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Today marks my 4th year of cancer free-ness!! In 2009, I received the most unexpected news. My husband and I were living as missionaries in El Salvador and my days were filled mothering two small children. Then one day, I found out that I had an aggressive form of cancer. Many life lessons presented themselves throughout the process of healing. I wish to take a moment to reflect on some of these lessons and share them with with you. I don’t know why cancer happened and perhaps I will truly never know. Truthfully, allowing the mystery to remain a mystery has been one of the hardest things for me to accept. And perhaps this is one of the most intriguing elements of life and faith; trusting each step without fully knowing where we will end up. Please share a powerful life lesson you have had in the comments and spread the lesson love.

1. Search for a self-worth that goes beyond what the world reflects back at you.

2. This search requires help. Alone is too hard. “The secret to the life of a tree is that it remains rooted in something deeper than itself.” Brother Lawrence

3. Choose friends that are life giving. Not life draining. No one else is in charge of choosing your friends but you.

4. Learn to say no. Practice it out loud if necessary and learn your own boundaries. If someone will not accept your “no” then question their motivations.

5. Become your first priority in a health crisis. This is not selfish. It is self care.

6. Find an outlet and take time to play. Perhaps it is a talk outlet? Exercise outlet? Or Create outlet? This time is essential as “work”.

7. Everyday pick 2 ordinary things to be thankful for. Say them out loud or to a friend.

8. Shout out an I LOVE YOU at least 2x a day to the ones you love. Fully express it. Don’t wait, there may not be another chance to do it.

9. Gratitude and hope change everything. It transformed my perception of the challenges in my life from negativity to opportunity.

10. Happiness is a choice. Internalize words that affirm and not ones that destroy.