Be Not Afraid

31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 17 Putting Fear into Action

Despite my wonderful news last Thursday, and our incredible, grace-filled weekend, I’ve felt a feeling of sadness deep in my heart the past two days.  I couldn’t figure out why, until I snapped this picture of my dad and John Paul today, just ten minutes before I drove my parents to the airport so they could fly home.

How beautiful to look out my living room window and see this:
Grandpa and Baby in Yard

Although there were horrible things that came along with being diagnosed with cancer while pregnant and enduring five months of chemotherapy, there were beautiful things that came along with the diagnosis as well.  Don’t get me wrong, I think cancer itself is evil, but just like we can when faced with any evil in life, I’ve discovered that we can overcome the evil of cancer with goodness.   And that is exactly what I’ve seen my family and friends do since February.  From them, I have been taught how to combat sadness with happiness, tears with laughter, and despair with joy.   And through them, I have been shown how to ace tests that could tear us apart by pulling closer together, ace tests that could weaken our faith by delving deeper into our faith, ace tests that could leave us feeling unable to move forward by running forward in love, and ace tests that could leave us feeling scared and alone by reaching out in love.

This weekend, as we came together to celebrate John Paul’s baptism and my first clean PET scan, our very being together was an outward manifestation of our solidarity, and of our love for one another.  As we celebrated mass together in a tiny living room, we shared the love of Jesus Christ with one another, and without words, forgave one another for the times we’ve hurt one another, and thanked one another for the times we’ve carried one another.  And through the blessed body of Christ, we were strengthened to continue to love one another through whatever is yet to come.

Family celebrating mass together

Family celebrating mass in living room

Now, with all this beauty, “Why the sadness?,” you might ask?  I suppose that it’s really just fear, disguising itself as sadness.  As my parents, the last of visiting family and friends, left today, I felt fear in my heart.  Fear that now that things are beginning to return to normal (praise God!), we will return to our old ways.  Fear that relationships that blossomed due to forced vulnerability will close back up, fear that arms that reached out in need will return back to our sides, and fear that loving words that were expressed without hesitation will stop short in our throats once again.

So, this afternoon, as I watched my parents wave goodbye to John Paul and me at the airport, I decided to force my fear into action, just as I have been taught to do from family and friends these past few months.  In my mind, I began listing all the things I plan to do to try my best to make sure my family and friends and I stay as close as we’ve become over the past few months in our time of tragedy.  And my hope and prayer is that through these actions, our love for one another will continue to deepen and grow, both in times of sickness and in blessed times of health.

My prayer for you today is that you might overcome the evil and difficulties you face in your life with goodness, and that you might have the strength to keep that goodness alive in all times of your life.  Don’t wait for tragedy to bring you closer to your friends and family; rather, act now.  Starting today, make yourself vulnerable and reach out to those you love.  Pull closer to those you love and begin to deepen your faith, and when dark times come, you will be ready to carry those you need to carry, and be carried by them yourself.

Thank you for joining me on my 31 day challenge!

Previous days:

Day 1: Be Not Afraid
Day 2: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Day 3 Keeping a Faithful Heart in Light of Suffering
Day 4: Facing Fears with Laughter
Day 5: Listening to My Heart
Day 6: Daring to Love Myself in Order to Love Others
Day 7: Opening Up My Idea of a Remarkable Life
Day 8: Giving Voice to My Fears
Day 9: Being a Bearer of Joy
Day 10 & 11: Give Everything
Day 12: Switching My Focus
Day 13: Reaching Out
Day 14 & 15: Letting Go
Day 16: Giving Voice to My Dreams

And click here to read all the other wonderful blogs joining in on this challenge!

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15 comments

  1. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 18 Clear Eyes, Full Heart | Be Not Afraid

  2. Kristin

    Ali, so happy to hear that your last PET scan was clear! I know you and your family are forever changed by the last 9 months. I am forever changed by reading your courageous, humble, and loving thoughts. I almost laughed and then almost cried reading one of your last couple of blogs of your fear of an unremarkable life. It is abundantly clear to me that you use the wisdom God has given you with His power, and how can this not be anything but remarkable! Please know I have found peace, wisdom, and guidance from your blog, and even if I am the only one you have impacted (which I KNOW is not the case), I am grateful. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers and put my faith in God that you all are in His loving hands. Thank you for living, and facing your fears, with faith in God’s love.

    • Kristin!! Thank you so much for all you have done to support me and my family during these crazy months. I truly can’t express how much your love has meant to me. I am so humbled that my words have touched you, and by your kinds words. I am SO grateful that God has allowed me to touch you through this blog, and that you have shown me God’s love through your kindness.

      Thank you so much for your continued prayers, and please know of mine. I so hope that we can see each other sometime when we’re both home! Maybe Christmas?? That would be so wonderful. I’d love to introduce you to John Paul finally!!

  3. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 19 Strength, Wisdom, Courage, and Clarity | Be Not Afraid

  4. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 20-22 Facing the End of Things | Be Not Afraid

  5. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 23 Showing Delight in Others | Be Not Afraid

  6. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 24 Embracing the Dawn | Be Not Afraid

  7. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 25 Saying No and Letting Go of the Guilt | Be Not Afraid

  8. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 26 Find Love, then Give it All Away | Be Not Afraid

  9. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 27 Doing what I Have to Do | Be Not Afraid

  10. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 28 Snow in October | Be Not Afraid

  11. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 29 People Should Know | Be Not Afraid

  12. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 30 Finding Myself Surrounded in Beauty | Be Not Afraid

  13. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 31 Keeping Faith and Hope Alive | Be Not Afraid

  14. Pingback: Only Love (Thank You Video & Prayer Request) | Be Not Afraid

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