Last night my wonderful, strong, brave, amazing friend posted this quote to her facebook profile:
"It is a miracle if you find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season - like all other seasons - is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about miracles in your own life, and be grateful for them." -Lemony Snicket, the Lump of Coal
This friend has been in total isolation for the last 9 days while she is treated with a powerful dose of radiation to combat thyroid cancer.
Her quote, and another message she sent me about how much she is looking forward to doing some very simple things again when treatment is over, has sent me into deep retrospection about how significant and fragile life is, and how sweet and fleeting the moments are that come together to write the larger story of our lives.
Over the last few months, my husband and I have each felt a strong pull toward the unknown future we are walking into - and with it, a certain uncomfortable awareness of how much we don't actually know anything about it. At times, its made us angry, pensive, lonely. And other times, its brought with it a tremendous feeling of privilege and joy - that we have the unfathomable blessing of living our lives. My life. Jeremy's life. Our life together.
It is true - uncomfortably true - that our lives are very, very short. What we choose to do with each day, each moment, is extraordinarily important. In the coming new year, I want to grow in my awareness of this truth in a way that empowers me to deeply, fully live into my days. If only it wasn't so hard to actually do. I suppose that is the discipline of it.
"My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit - not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength - that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19, The Message Translation