It takes darkness to be thankful for the light

I live in the country, on a dirt road. I often step outside at night and gaze up at the stars. On the darkest nights, the stars look so brilliant that you can almost hear them. One of my favorite times to watch the sky is in mid-August, when the Perseid Meteor Shower occurs. If there is no moonlight, it is simply magical. I’m so thankful for this peace.

If you live around city lights, the night is cloudy or the moonlight too bright, it will significantly dull the brilliance of the stars. So the greater the darkness, the greater the lightness will show.

Life is like that too. Sometimes it is in the greatest darkness that you can truly see the light. So much noise, light, and commotion in our lives keeps us rushing around and filling our days with to-do lists, obligations, and responsibilities. We were not created for all this constant stimulation and scrambling.

The rat race

Our Creator built in us a need to have quiet times of reflection and meditation, so that we may know Him better. In my life before cancer, I rarely indulged in quiet time. I rushed through every day, considering it a success if I crossed out enough things on my to-do lists. At night I would fall asleep planning in my mind all the things I’d need to accomplish the next day.

When cancer came, life as I knew it came to a screeching halt. All the unimportant things fell away. I couldn’t do a lot during my recovery from the mastectomy, so I had a lot of time to reflect and just be quiet.
During this time I realized this reset was a blessing. I was able, in this dark and quiet time to embrace the fact that I had to change my way of living. Without this unintended shutdown, I would still be struggling to run on that rat wheel going nowhere, as fast as I could. It took me being in a season of darkness to be able to reorder my life. I had to be temporarily taken out of the game in order to stop my destructive behavior.

I realized that without storms, we don’t appreciate the sunshine. Without darkness, we can’t see the full sparkle of the stars, without the rain, we don’t have flowers. And it’s hard to be thankful.

We are all dying. I was dying. Killing myself with toxic food, alcohol abuse, and self-hatred. I needed my Father in Heaven to intervene. I needed Him to stop the rat race and get me sorted out. When cancer came, that happened.

It all becomes clear – be thankful

When cancer came, I was humbled by how much my family loves me. In the darkness, their love for me was amplified. God’s love was amplified and I was so thankful. I began to start to love myself. The darkness became an aid to me, showing me beauty and love I would have never seen in my unchecked fussy and frantic life.

One morning I walked in the pasture with my horses and I saw the most delicate little purple flowers and I thought, “without the rain, there’d be no flowers.”

I felt such a wave of thankfulness.
Who but my God could stop the world around me so I could catch up?
Who but Jesus would stop the progress of the herd to wait for one lost sheep?
Who but the Holy Spirit would banish all fear and send the peace that supersedes all human understanding?

No rain, No flowers. Now you know the secret meaning those words have for me. It’s my way of saying to God that I’m so thankful that He is looking out for me. For all of us. For all of His creation, down to the tiny purple flowers in my pasture.

No Rain. No Flowers! Our battle cry!

Read more about my journey from cancer to health. This series on my diagnosis, mastectomy, and the cancer center is the starting point for my journey. Please take some time and look around my posts about alternative cancer treatments too.