The beach, my happy place. I can look back at this photo from just a few years ago and I’m there. Just close my eyes and I’m there in that perfect moment. I can feel the uneven sand beneath my feet. I can smell the salty air. I can feel the grip that I had on my children’s hands walking to the gulf. I can even sense the storm that was about to roll in.
In this moment, right now, I’m in the first week of my second cycle of chemotherapy, and I feel a lot like this picture. I can feel all of the unevenness of my foundation trying to be rocked, the queasiness of my nausea and other side effects from my 8 hours of chemo 3 days ago rolling like the waves pictured ahead, the grip that I have on my family and my faith to stay focused, and the sense of storm threat rolling in. Yet…. when I see this picture, I’m overwhelmed with beauty. My eyes were fixed on what I find to be my happy place. Everything feels better at the beach. Everything’s alright. We all had our eyes fixed out there at what God was doing for us, while even my husband had his eyes fixed on us from behind the camera, standing guard to protect as he does now.
Today marks my 4th day of my 2nd cycle. The 4th through 8th day of my last cycle were my toughest, so I can’t help but feel a little uneasy. I ended up being admitted to the hospital at this point of my last cycle due to random side effects that were just no fun. (Not uncommon for cancer patients, especially “first timers like me”) But, of course, God is bigger, and I was just fine. It all worked out. Always does. Last month, was just the beginning. I was a “rookie”. I was just learning the ropes of how my body would react to all this. The Big Guy took care of me with a team of amazing people and now we know what to do. No sweat. Now I face this 2nd cycle, a little more prepared. I know what it feels like. I know what’s too much. I know when to call for help. But, I mostly am aware that I’ll always be a bit of a “rookie”. I can’t be expected to know it all and to have it all together. None of us should. We’re not expected to know the future. That’s impossible. Take each moment as they come and adjust if needed. We’re simply asked to live in the moment, knowing and trusting that God will give us what we need, when we need it, for THAT moment.
Every day, in all of our vocations, challenges, etc., we have moments where we feel the mix of emotions from that first picture above. How often do we all feel a little uneven in the sand beneath our feet, gripping on to someone as we look out into what may be a perfect storm ahead, wondering when the first drop of rain will hit and how long it will pour? Yet, if we can’t feel the breeze of the Holy Spirit or we can’t see the glimmer of hope in His sunset ahead, knowing that it’s all part of a bigger masterpiece, a bigger plan, bigger and more beautiful than any of our wildest dreams, then we’ll miss out on the sacred grace of the moment. God has got this. He has me. He has my husband. He has my children. He has you. I just need to hold on like I did this day on the beach and keep my eyes fixed on God, and give it all to Him. Believe it or not, His reward will even better than that beachy picturesque moment caught on film. …Even if it did take a whole pocket full of smarties candy to get my kids to take such glorious pics with me!