Thursday, December 3, 2009
Yesterday I told you a little bit about Anna. There's more.
During her chapel address to over 2,000 Wheaton College students (now there's enough to make your knees knock together!!), Anna noted two changes in her outlook on life now that she's had cancer for over seven years.
First, she said that her entire view of living each moment of each day has changed. She now knows that relationships are the most important aspects to life. Not that doing what needs to be done every day isn't important--those papers must get written!--but her relationships with friends and family are what bring her true joy.
Second, Anna has come to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. She noted how during one long hospital stay she thought that Panera soup was just about the best thing on earth. Nothing could compare to it in Anna's eyes.
The simple things.
As I write these important lessons that Anna has learned--that I need to learn--I think about the season we're in right now, the season of Advent. The season that reminds us that God is with us, Immanuel. And I think, now, why am I worried about what gift to buy for that teacher? Why do I spend time on the mundane things of every day when I should be focused on the fact that there's so much more to this life?
Anna has caught a vision for what a life truly lived looks like. She sees her purpose as being here to help kids who have cancer. Not only is she getting a master's degree in clinical psychology so that she can counsel kids with cancer, she's also started a nonprofit organization to help further Neuroblastoma research.
You can read more about Anna's story and her foundation, Anna's Hope, by clicking here. You can even hear her chapel address by clicking on that same link. If you want to contribute to Anna's Hope, click here. If you contribute $25, you'll even receive a cool necklace like the one in the picture above.
Finally, what I really want to focus on during this Christmas season are the words Anna used to close her time in chapel. She said, "God is with me. Right now."