Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Been a Year

Tomorrow will be an anniversary of sorts, it was one year ago that I began this blog. I was in the midst of my cancer diagnosis and my DIL suggested I start a journal to record my thoughts, she meant paper and pencil...blogging never crossed her mind, but that was the first thing I considered

Now if you knew me, you would know I am NOT the blogging type. I am not a writer, not really computer savvy, and not one who would be willing to have emotions out for display. In fact I was a closet blogger for several months, only giving out the link to a few trusted friends and family. I would visit other blogs but would never comment because I did not want to be found.

From the beginning of my diagnosis I believed God wanted to do something in my heart. I was influenced by the article written by John Piper  "Don't Waste Your Cancer" Wouldn't it be a terrible waste if I came out of this unchanged. Might I add, whatever trial God is using in your life, don't waste it, see it as an opportunity for God to grow you spiritually. Let him mold you and shape you according to his purposes. (note to self, remember what you just said)

Cancer put me face to face with my own mortality, again would I let him use this as an opportunity to change me. After some prayer I believed the Lord was leading me to be more transparent, more honest about what was going on in my heart. My blog was a great vehicle for that, but I knew it had to go further, it also had to include the people God had put in my day to day life....people that could ask me the hard questions.

I considered stopping the blog last spring, I didn't want a breast cancer blog anymore, but I was encouraged by several people to continue. Just so there is no misunderstanding, I  have blogs I follow of those that have battled cancer, I just knew if I was to continue this blog my direction needed to be different. So I tweaked the title a little, changed the focus and carried on. I also started commenting on different blogs and to my amazement got comments back. There was a whole community out there.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has encouraged and supported me in this endeavour. I remember when I pushed publish for the first time...my thoughts...what are you doing??!!

 A special thank you to my fellow bloggers, your support, encouragement and prayers have been overwhelming. There have been times when I may have had a particularly hard day and a comment would just bring me to tears. People I don't even know caring enough to encourage. Such is the body of Christ.

Yet, O Lord, you are our Father, we are the clay you are the potter; we are the work of your hand  Isaiah 64:8


Janette@Janette's Sage said...

The name of your blog is why I came and continued to come back. I haven't walked through cancer, but I have goe through great loss and I love the saying for John Piper...don't waste it. "It is Well with My Soul" is my battle cry.

You have blessed me through your walk and your words...they have spoken to my heart...so you have not wasted it at all.

Thanks for blogging..what a joy to get to know you and thanks for your encouragement on my blog

Today I meet a blog follower...the first one ever, and what a blessing to see the Body of Christ in real life...God uses this blog world to encourage and strengthen us all

Congrads on one year!!

Trisha said...

Happy One Year, Maryann! I'm so glad God brought us together. I have learned much from you, and I thank God for you. Love and hugs!!

Miriam Matson said...

I love your blog, Maryann! Even though I've never had cancer, it always helps me in other ways. God isn't limited. He's so resourceful to use one who is going through cancer to help someone else in the body who is going through something completely different. It is such a blessing to see you opening up your heart to be used of Jesus.

camp and cottage living said...

I didn't know your story until now.
I am so thankful you are well now and I can only imagine how God has been able to use you through your cancer story.
I know I have been blessed by your many post. Happy Anniversary!

Debbie said...

Having walked the same road I am very familiar with most of these feelings. I have always been more the wear your feelings out there for all to see, but all of that made me so nervous. I guess so afraid someone would think I was weak, and that might mean somehow He wasn't sufficient. And yet it was one of the main things I came away with from my journey. Just how true it is that He carries us when we can't walk anymore. He is strong, and we ARE weak. I am so glad to be getting to know you, and have been blessed by your words. Yes, I couldn't agree more...blogging is a wonderful world. Congrats on a year! HUGS

Petra said...

I haven't followed you for long, but allow me to praise God with you! Happy One Year of God's mercy and grace and love!! Thank you for being an inspiration! Blessings!

Sandy said...

I haven't read your blog for
very long but I have come to
enjoy it so much. I, like
Janette, loved the title of
it and it made me want to
read it more. I congratulate
you on your first year of
blogging and hope you will
continue as you are such a
Love & Prayers,

Farm Girl said...

So glad you kept on blogging. Yes, I was just like you and more than once I would ask myself, if God was in it.
It is nice to know you wondered that too. I think the Lord taught me about transparency too. I am glad that it has been a year and you have come out on the other side. WE can only praise God for the great things he continues to do.
I enjoy reading your thoughts because they are so deep. They make me look inside myself too.
You are a blessing too and I am so thankful you left a comment so I could come and visit you. My life is better for it.

Elayne said...

Beautiful post MaryAnn and "ditto" on how much your comments mean to the rest of us.

Debbie said...

I'm so happy to be able to share in your mile marker with you. Like you, I hid myself for a long time before opening up to the world.

All praise to HIM for bringing you here.

Because I'm dealing with some "stuff", I was particularly challenged by the part about "Don't waste your cancer."

May you have many, many more mile markers on this crazy road we call Life.

no spring chicken said...

I for one am glad that you pushed publish that first time... As for the community out there, isn't it wonderful? I've said it before myself, who knew?

I'm praying with you Maryann and if blogging provided nothing else besides extra prayer warriors, it would be worth it. Amazing thing is, it provides friends... and I for one can never have enough!

Blessings, Debbie

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

One of the best things I love about blogging is being able to look back over the past four years' worth of posts and tracing the faithfulness of God in my life. I'm careful to print out each one and keep them in 3 ring binders. Just now starting my 4 binder. You're right--there's a whole other "church" out there, a congregation of sorts, sitting at the end of our fingertips. I'm glad to be a part of this community.

Thanks for sitting in the pew with me, sister-warrior-survivor!


Camille said...

What a beautiful journey you have shared here Maryann! It's been a blessing to get to know you a little here in the blogging world...it's amazing how this *community* of lovely ladies can be soooo encouraging! And yes, a place where we can meet with others of like-precious faith and point one another to the LORD along the way. :)

May HE continue to encourage your heart as you share in this way the things HE is teaching you.

Many blessings,

NanaNor's said...

Hi MaryAnn, Loved reading about your journey to blogging due to your cancer. I've been blogging over two years now and I've gotten to know the most amazing folks-mostly women who love the Lord and are great encouragers. I've never walked through having cancer but I walked through my sister's cancer-Ovarian, which she lost six years ago. You have much to share with us and I look forward to getting to know you more.
Hugs, Noreen