I just have to say 'Wow!' and 'Thanks' and 'You are so awesome!' I am humbled, encouraged, strengthed and comforted by all the notes and messages I recieved yesterday. It empowers me to know that I have such a large group of supporters in my corner ... you all rock!
I've been thinking a lot about what has made me who I am, the things I've learned and the people I've known. I grew up in a good family, attending a church and a school that taught me all about God's love, grace and faithfulness. I was fortunate to be raised knowing that even though the circumstances of my birth were unplanned, I ... me, the person God created, was not a mistake. I have always known that God thought of me, planned for me but it wasn't until the summer I was 19 years old that I started to see what that all really meant.
That summer, on a whim, I applied to work at a camp a couple of hours from home. I didn't know anyone who worked there and I had no connection to that place at all. I just saw the ad on the university bulletin board and I applied. Two weeks later I was jammed into a club van with 10 strangers heading to an island in the middle of nowhere.
It was in that place, away from everyone and everything I knew, that I began to know myself. I began to think about life, God and my future and I began to get a sense of the person I want to be. I remember sitting on the dock one crisp May morning and deciding that I want to live a thankful life. In fact I wrote it in my journal, I commit to being a thankful person, to finding one good thing in every situation to be thankful for and if that's the only good thing around, I will hold tight to it and never let it go. I will be thankful.
I'm not sure what prompted me to write those words but now, more than 15 years later, those words are written on my heart and a part of who I am. That naive promise I made when life was an adventure and anything was possible and life only held good things is still serving me now ... when life is an adventure and anything is possible and life only holds good things.
I am proud to be part of the Pollyanna Sisterhood, it is what I was created for. I know that a huge part of my purpose in life is to encourage, empower and inspire hope in others; not because I have it all figured out but because I am learning as I go. I know life is tough, disappointing and things often go awry but I also know that life is a beautiful adventure and that thankfulness makes all the difference ... thankfulness and encouragement.
All those messages I received yesterday have been saved in a file on my computer and written on the walls of my heart. I am thankful for you, I am thankful that you took the time to encourage me and I am thankful that I get to walk this journey with you on my side. So although I would rather be doing almost anything but fighting cancer, I am thankful ... I am glad for the lessons I will learn and the friends who are on my side.
“Be glad. Be good. Be brave.”
― Eleanor H. Porter (author of Pollyanna)