I have a friend named Sylvia. I haven't known her for too long now but in the short time I have known her I have learned an awful lot from her. The start of our friendship was beautiful really because it was through a handwritten card I received from her in the mail. How many of those do you really get anymore? Better yet, how many do you write anymore?
She had heard about my cancer journey through some mutual friends at the church we both attend and immediately reached out to me. Her card spoke of how she had traveled a similar journey with Hodgkins Lymphoma when she was just 23 years old. She was someone who walked in my shoes (to a large extent) and wanted me to know she was there to support me. It was as if I instantly knew I would need her support for the journey that lie ahead, and therefore, a sweet friendship was born. It also helped that our kids attended the same preschool on the same days. Coincidence? I think not!
Throughout my journey, Sylvia spent time with me and my kids at my house. She sat with me during my chemo treatments. She let me borrow books about dealing with cancer. She gave me “pink” gifts. She prepared several dinners for us, and she even led a gift drive through the Ulman Cancer Fund so that I and other younger breast cancer survivors would have Christmas gifts for our kids last year. Amazing lady, huh?
Even more than all of this, she has taught me a lifesaving truth. Sylvia loves Jesus and trusts His plan despite walking through cancer and some other really hard stuff in her life. This is why she takes the time to reach out and support others, especially young people facing cancer. I have taken notes, and she is a huge part of why I want to reach out to other ladies walking similar journeys to mine. Through Sylvia's beautiful example and some living through it of my own, I have realized that good can come out of the hardest of trials if we just let Jesus use it. Not only that but I believe there is tremendous healing that comes when we allow Jesus to turn our trial into blessings.
More on this to come…