Colossians 4:6, Galatians 1:10
Today, last year, was a doozie. I sat on my front porch anxiously awaiting my parent’s arrival to spend the weekend adventure-ing around Knoxville. Greeted with a bear hug, I was so excited to have my favorite people in my favorite town for a perfect weekend. What was supposed to be a Saturday morning filled with yummy food and boutique shopping downtown quickly turned into a two hour conversation of facts and statistics that I was not ready to hear.
“Rebecca…your mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Even 365 days later, that’s about all I remember of the original conversation I had with my parents that changed the course of what our lives revolved around this past year.
To most, September 20th might not have a significant meaning. But for me, it’s a reminder of so many things. What, you ask?
Life is short, so make it sweet. I learned quickly this year to season my words with grace. The person who is pushing their buggy a little slow for your taste maybe didn’t get a full night’s sleep because they have a newborn at home. The person at the office who constantly strives for perfection and the next step of the ladder could be facing problems at home – so finding his/her worth in a career brings short term fulfillment. The friend who was a little moody during your coffee date might be having health problems they just aren’t ready to talk about yet.
As believers, we are called to use our words for a purpose, for good and for His glory.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6, NIV)
No one is going to give you permission to pursue ministry. When the Lord began leading me to launch a ministry that would somehow donate hats and letters to cancer patients, I kept looking to my peers for assurance that I was making the right decision. “So I think it would be cool to start something that would do this..” I’d say. In reality, I’ve already bought a web domain and I’m working on a website, logo and building a plan. I was fearful that maybe people wouldn’t care. Maybe the Lord wouldn’t bless my efforts and multiply my vision for it.
Maybe it’s not what the Lord has for my future.
But one day as I stared at a blinking cursor on my personal Facebook, about to share the first post EVER about 818 Ministries, I thought, “but what if it is.”
What if the Lord wanted me to really look to him for discernment rather than the assurance of man?
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10, NIV)
What if my mom’s circumstance was so much bigger than the word cancer and so much more significant than a diagnosis?
A year, 365 days later, I reminisce about what we endured as a family with a smile of joy on my face. I am so proud of mom’s strength, courage and endurance throughout a battle that not every woman gets to see the other side of. I read a quote recently that reminds me of her.
“She looked back and marveled how far she had come…she didn’t wonder how she made it. She already knew the answer. Only with God’s help had she powered through. For without His strength she could do nothing.”
My advice? Life is short, so make it sweet. Season your words with grace. And don’t ask anyone permission to pursue your calling. Go after it with all you have. Spend the money. Grab some help. Stay up late and get up early. And watch and see how the Lord can turn an idea into a reality when done in His name.