July was extraordinary. Of course, it already had some advantages being that it is summer and have I ever said how much I. LOVE. SUMMER?! Five years ago my love for summer was threatened by some hard news, the start of a rough road, and a canceled vacation. The summers since then haven’t always been easy either. Summer seems to be the time more than other seasons that I hear about ladies being diagnosed and in need of support. And even with our smoldering summer of 2016, one would think that I might hold loosely to my affinity for summer.
See, there is a reality that I became very certain of during those summer months 5 years ago that has only fed my passion for flip flops and tank tops. It is a reality that has been playing over and over in our car this summer on our soundtrack from this year’s Summer Jam (our church’s version of vacation Bible school). Somehow I missed the clause in my Mom-hood contract that states that you never listen to your own music in the car again once the kiddos are onboard. But that no longer bothers me when I too am benefitting from the sweet message their music is repeating.
I’m just a drop of water in the deep blue sea.
I’m just a grain of sand on an endless beach.
But You know me.
I’m just another wave crashing into shore.
I’m just another shell on the ocean floor.
But You know me. Lord, You know Me…”
from LifeWay’s Submerged
From that first divine appointment day at 33 years old that I learned that I most likely had breast cancer until now-5 years later, I have never been more aware that He knows me. The truth is, He always did, but in my trial is where I was able to see it best. At each next terrifying step on the journey, God met me with a person, a word, a circumstance, that let me know He was with me and knew exactly what I needed. And this is where my hope in the midst of the journey was found, the same hope I cling to each day five years later.
I have said it before that I feared moving away from those months because I couldn’t stand the thought of forgetting how well He knows me. It is also part of the reason I work to memorialize (just about everything but especially) July 29th, 2011.
We have done it in different ways through the years:
Although we always entertain the idea of a victory lap through the halls of the Belcher Pavilion and the DeCesaris Cancer Institute, it usually ends up being something quiet and among family.
On the first anniversary, Blake and I did celebrate with a fancy meal at Roy’s, one of our favorite restaurants.
Years two and three, I recall more of an internal celebration as I walked through another ordinary summer day (if those even exist) of swim lessons and camps.
Last year, it was a sweet breakfast as a family before I headed off to work for the day. No matter how we choose to celebrate, I am always amazed by how The Lord shows up for it to let me know once again that He knows me just as He did in the summer of 2011.
This year was certainly no exception. As I contemplated a five year celebration, I could think of no greater way to reflect back on that crucial time in my life than to share my heart for the future. Of course, I don’t know what that future holds, but I trust that The One who knows me does. For this reason, my future as best as I can see it is to be about sharing hope with others as they face the journey of breast cancer. No matter the details of their story and even how their story ends, my prayer is that each person touched by the ministry of Pinked will know and trust that there is One that knows them as well.
Thank you so much to all that supported our 5 year anniversary campaign. Through the very generous donations of many to the Crowdrise page and through Pinked Perspective’s website, as well as your presence at Neo last Thursday evening, we were able to raise $7095. 53 toward continuing to support those facing a breast cancer diagnosis.
That is completely overwhelming and beyond expectation, but so is Our God.