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Why Wait to Live Like You're Dying?

Before I get into today's blog, I just want to give a shout-out to my friend Emily! She's been a fantastic support in my life and I just wanted to show her an extra bit of love today. She's really amazing, y'all, and she has been such an amazing blessing to have in my life. Now, let's get into it!

Not a single day goes by where I don't take a moment to pause and just enjoy something. Not just enjoy it, but really delve deep and fall in love with whatever it is I'm doing. I didn't used to do this. It's something fairly new to me, but it's a habit that I'm happy I have.

Not many people actually realize this, but when I was in the hospital, that one really bad night I had... I thought I was going to die. I didn't think I was going to live. And now on top of that, there's the whole cancer thing. And, on top of that, I'm not even twenty.

That in particular was like a heavy blow to the throat. It just steals your breath away when it truly sinks in.

And now, between surgeries and more oncology appointments, it leaves me wondering: Why did I wait so long to get here? Why did it take cancer to scare me into living a life that I wouldn't regret?

Why did it take me so long to want to live?

I took my life for granted, every single moment of it. And, to some degree, I still do. But, there was nothing worse for me than remembering how I called my sister from the hospital in October. I was on all sorts of painkillers, so I don't remember much of what I said. I remember I was upset she was in Atlanta and not here with me, and she was too. Then, I thought, if she doesn't want to be there, then why is she there? I had honestly romanticized the idea of her hopping on a plane to come be with me. Obviously, that wasn't feasible and didn't happen, but she was in town about a month after all of that.

So, I made a bucket list.

Before I say anything else, I owe a MASSIVE thank you to Mrs. Podea! She got me this bullet journal, some amazingly wonderful Gilmore Girls pencils (if you didn't know, Gilmore Girls is my favorite show), and a copy of Jane Eyre! So, thank you! And while I've already took my pens to the journal, I've yet to even sharpen the pencils because I think they're too wonderful.

Anyway, back on point, life is... well, to be honest, life just kind of sucks. And, that's not just for me. Life sucks for everyone. But, something happens when you start to live like you're going to die. I honestly haven't been happier in my life.

You want to know why?

Because I just don't care.

But it's beyond that! I feel- I feel- limitless.

I feel limitless.

I want to dance in the rain, visit Italy, kiss under mistletoe, finish my novel, and just live and feel alive. Every breath I take is like breathing in an entire Red Bull. Every time I leave my house, everything glows with new light. Every leaf that rustles, every gust of wind through the trees, that perfect way the sun shines through the clouds... Because, you know what?

I'm nineteen. And, I may not have a lot of money, and I may have a lot going on, but not for a minute does that mean I have to stop living.

I'm gentler with my words now. I'm more intentional with where I put my heart. There was one night, the last night my sister, Danielle, was in town, that just makes me feel like I've been laying in the sun all day (in a good way). Sarah, a dear friend of ours (so much so that I refer to her as my sister), was over with us to watch movies. I think she might have had a rough day, and I did too. That was the night my genetic counselor called and told me that not only had she not found the cause of my tumor, but she'd found a rare mutation of the breast cancer and pancreatic cancer gene. It was rough, to say the least. I had to leave the house for a bit to just try to process everything. While I was gone, my mom told them everything. When I got back, Sarah literally let me lay on top of her. We just laid there on the sofa and talked with the family for a while. Then, we retreated to Danielle's old room to watch movies, and even then she just let me lay with her. I have never felt closer to her. No words were even necessary. She just put her hand on my head, and let me hug on her. She's one of my favorite people on this planet.

Normally, I'm more apprehensive about my physical affection, and what I share with people. I know some people don't like it, so I normally don't initiate it, even though I'm a physically affectionate person. But, I don't really care anymore. If someone doesn't like it, they'll tell me and I'll back off.

Every day, I wake up feeling better than the day before.

Without this tumor, I'm a completely different young woman. Coloring my hair pink was also a way for me to start that transformation into the beautiful young woman that I'm dying to be. And I'm getting there.

Sometimes, I'll just stand in the sun and feel the warmth on my face. And, honestly, I feel like that's the best part of life that so many people are missing out on. Not the crazy trips, not going sky-diving, not Rocky Mountain climbing, not going 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu. That's not what everyone's missing out on; that's not what you are missing out on. What you're missing out on is the best stuff. It's the warmth of a relationship, the peace of Christ knowing that you don't have to care about the future and that He has you -- that your amazing, loving Father has you. And, it's so much more than all of that. It's the way the sunlight shines on the trees, or the feeling of the cool air on your face. It's the way that someone talks so sweetly, or how they talk differently to you than someone else. It's that moment. The moment where your world absolutely falls apart into an irreparable mess. The part where you freeze, and watch the pieces of your life shatter. It's the part where after you break, you finally begin to realize that you have to break before you can be beautiful. The part where you realize that those chipped fragments look a lot like the glass in the windows of St. Vitus Cathedral, or maybe even the Windows of Sainte-Chapelle. For, what is stained glass except colored pieces of broken glass? They're smoothed down to fit in their place perfectly, but that comes with time. As you allow the rough edges to heal, as you allow yourself that breath of fresh air that comes with healing and forgiveness.

I would argue that stained glass windows are far prettier than just a normal window. So, wouldn't that mean you have to break before you can reach your full potential? And, stained glass windows are scarcely by themselves, so wouldn't that mean you have to allow yourself to be around people? Wouldn't that mean you have to stop fighting yourself over every little thing so that you can prosper in the way that you're meant to? Wouldn't that mean you have to take a moment to look at your life and realize, really truly realize, just what it is you're missing out on?

So, friend, what's holding you back? What's keeping you from your full potential?

Why are you waiting to live like you're dying?

Written: December 9th, 2019 at 9:53pm

One Thing God Gave Me: A beautiful imagination.

Current Read: Pray Big Things by Julia Jeffress Sadler

Current Study and Focus: The story of Gideon

Song of the Day: I Lived by One Republic, or Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw

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