October ushers in all the things I love- the cooler air, the colors of fall, and most of all anything and everything pumpkin! It also ushers in Breast Cancer Awareness month. I love to see all the pink and have friends and family who send me pictures of them toting new pink shirts, ribbons, jewelry, or special pink manicures for the month. October is a reflective time for me as I think back to my own battle with breast cancer and all of the gifts that it brought into my life. In the middle of my journey it certainly didn't feel like a gift or that anything good could come from it. It was immensely terrifying to receive the initial diagnosis and it felt like my body had failed me in some way or I had failed my body. I faced a long arduous year filled with numerous surgeries followed by down times as I recovered. However, it was ultimately the catalyst for completing the adoption of our daughter and taught me experientially the concept of survivor-ship and what it means to really be present and live in each moment.
I relive glimpses of my own personal miracle time and time again in my office. My journey of survivorship mirrors many of my clients. Most people enter counseling immensely terrified and deeply wounded. Something in their life is not working; something or someone has failed them in some way. Their journeys of healing and recovery are long arduous journeys that are not easy. Often requiring painful processes of excavation, followed by periods of introspection and self care. However, as I watch them engage in their own journeys of healing I see them eventually shift into survivors. The initial shock and pain are gone replaced with healthier coping skills. I watch them dive into deeper relationships with God as He performs their own personal miracles. They slowly surround themselves with safe, healthy people who will love them and support their journeys of healing and recovery. In essence, I have the privilege of watching them learn how to really live, how to be alive and present in each moment of every day. What a gift it is to be part of their journey into survivor-ship.