Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Well the Clay family had it's share of hardship and sadness during 2012, especially Cara's diagnosis of leukemia and continuing treatment, and the loss of my Mother-in-law (Grandma Ginny).  In my case, due to a pinched nerve from a couple herniated discs in my neck, and then, oh fun, a kidney stone, my reconstruction surgery was delayed yet again.  It's still hard for me to believe that I am two years out from a bilateral mastectomy, especially since my original plan was for reconstruction right at the time of that surgery.

It was another year filled with many challenges to health and spirit, but that is not the focus of my post today, and it's no longer my worry.

There were so many ways and so many days our family was so awesomely blessed this year!  Whatever came our way was no match for God's grace, love and comfort!

We will keep 2012, because along with all that struggle, came some awesome amazing moments for me.

I have to say one of the highlights for me were all the Relay's I attended and was blessed to speak at.  The icing on the cake was closing out the season and speaking at the Benicia Relay, with so many friends and family and the Panther Band there.


How meaningful it was to walk the Survivor's Lap with my coworker and friend Liz, also a breast cancer survivor, and of course Cara Girl, a leukemia survivor.  What a joyful thing, and how blessed I was to speak from my heart that chilly morning.  Here is the link to that video if you missed it.


The other huge highlight for me was joining a church, I'm back in the fold after many many years away!  Oh how God is blessing my faithfulness, and Husband has even joined me in attending church.  How wonderful being part of a church community, it's blessing me every day, and jumping back into the Word has made such a difference in my daily life.

One night while reading my Bible, up very late, I stumbled upon a favorite parable about a woman in the crowd who came to see Jesus.  I hadn't read it in many years, and it took on new meaning for me since breast cancer.  The woman suffered with what is described as a chronic blood disease, but she knew, if she could only even get close enough to touch his robe, she would be healed.  In all the chaos of the crowd, she was able to reach out and touch Jesus' robe, and he stopped and said "Who touched Me?"  He turned around and saw the woman, and she told him her story.

Mark 5:34  Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction. 

The night I read this, it was as if the words in my Bible glowed and Jesus was speaking directly to me.  I was so moved and comforted.

Debbie Clay, Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction!

To all my breast cancer Sisters out there, to any Sister affected by cancer, please read this scripture for yourself, and trust in Jesus' word.

The truth is my breast cancer diagnosis was the least of my afflictions.  What an opportunity to rediscover my faith, and let God do amazing things in my life.  If you've followed this blog, you know all the blessings rained down on me!  So much more is happening though, in my head and my heart.

As if locked doors are flying open,
shadows and darkness in my heart exposed to the light,
nothing left uncovered,
nothing left unseen,
laid out,
lit up,
blessed and forgiven.

How could I ever know on April 21st, 2010, when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and faced a year of cancer treatment and devastation thinking my children would be without me, how could I ever know that God would take all of this, and transform my wounds into wisdom.

Wounds into wisdom.
Lessons into blessings.
Grief into gratitude.

Thank you Lord, Thank you, for all that has happened in my life since my diagnosis, surely you are blessing me every single day.  Every single day.  You are making me and reshaping me and giving me the strength and the sense of humor and the obedience to let You have Your way with me!


Yes, I've been carved up and mournfully visited the Kingdom of the Lost Breasts, but God is setting my ache for my old body and my old life free!  Every day I mourn less and less for what was, and lean into acceptance of how I am being remade.  Praise God that this grief and burden of my self image after breast cancer is being lifted off my heart, and replaced with a depth of gratitude and joy I have never known.

They're just boobs for God's sake, I'm alive!

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Another huge highlight for all of us was when we were able to travel to Indiana for the DCI Drum and Bugle Corps World Championships, to watch Adam compete in his final season as a snare player for the Blue Devils.  How awesome and amazing and joyful that Adam retired as a Blue Devil with another World Championship that he will always be a part of!

After it was announced that night in Lucas Oil Stadium that the Blue Devils won their 15th World Championship, we moved down to the bottom of the stadium to get as close as we could to watch their encore performance.  After it was over, I saw Adam break away from the group and could tell he was searching for us.  He walked with such pride and determination and honor and glory and joy.

I knew he was coming to find his Mama.
He had his phone in his hand, with Cara on the line to share the celebration with her back home.




LOL, I cried the ugly cry for a whole lot more than the fabulous Blue Devils win!

I will never forget the feeling, as Adam walked toward me.  I had an out of body experience.  For a moment, it was as if I wasn't there.  In a split second, time stopped, I imagined this night and so many others that my boys would have experienced without me, if cancer had had its way.

When Adam touched me and hugged me, it was as if I came back into my body, I'm here, I'm here, I'm here to see this, I'm here to share this,

I'm here!

Praise God.

Cancer effing sucks, there is nothing good about it or cancer treatment, but let me tell you, I walk this planet

CHANGED.

I AM SO DAMN GRATEFUL FOR EVERY NEW DAY.
HIS BLESSINGS NEW EVERY MORNING.
Oh what gratitude can do in your life.

My breast cancer was part of the growing and blossoming of my life and soul, from woundedness to healing, and the catalyst for my return to faith.

Praise God.

This is why, in this New Year, I have one simple resolution.

LESS IS MORE.

Less stress. Less drama.  Less worry.  Less anger.  Less gossip.  Less unhealthy foods.

Less things and paper and possessions that clutter my life and really don't matter.

Less of letting others TAKE MY PEACE.

Less weight.  This chubby body has to go.

Less being so connected to technology.

More.

More love.  More prayer.  More service to others.  More connectedness to my family and friends and planet.  More discipline.  More obedience.  More patience.  More healthy clean food.  More exercise.  More praise.  More playing my piano.  More writing.  More kindness.  More time in nature.  More time with my head in my Bible.  More more more of these.

LESS IS MORE.

To you Dear Reader, I wish the happiest and most blessed of New Year's, but mostly for you I wish -

A leap into faith,
See what God can and will do with your life.
Lead with Love.
Lead with Gratitude.
Rest assured that when you walk in faith, every single thing that happens in your life leads you to grace and blessings.

Every new morning is a holy gift.

What will you do with this day?

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Receive this gift.  Find your peace in 2013.  You don't have to earn it.  You don't have to buy it.  Just receive it.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Thank you Dear Reader for taking part in this journey with me.

God bless you and keep you in 2013.






2 comments:

Martha said...

While I know that everyone gets through this horrid journey called cancer (I was diagnosed just about a month after you) In different ways, I could not have done it without the love and prayers from known friends and family and from a countless number of those whom, while I have not most in person, I have come to know. It was, and is, my faith in a power beyond myself that allowed me to cope. "Surely it is God who saves me, I will trust in Him and not be afraid, for The Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and He will be my Savior". I have said it before, and will say it again, more blessings came out of this horrid experience we call cancer than non-blessings. Thank you for openly sharing your journey with us. Blessings as you begin a new year.

Unknown said...

You are healed and go forth... You have already in so many ways. To walk with us, share with us, cry with us, and to just listen to us. Thank you for your constant support and Love. As I have said many times. There were "gifts" I received after my diagnosis. You named so many ....less drama...more love etc. My shattered body was stitched back together by a beautiful woman (my surgeon) and in the process my heart was given wings. Yes Sister, Be at peace you will be made whole. My prayer for you -May you fly high on the wings you have been given. Sending love to you.

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