Parent and child's hands shown holding each other with the sky in the background

My Reason and Purpose

When I was first diagnosed in 2012, I slipped into a deep depression. I tried the thought of silver linings, such as no more dentist visits and no more unending work. I would love to say that the depression goes away, but in truth, that depression comes and goes. Some days I feel on top of the world. Other days, I feel robbed of a future that I worked my entire life for.

The first in my family to graduate college

When I was in school, I got one C. I'll never forget that it was in fourth grade science. From then on, I made sure that throughout my elementary, middle, high school, and college years, I never got another. I graduated near the top of my class in both high school and college. Determined to make a great future for myself, I was going to be the first person in my family to not only graduate college but to graduate cum laude and faculty scholar.

Becoming a mother

I began dating my daughter's father in 2003, a year after college graduation. My daughter was conceived in 2004 and I was still young at 24. None of my friends were having children and very few were even getting married. At the time, I wasn't against abortion, but I loved this child already. I asked her father if he wanted to be a part of our lives. At the time I had a well paying job and was prepared to raise this child on my own.

Unlike so many deadbeat fathers out there, he agreed to stay with us. We moved in together with hardly anything and began to make a life for ourselves and our impending family. The thought of becoming a mother was both exhilarating and terrifying. I was ready to take on the responsibility.

I was fearless until the time came.

Finding my way as a single parent

When my daughter was born, I was 25 but still felt I hadn't done enough, traveled enough, lived enough. It is a huge change from being totally independent to literally having someone's life in your hands.

Ultimately our relationship didn't work. We knew each other from high school and always were better off as friends. As a couple, we butted heads. As co-parents, we work as a team. And it shows through our daughter's empathy and love for everyone.

It was all part of God's plan

So, how does this tie into my purpose or reason for my life to go the way it did? Some people don't like the saying, "It was God's plan". But to me, it is perfect.

Since I was only 33 when diagnosed and always wanted more children, I felt devastated. Although it had been a tough road having a child at that age in our generation, I wouldn't change it for the world.

She also became a witness to how great our God is. It's been 6.5 years and she just started high school. She was saved by her own choice at the age of 8. This was completely her choice. I could hear her praying nightly and it made my heart swell. How could a child so young have such complete faith?

A series of the most perfect accidents

I was able to quit my intensely stressful job and get on disability. Did it make me wealthy? Not in the least. I even filed for bankruptcy. But I also got to be there for every part of my daughter's life and coming of age. I've been here through the ups and downs. And I was able to witness give her life to God.

Had I not had her when I did, it is very possible I would have never had children. It was like a domino effect. A series of unfortunate events that turned out to be the most perfect series of accidents that I would not take back in a minute. I may not be wealthy, but we make it and we're happy. Cancer taught us both to appreciate this wonderful life because it can all be taken away in a second.

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