In one week from today, I will be turning 27 years old. Wow. When did that happen? When discussing age with friends or family, I always joke and say, "I am almost 27 and have NOTHING to show for it." I say this with extreme sarcasm, and possibly a bit of truth. Years ago, when I pictured my life at 26, I invisioned myself gainfully employed, with a loving Husband, a child or two, and my Masters degree. Snapshot of my life as it stands... No career. No Husband. No children. No Masters degree. Hmm... definitely not what I pictured. Do you ever look at your life, and not recognize it as your own? I do that on a daily basis. What is the reality of my life now? I am a 26 year old military widow and cancer patient. My situation does not allow me to chase my career goals as of right now, and that is difficult to accept, but I have. My situation has made it nearly impossible to conceive children in the future, and that is difficult to accept, but I have. My Husband and best friend is dead. Difficult to accept... but I am working on it. So, here I sit, one week away from turning 27 years old, and it dawned on me... I am blessed. Confused? I am blessed to have been able marry the man of my dreams and to know true love, if even for a short time. I am blessed to have had him by my side as I fought cancer the first time, and to have him as a guardian angel as I battle it, yet again. I am blessed to have an amazing family that loves and supports me in everything I do. I am blessed to have a small group of friends that mean the world to me, and love me just as I am. I am blessed to have nieces and nephews that call me Auntie. I am blessed to be alive, and to be fighting this cancer. So, what will my life look like at 27? Whatever I want it to. In the next year of my life, I will travel. I will start my Masters degree. I will welcome another niece/nephew into this world. I will fight this cancer with all that I have. I will laugh. I will cry. And I will thank God everyday for my life.
There is no doubt that this world is full of suffering, loss, and heartache. But, it is also full of all the beautiful things that keep us smiling on a daily basis. Sure, I still have my bad days where I lay in bed and cry, and that is okay. But I also have the type of days that start off slow, and end up chasing the snow on a mountain top in the distance, only to reach it and witness some of God's natural beauty. I love those days, but I have chosen to embrace both types. The good days are blessings, and the bad days help to mold me in to who I am.
In one week from today, I will be 27 years old, and have PLENTY to show for it.
"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5: 3-4