As much as I don't like to mark dates for when difficult things happen, I think it is just the way our human minds work.
It was one year ago today that we were told my husband had 'a mass'. Not one of his doctors thought it was cancer. They believed it was an inflamatory-type mass. The worst they thought was that it could possibly be a Crohn's-related mass with damage to the intestine from the disease. That day, we thought we were facing some kind of 'incident' in life -- something we would deal with and move on. We had no idea that we were starting a journey which would change life forever. I'm thankful that God knows the timelines of our lives from beginning to end and that He walks with us every step of the way. This was unexpected by us, but - somehow - it fits into God's plan for our lives.
Looking back on the past year is interesting. I think there are positive and negative aspects of looking back. Sometimes, it is overwhelming to consider how much has happened since just one year ago. In remembering, I have to be careful. There are times when I feel drawn into those events and all the emotions that went along with them. I think it would be easy to put myself in a downward spiral if I allowed my mind to dwell on the past for too long.
The positive aspect of looking back, I think, is in reflecting -- calling to mind the ways that God blessed and provided and comforted -- purposing to see His goodness through all those events -- asking Him to help me learn the lessons intended for me.
This past year was one that required me to actively live out what I believe. I think, often, we live through the daily routines without giving much thought to our beliefs. Those beliefs don't feel as though they are being tested every day of our lives. I say I trust God, that I've surrendered all areas of my life to Him -- This past year I had to actively live that out. I had to purposely acknowledge that God was in control of my life and had to consciously decide to submit to His plan for my life. I also say that I want to be obedient to God. God says in His Word, "In everything give thanks." Purposing to be thankful, I believe, was key to having God's peace and comfort through it all. (Psalm 28:13 "I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.")
As much as this one-year mark causes me to look back, it also causes me to look forward. One year ago today, I had no idea what the days ahead of me would hold. Even so, today, I have no idea what the days yet to come will hold. I believe with all my heart that God has a plan. I'm glad life isn't a matter of happenstance. I am thankful that God is all powerful and all knowing, full of love and mercy, and never changing. I look forward to the future because I believe that if I am obedient to His leading, He will be my constant companion in the days to come.