This time, my thinking has proven to be a positive. The past few days I've been sifting through blog posts from the past year or so, curious as to where I've been... what I've learned.... spending time reminiscing and doing a little self-evaluation. Amongst the stories of my crazy antics and tales of woe, I stumbled upon a gem of a post. In fact, it was so meaningful I want to revisit the topic.
Roughly a year ago, I wrote a post based on a prompt from one of my best blog pals, "h.b.". Through various prompts and challenges, "h.b." laid the ground work for us to do some soul searching in an attempt to think about who we are and where we are going. Being the deep thinking, soul searching type, I jumped in with both feet and participated in many of the challenges. My favorite prompt explored the subject of touching people's lives...it's not who you touch but how. I suppose it is more than fair to say being diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer causes one to consider their role in this world. "Have I...do I...make a difference?" Now there is a question. Even in that soul searching, cancer free moment of a year ago, I dug really deep with this one and poured my heart out in these words:
"We all have them. Those times that forever leave a mark on our hearts...our souls...our being. Be it a good or bad time, it shapes and molds the person we become. Much of the impact it has on us is defined by how we approach that moment and the choices we make regarding it. I've had many such moments. Big, huge, earth moving moments. Marriage, children, divorced parents...a divorced me. Children moving away and then returning. The death of someone very dear. Some of these were cause for celebration and others were the cause of much pain. But through them all, I learned more about me and became stronger and hopefully wiser as a result.
But not all defining moments are as enormous in size. There are also the little things that can affect us. Little chance moments such as an encounter with another person that leave us with a life lesson all because we crossed paths. There can be inspiring moments of awe and wonder. And there can be misunderstandings or misguided intentions that leave us in a position to choose how we will move forward and whether or not we will allow it to cause harm or good to a relationship.
Lately I have been facing many defining moments. Times that are testing my character and my strength. I'm facing decisions that are almost impossible to make as there is really no good answer. Some days I feel victorious in these situations and other days leave me struggling to not feel defeat. But I am most thankful for these trying times. I know that even on the down days, I am building strength. God has given me the ability to rise above by trusting in Him. And I'm learning with each test and working harder to be a more positive influence."
How odd that I seem to be in much the same position now as I was then. It is exactly as they say...oh how things change yet they somehow stay the same. At that time I faced difficult decisions...they were my defining moments. Now, I'm in a battle for my life...probably the most defining moment anyone could face. The big question is how will this defining moment impact my world?
Every day... every moment... I get to chose how I will tackle this challenge. I have a choice in how I live... how I fight... how I love. I believe my decisions will in some way impact others. If nothing more, they will leave a mark on those who love me and are fighting along side me. I can only hope to be a positive influence. To make a difference in some tiny way. I have no idea what that difference will be or how it will happen. It could come through a chance encounter or it could be much more significant. Whatever it is, I want to be mindful of the fact that each and every decision I make could in some way impact another. When reflecting on past moments and opportunities, I recall many with feelings of happiness ...others I relive with shame and regret. Those are the ones I wish I could call for a do-over as I feel certain I wasn't the positive influence I desire to be. But I have a chance to be different. To be better. To use this challenge I face for something good. I'm hoping to take a negative and make a positive. I want to make a difference.