Remember How Far You Have Come
Before undergoing chemo infusion twelve, my doctor shared what everyone hopes to hear: “The MRI confirmed the tumor is still shrinking.”
The results brought forth new options and new decisions: continue with treatment or take a break. At first, the choice seemed obvious: keep going.
As the chemo side effects began to set in in the days that followed, weariness began to outgrow the initial excitement. The burdens of the prior year began to weigh me down and a new reality came into focus: I was exhausted and a chemo break seemed like the perfect solution.
Once the idea was planted in my head, I couldn’t shake it. Then, this verse showed up in my daily bible reading:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.”Matthew 5:3 MSG
Reading the verse, a quote that hangs on the wall in my doctor’s office immediately came to mind:
“When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”Unknown
I was at the end of my rope–that was evident. As I continued to contemplate the next step, this felt like a clear nudge from God to keep going–one I wasn’t sure I wanted to listen to.
For the next several days, I prayerfully contemplated the decision. Unable to shake the feeling, I spent time reflecting on where I had been and how far I had come. The decision soon became abundantly clear: I needed to keep going.
Reflection as a Tool to Remember Where You’ve Been
On the verge of quitting something good, the practice of reflection saved me. The strength to press on grew within me as I reflected on where I had been and what I had made it through.
Had the year been challenging? Yes.
Did I want a break? Yes.
Did I want to risk losing the progress I had made? No.
Could I keep going? Yes.
Reflection can serve as a powerful tool when difficult decisions emerge.
+ What are you working toward?
+ Where were you a month ago, a year ago?
+ What have you already accomplished?
+ How have you grown and changed?
+ What is different from when you began this journey?
Reflection allows us to count the fruit of the weeks, months, and years past. Through reflection, progress in all its forms becomes apparent. Whether progress is physical–improved mobility or healing–or mental/emotional–peace with a diagnosis or acceptance of a new normal–every bit of progress counts.
A practice of reflection helps me acknowledge the strength it took to get where I am as well realize the goodness in front of me. It reminds me of how far I have come and what I risk losing if I give up when the going gets tough.
“There is much to be gained by getting through the hard things in life.”MaryBeth Eiler, Growth in Unexpected Places
Each time I feel the desire to give up on something in life–whether it be related to a hobby, professional aspiration, or my health–I create space to pause and reflect. When we give ourselves space for reflection, progress becomes evident. If progress isn’t readily apparent to you, ask a trusted friend or family member to share their perspective. Often, it is easier to see the progress made by others rather than ourselves.
Don’t forget to remember how far you have come. Abundance could be waiting for you there.