Does Cancer Hold You Hostage?

What Holds You Hostage?

Does Cancer hold you hostage?

As I was out walking one beautiful morning this week, I listened to a podcast. I don’t leave home without my airpods! The very best gift I ever bought myself! Sometimes I play music, and walk to the beat, sometimes I listen to a non-fiction book because that’s the best way to hold my attention, or I often play a motivational podcast for business. This particular morning, I was listening to a business podcast and the speaker told a riveting story.

When she was 18, she was on a work-study program in Venezuela for a year, staying with a host family. The family lived in a gated community, and the gates were always kept locked, except for this particular time where the family was hosting a large barbecue. Caterers, servers and suppliers were coming and going, and in the mix a group of five men armed with machine guns came in through the gates.

The guests were held at gunpoint, pushed and shoved and forced to lie down on the floor while three of the robbers searched everyone and every room in the house and stole anything of value. Heirloom jewelry, cameras, cash, precious personal belongings. The men claimed to be police and the guests were told not to move off the floor for 20 minutes. Don’t report the robbery because they would know and come back and kill every one of them.

Shaken to her core, as this girl stood huddled with her host family brother and sister, everyone was complaining about all the material things that were stolen and taken from them, some of the items irreplaceable. As they were all voicing their fear and anger, she said her host father spoke 5 words she will never forget.

“But you have your life.”

At that moment she gained perspective.

Her point in telling the story is that we all have experienced a hostage situation in life. Maybe you weren’t held at gunpoint and forced to the floor, but emotionally crippling and traumatic things happen every day to everyday people. We experience car accidents, loss of loved ones, financial turmoil, nasty divorce and child custody fights that leave us bruised and beaten. Infidelity, betrayal of friends, drug abuse and incurable cancer. The list goes on.

 Things happen that push us into who we are today. We are sometimes formed by things beyond our control. But… we can control our response. Maybe not in the immediate knee-jerk reaction, but we can control it in the long game. Where do you gain perspective? What offers you a new and different way to look at things?

“But you have your life.”

These 5 words are simple.

I realize that in certain circumstances you might not feel like your life is worth living.  Your loss is so great. How will you cope? Maybe your perspective comes from someone who depends on you. Maybe it comes from an obligation or a promise made. Maybe from the desire to attain a goal or prove a point. Grief takes time to process and climb out of the hole. Healing takes time, whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual. But while you’re climbing, or maybe because you are climbing, you gain perspective.

Don’t allow yourself to be held hostage by your circumstances or emotions because it will keep you from living. Case in point…

Does cancer hold you hostage?

Are you spending your days thinking Why me? Or Why bother? Do you walk around your house and think What’s the point? I’m going to die anyway! Come on, girls, we have these thoughts, let’s be honest. I’m proposing that you don’t CAMP there. Don’t be held up and tied down! Get on with the business of living, because,

“But you have your life.”

No one is promised tomorrow, but you have today.

So, lets’ gain perspective.

Think about what gives you joy. Maybe it’s a simple pleasure. Holding your grandbaby? Going to lunch with a friend? Calling your daughter? Baking brownies? Facetiming a loved one far away? A game of golf? Riding your bike? Quilting? Gardening? Visiting a neighbor?

 Do it now.

 Force yourself to get out of bed, put a smile on your face and put one foot in front of the other. Be intentional. Don’t think it’s a waste of time or the road is long. Just start. Baby steps in the right direction are all it takes.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10

And trust me on this. I have been there. Baby steps become longer strides and you will walk right out of that hostage situation.

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