Yesterday over a cup of tea, a friend asked me about my cancer journey, told me she wanted to write about it, asked me to think about what I had learned about myself and about who God is.
I nodded.
Then she asked, “Are you at a place where you can look back on the experience and be thankful for the good that came from it rather than what you lost?”
“Well,” I said, hesitating. “I think so. It’s just that I continue to experience the loss in different ways.”
So many of the things I wanted in life were lost as a result of cancer.
Tracy, over at Kingdom Bloggers, wrote today about the longings of our hearts.

Like everyone else, I’ve had those experiences where I’ve really wanted something and not gotten it. Experienced the deep disappointment and frustration. But I’ve also been blessed many times over through the course of my life by God giving me the desires of my heart. Between those times of receiving and those times of not receiving I’ve noticed that same pattern that David talked about in his post on Monday; when I’ve sought after what God wanted for me, I’ve received it. Seems to me that if I want to approach this whole thing strategically, that what I need to do is look for what God is doing and join in His work.

When I read this, I was reminded that all that was lost to cancer, all those hopes and dreams that felt like God’s best for me at the time, were removed to make room for what truly is God’s best. And each new loss I feel as a result of those years the locust ate, is an opportunity for God to give me new desires, to restore what was lost by giving me Himself.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life,” Tracy quoted from Proverbs. And it is true, you know. There’s no end to the suffering I can put myself through if I think of what was lost. But when I seek new longings, new desires that keep me in the middle of God’s will, and have them all met in Jesus, that can put the weight back on, can restore the sparkle in my eye.

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Not only is my cancer journey on my mind because of that conversation yesterday, but also because of a doctor’s appointment last week. After looking over my recent lab tests and walking through my timeline and calculating the years since my diagnosis and treatment, my doctor gave me a very hopeful prognosis.
“I think you’re going to be just fine.”
As he said that, my eyes filled and my heart swelled, and I felt a tree of life springing up within me.
I lost so much to cancer, but I have so much left.
Go THERE and then come back HERE again!
Join me for regular jaunts around The High Calling network, randomly visiting fellow bloggers, soaking up their words and ideas, and then coming back here to write about them from my perspective. This is what The High Calling network is all about, after all.

Our site is about casting a vision that is clear enough and inspiring enough that our readers can run with it on their own sites. We then spend the majority of our editorial time listening to them on their sites and helping them shine as writers. We believe in the power of the laity so much that we are relying on them and their audiences to help spread the vision that has been given to us. – Marcus Goodyear, senior editor, thehighcalling.org (from “The Challenge, Strategy, and Execution of Combining Web Properties” by Dan King on churchcrunch.com)

Each Thursday, consider going “There and Back Again” yourself. It’s simple.
1.) Choose another High Calling Blogger to visit. It can be someone you have “met” before, or do what I do, and work your way through the “Member Posts” section of thehighcalling.com to meet someone new.
2.) Visit his blog, digesting the message until it becomes something that you can write about.
3.) Go back to your blog and write about it, being sure to link to the post that gave you the idea so that your readers can visit, too.
4.) Add the button above to your blog so your readers know you are participating in “There and Back Again.”
5.) Go back to the Network blog and leave a comment so your new friend can feel the link love!
6.) Complete the journey by returning here, to Wide Open Spaces, and enter your link so that we all can benefit from the new High Calling connection you have made.