Power of Story

16 Mar

I heard a cancer survivor speak recently and I have to admit I was a little annoyed. I am incredibly happy that this person was completely cancer free and that her treatment worked for her, it’s a place all cancer fighters hope for. I think it was her story and her ‘after’ story that irritated me. The presentation was to a large group so I can imagine it may have been stressful but what I missed was a little authenticity, the guts of her journey. Maybe the story was too simple; got cancer, got treated, got cured, stayed positive, doesn’t remember having any ups and downs emotionally. Maybe I’m being too cynical, that’s probably it. All I know is for me to share in her joy and excitement I needed to be able to connect to her story and being a Stage 4 cancer fighter currently, the expectations and probability to connect was high but it didn’t happen. I wasn’t inspired, and all I could do was sigh, ‘that’s nice, good for her,’ a sharp contrast to someone I heard speak last year. Listening to last year’s survivor story left me on the edge of my seat, I was in tears as I was brought into her journey with her words and I wanted to seek her out afterward and know more. I didn’t even have cancer then.

You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.’~Erin Morgenstern

Have you ever thought about that? The possibility that your story could actually take residence in someone’s soul and become part of their blood and self and purpose. Whoa. If that’s the case, would you be more truthful about who you are, your feelings, your purpose, your words? What I wanted from the speaker was authenticity, truth, and maybe her truth was just that simple. Maybe she didn’t have low points in her journey or maybe she just didn’t let herself get there. My truth on my current cancer path is different and that’s ok because we are all created differently. The authentic self is soul made visible. – Sarah Ban Breathnach  Be authentic.

Today’s page in my story is a jumble of words and emotions. My mind is all over the place. I have the consistency of work and kid rhythms but my mind and heart are still longing to save the world, to check things off on my ever growing bucket list, to see dreams become reality. I heard a fellow cancer fighter say that she tries to create such a big and busy life in order to shove down the ugly cancer stuff; in essence to make cancer just a small part in her mind. I feel the same, planning big, checking things off my bucket list and keeping busy helps me forget on occasion that I have cancer and it also helps me in a small way not to live from scan to scan. Faith. I recently read from an Oswald Chambers devotional that at the beginning of the Christian walk we are so marked by feelings, more by sight than by faith, but there comes a time when that joy is not what it used to be and that sometimes the soul gets dark but that is when God is taking the soul out of the realm of religious feeling and emotion into the realm of faith (all paraphrased). Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien. Deep faith. I’m right there now too. I have a sweet relationship with God that has deepened over the years through life, cancer, and other obstacles, and it’s what’s giving me hope. On Jen Hatmaker’s podcast she ends each episode with the question, ‘What is saving your life right now?’ I have to say for me, it’s my quiet time with God each day and the people I have chosen to surround myself with, my family and my friends; both give me hope, peace, and joy. My mind may be in overdrive but today I get to add another page to my story, I’m alive.

Today I wear Flower Petal Pout Lip Color in Chestnut Kiss. I was pleasantly surprised by these lipsticks from Drew Barrymore’s line. They are inexpensive, have great color, are pretty long lasting, and are fairly moisturizing as well. I chose this color because I was looking for an everyday brown that I could wear without looking ‘dirty’ on my brown skin and this was actually perfect! Cheers!


2 Responses to “Power of Story”

  1. Cathy March 17, 2018 at 10:25 am #

    You sweet Anna. Your heart share of the ups & downs in your journey are an inspiration. I don’t think I have cancer-but I feel I do in my spirit heart & emotions from many of life’s traumas. I’m in severe pain physically and no dr can pin point it-calling me an enigma-mystery . I’ve not slept well in 2 years from severe back leg & thigh pain. I’m now on anti depressants & opioids& anxiety pills….never imagined. Now referrals to pain clinics and PTherapy. Losing my fight and desire to live and go on. Will you pray for me. This has been hard on my precious husband of 42 yrs and extended family & friends-seeing the fun person I was so down & sad & empty. I read Gods word -several devotionals and believe God is my hope-comfort and everything but with the dark depression I cannot seem to feel or find Him as my joy. From Traverse City I send my love to you and ask for your coveted prayers as you also wait on Him for His plans in this life til we are home in heaven together🌻

    • Anna March 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm #

      Oh Cathy, life is so hard. I will definitely be praying for you; for medical answers and also for abundant peace. I’m glad you are surrounded by friends and family and that your husband is there to support you. I will be praying for him too that he has peace and the wisdom to know how best to comfort and support you. Keep grasping for Christ. When I am at my lowest I try to find the smallest ray of hope I can. I have found writing (journaling and this blog) as great places for me to ‘vent’ and release and I pray you find one or have one too. The biggest thing with living or being in pain like cancer or illness is that it opens your eyes and heart to other people’s pains so I feel your heart breaking. I will be praying, reach out anytime.

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