I often think I am living in the shadow of what might have been or that I am the living shadow of what I might have been had my mom not died from cancer. When I was walking in the race for the cure this past Saturday, almost everyone had a sign on his back saying either I race in memory of or I race in celebration of. Multiple times throughout the race, I thought what if mine said celebration rather than memory. Frankly, I was feeling really down about it and missing my mom. I love doing the race every year and twice this year, but it is very emotional. It is like being in a swimming pool of the hardest thing that has ever happened to me. When you swim, the water is all around you and no matter what you do you get wet. At the race, breast cancer is all around you and it is a weird mix of joy and sorrow. Life and loss.
As I walked, I was talking to God about how it would have been "better" to have my mom. I would be more of myself had she not died. I wouldn't have this black whole of ache for the rest of my life. And during the race, I began to feel a peace that only the Lord can bring. My heart was reminded of his truths. I believe that somehow in God's economy it is best for my sign to say 'in memory' rather than celebration. I know and those of you who know me know that I have been greatly blessed in my life, spiritual growth, understanding of the Lord, longing for heaven by the death of my mom.
As we "raced", the kids kept saying that they wanted to win. We kept telling them that everyone was a winner in this race. It was all a great reminder for me that life isn't really about winning the race at all. It is about the race. And I am living in a shadow of what might have been not if my mom hadn't died, but if sin hadn't entered the world. I am a shadow of the Melanie I will be one day, when I finish the race and win the prize of eternity with my Savior. I know that Melanie will raise her hands high in worship without fear and dance with complete joy. So, for now I will continue my race for Home with my eyes fixed on the one who will remove all of the shadows.