Setbacks as Opportunities
My doctor smiled as she entered the examination room and delivered the news I hoped to hear: “You’re good to go!”
It had been two years since I learned that I had breast cancer, two years since I had had a mastectomy. Now, two years later, a mammogram confirmed what I already believed: I was healthy.
To be sure, I was not the same person I had been before the diagnosis.
My body was different. A deep, rose-colored scar—the length of a tube of lipstick—ran across my chest. My surgeon didn’t hide her disappointment over the fact that it refused to fade—but I wasn’t bothered. The scar served as a reminder of a time when family and friends rallied around to offer support. Those who loved me and those I loved wanted me to survive and thrive. Beauty, strength, and worth are so much more than the superficial state of the body.
My outlook was different. The view from a hospital bed makes one realize that life is short. If you’re not satisfied with the direction of your life, with the state of your relationships, there is no better time to try to chart a new course. A challenge, a setback could be a disguised opportunity.
In December, the days are short and the nights seem much too long. In the Midwest, a chill settles in even the warmest of homes. Holiday preparation and finding the perfect gifts can be overwhelming.
But it is also a time of reflection and joy. The birth of Jesus marked a new beginning. And every Christmas, we are offered an opportunity to share in that joy. What better way to mark the occasion than by choosing to transform challenges and setbacks into opportunities for growth in faith.
In short, it’s time to be born anew.