Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Learning to Be an Inspiration

Inspiration.  One dictionary definition states that inspiration is

 I'm sure we've all seen things or known people who inspire us for different reasons.  I never thought that becoming a cancer patient would make me an inspiration. 

Throughout the past three years some people have said that I'm inspirational. I still don't quite know how to react to that. I can't say it's anything that I've ever striven to be. It's very humbling to have someone say that to me. In all honesty though, when you are a cancer patient it's hard to see yourself as an inspriation because this isn't something you chose to do, but instead it's something that has been thrust upon you.  I heard one cancer patient say that after so many times of being called someone's hero she felt like saying, "I can't be.  It's not like I ran into a burning building to save someone's life!" 

But as cancer patients surviving each day, sometimes with dignity and grace, and other times with not so much, people look at us and are surprised how we survive it all.  That's what is inspiring to them and makes us heroes of sorts.  We look at it as just survival while they look at it as something amazing and something they could never do.  I'm sure that even as cancer patients we can look at other's struggles and wonder if we could get through that.  That's why I  think anyone can be inspirational. Let me tell you about a few who have been inspirational to me.

I have a friend who is the first to volunteer meals and help whenever someone is sick or in need. I have another friend who lost part of her family in a car accident and then was able to direct a wonderful Christmas concert a month later. I have friends who after their father died were able to sing in full voice and as loudly as they could their father's favorite hymns at his visitation. I have another friend who can look money problems in the eye and with full confidence know that God will take care of them. I have another friend who you know when she promises to pray for you will do so for days on end, even when she has many trials of her own. I never knew if I could do what they did. But they weren't inspirational for what they did. These people were inspirational to me because I could see God through them. They knew God was right there and they could get through the bad stuff. And I've learned that's what is hard for one, can be easy for another. It's all in God's plan.

So for us, cancer might be the "easy" trial. It's not because of anything we have done. And it's not because there aren't hard parts. There are many parts of this trial that have been dowright discouraging over the past three years.   It's because God through His grace and mercy is letting us feel Him every day in some way. We have done nothing to deserve this. Our prayer is that when the next trial comes our way, that we can remember how God helped us through this one and that we can keep clinging to Him knowing that He is guiding our path for His good.

Yes, it is hard to hear the words that I am an inspiration to others at times.  I don't feel worthy to be called an inspiration.  But if I can in any way shine God's light through this cancer, then, with God's help, that it what I will strive to do.  And with God's help you can do it too.

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