In the Air!

In the Air!
400 feet above the ground in Orlando.

Florida

Florida
Taking my first step towards a new life.

Virginia

Virginia
Spending an afternoon at Marymount during my internship!

My rocks!

My rocks!
Wouldn't be where I am without my parents!

Graduation

Graduation
Walking for my Masters. An interesting book end as this all started when I graduated from undergrad!

Awesome Nurses!

Awesome Nurses!
After my port removal and saying goodbye to my chemo nurses before moving away from Michigan. Wouldn't be doing that without them!

Hair again!

Hair again!
Growing longer each day

Last Chemo

Last Chemo

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Silliness

Silliness
Something to remember and return to. A good day!

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

365 Things to Smile About Day 222. God Knows Best :)

Today I started the annoying task of going through boxes and purging of things I have completely forgotten about and haven't looked at or used in three years.  My mom packed up my apartment for me when I was first diagnosed as I had absolutely no energy I was so anemic.  Many boxes were put into storage when I was sick and then moved back here to Kzoo when I started grad school and I never opened them.  I just stacked them out of the way.  But, I now have to move across country so I am trying to reduce what I need to put into the Uhaul.  As I went through one box I pulled out two pieces of paper that I was pleasantly surprised to see had been saved.  As I read over them, I couldn't do anything other than smile and shake my head in amazement.  It was a little sign from God that He really has been in control and guiding and watching over me.

Three years ago, shortly after Christmas, I found myself closing in on the end of a 15 year long journey of finally finishing my undergraduate degree.  It had been such a focus and goal of mine for so long that I had stopped thinking about what I would do after I had gotten it.  Suddenly, that was all I could think about and it was actually freaking me out quite a bit and causing a large amount of anxiety!  I called a very dear friend of mine for some advice.  After she let me spill out my panicked, confused and freaked out thoughts, she laughed a little and then calmly told me to do something.  She said to do what she called a "brain dump".  She said to take a blank paper and write the word "graduate" in the center.  Then all around the word, write everything I have ever wanted to do, thought of doing or thought was interesting.  She said to just write whatever came into my head and even if it sounded ridiculous to put it down.  Then she said to hang it up where I would see it every day and work towards those goals.

I managed to fill up two pieces of paper with ideas and hung them on the wall behind my table and next to the kitchen.  Mom must have taken them down and tucked them into a box.  On one of the pages, written down was a small phrase that has amazingly come true in a way I couldn't even imagine at the time I wrote it.  It said, "work to help others w/ vision problems".  At that point I really didn't know anything about the blindness and low vision field.  I knew I had a vision impairment and when I was really little I went to a special school for a year or two.  I now know I was receiving services for low vision.  But for about twenty years of my life (not surprisingly starting as a teenager) I pretended that there was nothing wrong with my eyes at all.  I wouldn't acknowledge any impairment.  I adapted and eventually worked around things until I could do just about everything everyone else around me could do.  But that year, my vision for some reason became something I started to slowly recognize again.  I think partly due to how hard I found doing all the reading for school at an older age!  At any rate, helping people with vision impairments made it on the paper.  Everything, big or small, ridiculous or possible, I wrote was something that was important to me.

I ended up going the route of education and when I was diagnosed with cancer was going through an interview process for a teaching job in California.  I look at this paper now and realize that God had other plans for me.  He knew where my life was going that year even thought I didn't.  And He gently guided me through that intense and frightening year after graduation.  Then He just took my hand and led me to this wonderful field.  He knew where I belonged all along.  I did as well I guess...or I wouldn't have written that phrase onto that paper.  It just amazed me that three years ago, without even realizing it, I had started mapping out where I would land after cancer.  I think I will have to frame that page and keep it with me.  I can't stop smiling thinking about it!!

That year of cancer, chemo and recovery was the hardest and scariest time of my life.  But now, looking back, I see that without that terrifying year I might not have found this field and direction that feels so right for my life.  A feeling I have never experienced in any road I had chosen so far.  I can see God guiding me through it and to where I am now...getting ready to start my internship in O&M and confidently stepping out into my new normal and start an amazing new life!










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