One day Ruth, the Moabite foreigner, said to Naomi, “I’m going to work; I’m going out to glean among the sheaves, following after some harvester who will treat me kindly.” Naomi said, “Go ahead, dear daughter.” (Ruth 2:2)

Cancer is certainly the challenge of my life so far.  Early on in my diagnosis and treatment I decided one thing.  I wasn’t going to live like I was dying.  I wanted to live and I wanted to go about life as usual as possible.  I needed to do this for my kids too.  I decided I wasn’t going to write them letters as if I was dying.  Instead….if per chance I did die of cancer….I decided I would live in such a way that they would always remember their mother in high regards.  So I set out on this cancer journey determined that I would live a life of dignity and honor.  That if something did happen to me they would always have a great respect for their mother for making tough choices and fully living until I couldn’t any longer.  I just wanted that for my kids.

I want to hope I have achieved that at this point in the journey.  I have decided that this is how I need to live from here on out.  It looks pretty good for me now in terms of the cancer.  I can honestly say I think I will get to see my kids graduate and get married.  What a great feeling! But now I have the chance to extend this challenge of living in such a way that they will find respect in how I have lived for years to come.

Sometimes it’s really hard to make tough choices.  We’d rather take the easy way out.  My husband emulated dignity and honor shortly after he graduated from college and had a wife and young baby and was having difficulty landing a job.  For about a month Jeremy served up hamburgers at McDonald’s while he waited for the green light in a management position.  My brother-n-law who is now a vice-president at a major packaging business was also a morning manager at Hardee’s to pay his way through college.

Sometimes I want to just lay in bed and not accept that I have to get up and get Charis ready for school.  There are some days I started attempting the morning routine and then had to call for help.  Along the journey I have at times questioned if I should really do the treatment.  I would have much rather skipped this radiation and taken my chances.  But the truth is….there are three little ones who are looking to me to make the tough choices.

Dignity in the dictionary says this: the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed

When Naomi and Ruth showed up in Judah they had no money, food or family.  To survive, Ruth had to go and pick stray wheat from behind the harvesters.  She got the leftovers so they could eat.  Boaz found favor in her and eventually ended up marrying her.  Was it her beauty or her dignity that appealed to him.  

Cancer is quite a journey.  We often loose our hair, our breasts, and we are more often tired. But even in our tiredness we can fully live.  Do your best, make tough choices…..that is true beauty….that is living with dignity and honor.

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2 thoughts on “Dignity

  1. Karin says:

    Wait – are you a Pastor or something? 🙂 You sure can preach! Thanks for the good word today. -Karin

  2. Kim says:

    When I picture dignity in my mind, I see you, Jen.
    I love you,
    Kim (MIL)

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