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  • Writer's pictureHolly Tomlin


Life is all about choices… or “it’s like a box of chocolates”. LOL! Forest Gump is one of my dad’s favorite movies. I think he could recite every single line. Anyways, back to the point. We all make choices. Every single day. Good ones, bad ones… important ones… minor ones… Some of us are living in the consequences of choices we made years ago. Some of us are living in the fruit of a good choice. I realize more now in these last few months how every choice we make is important. Last week was not a good week. Nothing major happened. I really think just the weight of the last few months finally caught up to me mentally. Really more than anything I just felt tired of this journey. Not necessarily questioning why it was happening; but more of just longing to feel “normal” again. To not wake up and feel nauseous every single day. To be able to make it through the day without being completely wiped out, to have hair again. Truly it feels like some days that I will never feel normal again. Mid-week I woke up and went through the usual routine. I got Emma ready for school, fed Will, grabbed my cup of coffee and sat on the couch. Mid-morning, I made the choice to do something. To get over the fact that I didn’t feel amazing and to quit feeling sorry for myself. I took Will and Sammy for a bike ride.

It had been almost 3 months since I had exercised. Before cancer, I worked out 4-5 times a week. It was my outlet for stress, my social time, my “me” time. Something I did really enjoy. It felt great to get out. The weather was amazing. Will and Sammy thoroughly enjoyed it too. I just rode and talked to Jesus. It was a great time of renewing my strength in the Lord too. Recentering myself in Him to refocus on the path ahead. To prepare to finish the journey before me. He is my true source of strength. He knows my heart. He knows suffering too.

I realized that every day I have to make the choice to get up and trust the Lord will carry me through the day. That He alone will be my strength for whatever lies ahead. No excuses. Life is a lot like running. It’s 95% mental and 5% physical, or something like that. So many of us, including myself before cancer, don’t stop to think about this because we are “physically” well. We don’t realize that we need to fully depend on the Lord to live our lives. Physical health is something I took for granted before. I didn’t “need” the Lord to go about my day before cancer. I had my own strength. Physically. But, just like so many others, my spiritual strength was weak. I wasn’t seeking the Lord for strength every day. At least, not wholeheartedly. I wasn’t fully surrendering to Him every single day. It doesn’t matter what your circumstance is. Maybe it is cancer. Maybe it’s another chronic health problem, debt, a job loss, a divorce, an addiction, or so many other things. It’s so easy for the enemy to lead us to believe his lies that we can’t live our lives in the midst of our trials or suffering. He wants us to have a pity party daily and to focus on the negative. Here in this place, the Lord can’t be glorified. He can’t use us here. But, I do believe that by making the choice to trust the Lord, he will carry us and then the enemy can never have hold of us. We have to spend time with the Lord daily to armor ourselves for battle. Matt Chandler did a series on the book of James last spring, in his sermon on suffering and trials (James 1) he said “the greater your knowledge of the goodness of God, the more likely you are to praise Him in the midst of the storm.” Life is hard. It will never be easy. But by following Jesus, it will be worth it. It’s hard to focus on the negative when we are thankful for the positives. “ And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 God can use us even in our difficult circumstances. It’s in these circumstances that we can truly surrender our lives to Him. In this we have true freedom to live, no pressure to do anything in our own strength. Because in our own strength, we will fail. We will never get off the couch again. We will never live as He intended us to. There is another quote from the James series that Matt Chandler said that I absolutely love. I wish everyone could hear this and believe this truth. “The bible is filled with broken, messy people. God enters into that space and makes much of his name.” The Lord can use every single one of us, even in the worst circumstances. I pray that whoever needs to hear this truth today will. That they will begin to find freedom in His name in the midst of their broken, messy life. People, we may look pretty on the outside, but we are all broken. We are all in desperate need of a Savior. Every single day. Jesus, thank you for loving us. Jesus, this is all for you!

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