When the deck is stacked against you

LIFE IS A JOURNEY, DEATH A destination! I choose to enjoy every moment of my journey, my life. It does not matter the state that in which I find myself.

Today, like every day, I am so very blessed. It makes more sense to me to look at how abundant is my bounty, rather
than how bare the cupboard.

After having two surgeries in seven days, getting a horrible infection, unbelievable sweating, vomiting, and a frightening hair weave experience, it was time to find a sense of calm.

After being told cancer was found in my right breast, no matter how large or small, the word cancer is all you hear. I responded by saying, “this is the one thing I told God I did not want, cancer!” Suddenly I am reminded that He never said it would not happen.

At that moment I know God has given me another opportunity to testify to His power of healing, grace and mercy, another part of my journey, my purpose. Looking back at how many times the deck has been stacked against me I reflect on how the

hand was played that was dealt to me. I fought my way back one step, one hour, one day, one prayer at time.

This time I look in the mirror and I see the weave standing like tall grass in an un- kept yard. I call a beautician to work her magic, no luck, I buy products to do my own hair, no luck, I cannot do it myself

because of the surgeries. Deciding to be pro-active against “cancer,” I thought it best to get rid of every woman’s fear, what her hair look like. I look at myself and see a beautiful, tall, strong, prayerful and determined woman, Me.

Thank God for hair clippers and a razor. I shave my head, put on my pearl earrings and necklace, breathing sigh of relief. My hair does not define me, at least not today, it is in the trash can. Now I can truly focus on what really matters, my healing, resting, and taking the best care of myself that I can. People, some of you may think this a drastic move, but it is what is best for me. This is my storm and I will weather it the way God, my doctors and I think best. I know not the end of the story, but I do know that I am prayed up and prepared to continue this journey called life.

It is important that we walk in wisdom, to sur- round yourself with posi- tive people with positive thinking. I have been well trained to handle the trials, struggles, losses, and dis- appointments of this jour- ney. It is an honor to know that the best and prepared are always put in the game first, called on to make the winning shot, chosen for special teams to represent

their country, school, orga- nization, political party, or church.

I am excited to know that I am a soldier in the Army of God, chosen to be on His special team, al- ways put on the front line, because I know He will not put more on me than I can bear. I am a proud soldier that will wear every diag- nosis or scar as a badge of honor. For it is an bless- ing to be not only called but chosen. Take care my friends, and play well the hand you are dealt, when the deck appears to be stacked against you!

by Joyce Turner Keller