Choose Gratitude


As I lay awake with my mind spinning from all that is going on and I try to process the reality of what I am going through, my thoughts go to my sweet sister Sara.

It’s been really hard after this second round of chemotherapy. I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the person staring back. Each time I get a glance of myself, I am in disbelief that I am going through treatment for cancer. I look like a cancer patient.

I look in the mirror and see this adult person who looks in some ways like an infant. I see a person who looks sick and frail. I see a person with tired eyes and no energy. I don’t see me.

I remember Sara sharing that one of the many things she was grateful for, was that even though she was sick, she was so grateful she didn’t look as sick as she felt. As with everything, there are pros and cons… I remember her explaining that “When you are sick but don’t look like it, it opens up a door for people to judge more harshly. If you don’t look sick there are unrealistic expectations that are difficult to deal with or explain. But when you don’t look sick, you are also able to escape mentally what you can’t physically.”

Right now I feel like I can’t escape. I can’t escape mentally because I also can’t escape physically.

So, I’ve decided if I’m feeling like I can’t escape, I need to change my thinking. I do have the ability to choose how I think in order to change how I feel.

My thinking turns to gratitude.

As I sit in my beautiful sun room on the spring days that I am not strong enough to go outside, I close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun and listen to the birds singing. I thank God for the beauty of the spring colors and the new life that comes with each new day.

I choose gratitude. I choose joy.

Thanks sweet sis! I love you and am grateful I have your words of encouragement and love. I’m glad I don’t have to do this without you.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Marian Knepper says:

    Laura, please know that you are being lifted up in prayer may our Lord overcome you with His presence. Sending blessings and love your way. Marian

    1. gitznjo says:

      Thanks, Marian!

  2. Ruth Ludwig says:

    Illnesses hurt every part of our life. My heart hurts for you……please take one day at a time. Looking at the whole picture puts fear in your life. I always would say “I completed today, Lord, please help me deal with tomorrow.”

  3. Jean Thomas says:

    Laura, my prayers are with you as you go through this struggle. I actually finished your sister’s book last weekend. Truly an inspiring life. I know God will use your struggles just as He did Sara’s, but that doesn’t mean the struggle isn’t real. I am praying for healing and strength for you.

  4. Janella Frankl Reicks says:

    Just read your message from yesterday, Laura Jo. I am loving you and praying for you, thanking Sara for being there for you as you always were for her. That person in the mirror…you are seeing only the external which (as we know can change quickly) holds the inner treasure of who you are. Rely on God for your inner strength and Peace. He knows, loves and cares. A kiss, a hug and prayers from an Auntie who loves you so much.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. gitznjo says:

      Love and Hugs from IA!. 🙂

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