As I sat bouncing my 1 year-old youngest son in the doctor’s office, I expected another fairly routine checkup. He was my high-risk pregnancy miracle baby boy. I discovered I was pregnant just weeks after my final intense round of chemotherapy had ended. My oncologist was so disturbed by the situation he told me that it would be best in the interest of my health to terminate the pregnancy. Our healthy baby boy that doctors told me would not survive the first trimester in the womb is now a healthy, very active boy with mild to moderate bilateral hearing-loss. He is a miracle. I expected his pediatrician to echo this very thought to me as he had done previously on countless occasions. But this visit would be focused on my life.
As the pediatrician entered the room, he was holding papers close to his chest. Papers were never a good sign with my medical past. I was a survivor. After entering this world with abstract vision-loss, severe hearing-loss, a small right arm and then the added flare of chemo, radiation, a pacemaker, blood tests, CT scans and who knows what else – I despise test results given in-person. It pretty much means bad news. I braced myself and my son for what I was about to hear.
“Well Mrs. Boring, you are indeed a miracle now aren’t you?” he questioned.
I agreed hesitantly, silently expecting him to address my cancer remission.
But he responded, “I have here the results of your son’s blood test and genetic scan. Because of your history, we did look into your files you provided too just to get a better understanding of your health history. Do you know how unique you are? Most people with the blend of disabilities you possess have severe mental issues, speech impairments and require home health aides. You are in such a remarkable and unique position to know what it is like to overcome challenges yet live an independent full life.”
I never thought of what a “unique position” I was in. I was a survivor dealing with various disabilities yet not enough hardship to be legally identified as disabled. I was in a constant identity crisis. I never really fit-in anywhere.
That day I heard Abba as He sang a verse over me that I had dreaded most of my life – His promise that I found so hard to accept personally:
Bethany, I know the plans I have for you… They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
And for the first time in my life, I actually understood that promise to be true in my own life. It is true in your life too my friend.
Who knew my experiences could relate to such a wide range of people? God did.
Who knew that my words could stretch to the abled and disabled, the weak and the strong, the rich and poor and the hurting and those wearing masks? God did.
As a survivor, I knew I wanted more out of life, but I had no clue how to find it. Now I realize that God never created survivors. Our God creates thrivers.
Survivors believe they can make it through life, barely, on their own.
Thrivers find a fullness of life through an identity built on being His child.
Survivors find it impossible to be loved completely just as they are.
Thrivers spread the unexplainable unending love of their Abba by the way they live their lives, fueled by experiencing His presence continually active in their lives.
Survivors define their identity on the obstacles they have overcome.
Thrivers define their identity on their relationship with God.
Survivors are consumed by events of their past.
Thrivers feel confident in their life defined by His purpose.
What do you believe God created your life to look like? Would God form us with His touch for us to simply survive through this gift of life? There must be more. I believe God created us to thrive.
Let’s do this together.
Bethany Boring is an ICF trained professional Christian Life Coach, inspirational speaker, mentor to women and a Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies Small Group Leader. Bethany defines herself as a child of God who loves to use her passion for change to inspire others. She has overcome disabilities, wading through the trials and rewards of marriage and motherhood. She enjoys being a wife to Steve for 10 years and mother to three boys (ages 7, 4 and 2). She is a double brain cancer survivor, a 9 year veteran in the field of youth and children’s ministry and has published poetry, featured blog posts for numerous ministry websites and children’s ministry curriculum contributions. Bethany is currently working on her first book to be released this fall as well as various freelancing projects. Connect with Bethany on her blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.
This is the 23rd post in Testimony Tuesday: Women who inspire. Click HERE to read all of the other posts in this series. Now it’s your turn to link up your story of how God is working in your life. ________________________________________________________________________________________
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