It was my fault. I quickly turned on my right blinker to turn on the next exit to make a loop to go back on the highway since I missed the exit for Willard rd for church. We were already behind and service started a minute and a half ago. As we rolled into the parking lot, I thanked the Lord because a parking spot closer to Kid Builders opened up, and I quickly zoomed between the parallel lines.

Like a rehearsed dance, Kevin got out of the car and grabbed Shiloh from the back, and I slid the pink flamingo purse on my shoulder and snatched up the diaper bag. Beep beep. The car was locked, and we tried to make it quickly to check Shiloh in. On the way I heard my name called and our friends from small group were also waltzing to the late orchestra. We held doors open for each other as we carried and herded our offspring to kid’s church.

As I was walking past the greeter she remarked, “Nice haircut”. Sliding into the church I smiled and answered that I had cancer and it was growing out. The woman smiled back and said my hair looked great. It wasn’t until after trying to sign Shiloh into the nursery (which was unsuccessful because they were full) that it really hit me how much I needed that encouragement.

Just two days before as I was sitting in my oncologist’s office waiting for an appointment time to address my joint pain from chemotherapy, a woman softly placed her hand on my shoulder and said, “I just wanted to tell you you’re really pretty”. I still had the gauze taped onto my chest from my Mediport being flushed at the infusion center and smelled like alcohol wipes, but I thanked her with a smile. I needed that too.

Last week, a parent emailed me via my cancer survivor website and gave me encouraging words. She said how much I’ve positively impacted her daughter. Her daughter, my student, saw me in pain in the fall before surgery, come to school in pain, and come back to work seven months later even stronger though my body was chemoridden. I needed this the most.

Sometimes what keeps us going is the kindness of others. All three of these women were people who have never met me, and yet they spoke life into me this past week. If they didn’t dare to go out of their comfort zone and speak what they were thinking, I wouldn’t be as encouraged to push forward.

Thank you ladies.

I aspire to love others the way you’ve loved me, even in a moment. I want to have the boldness to speak life into people, strangers, and get out of my comfort zone because a moment’s encouragement can lead to a lifetime of strength.

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