Today marks the one year anniversary of my double mastectomy surgery, and, while it would take a couple of weeks to confirm, when I became cancer-free. My journey this last year has been much easier than most because I was able to avoid the treatments of chemotherapy and radiation. I don't know why I got this good fortune, but I humbly step out to spur and encourage others on in their journeys.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
While this verse can taste bitter in dark times, it is always true. Sometimes we are able to see the the good. Sometimes the good is hard to find because God's good looks very different from ours. And sometimes, we don't get to see the good this side of heaven, so we have to trust the promise.
Reflecting on this past year has brought to mind
“good” I learned:
Don’t lose your purpose, especially in the waiting seasons.
God is in control, I am not.
What if our “get up” is to “pick up our mat” and the faith produced from that one faith action leads to walking (more faith and becoming well)?
If the vessel is depleted, how can it best be used as an ambassador? True self-care (body, soul, and spirit) is good stewardship and proper maintenance.
Finding a strong and healthy "why"
brings growth and consistency.
Growth: The word "why" comes up often in session, but mainly as a "Why did _____ have to happen?" or "Why would God allow _____?". These questions are most often unanswerable and can keep someone stuck.
A big part of therapy in these situations, is to work towards changing that why to a what.
Cognitive Reframing (more to come on this topic later):
From "Why did this happen?" to "God, what do you want me to do now?"
From "Why would God allow this?" to "God, what do you want me to learn from this?"
Consistency: The "why" I want to focus more on here is the "why" behind working towards the things that you want. Do you ever feel frustrated when you cannot make a change or struggle with consistency? I'd like to argue the reason is because you're "why" is not strong enough and/or your goal is not reasonable.
I am a recovering perfectionist and all-or-nothing thinker. A life-long goal of mine I'm embarressed to share had been tied to looking a certain way. Honestly, it became a nasty idol that still tries to creep in today. My thinking (If I do enough, then I will be skinny enough) was tremendously destructive and jaded and my "why" behind working towards diet and exercise was weak -- so I can be a certain size -- and untrue -- "so I can be happy". (Again embarressed as I'm writing this).
My diagnosis last year resulted in a wakeup call to my mortality, as well as a dramatic need to change and reframe my "why" in this area. Why do I work towards making healthy lifestyle choices and remaining active? To stay healthy and strong. Now, that is a strong why! One that is constructive and keeps me moving forward towards consistency.
Is Romans 8:28 a hard verse for you to believe and trust? Ask yourself why and take it to the Lord. Reflect and look for good in that situation that comes to mind. If you can't see any good, ask the Lord to help you trust Him in it.
What "why" may you be holding onto that needs to be changed into a "what"?
What goals are you trying to meet? or What is something about yourself that you are trying to change? Is your "why" strong, reasonable, and healthy OR is it destructive, unrealistic, and built upon a lie? Take the time to reevaluate and adjust accordingly.