Sunday, April 6, 2014

I Am Grateful

"You have 9 months to live" is pretty scary, especially when you pass that 9 month allotment and realize that as smart as your doctors may be, it will ALWAYS come down to God's will and you have to start planning for your life!
And for those of you who are wondering:
All my life I have wanted pretty consistent ideas for my future.
I wanted to be a Sports Medicine Physical Therapist, then I wanted to be a Neurologist. Then I got diagnosed with cancer and I don't want to do that at all anymore! I don't want to feel empathy for others in this situation, (as awful as that sounds). I never want to see ANYBODY experiencing what I have. So I've thought about it lots lately, and think I have decided to become: a motivational speaker. I love talking to people and I am comfortable with who I am and how I have handled my situation- people find it fascinating. So that is my current goal!

My church does this cool thing twice a year- where all of the head leaders of the church stand up and not only give us direction, but bear their strong and powerful testimonies. It's amazing. Very spiritual.
This year I had the opportunity to bear my testimony through song at that meeting. I sang in the choir and it was incredible. I will post pictures. And a link.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng


I have a story for you;
When Jordyn and I were little, we used to play on the swing set in the back yard a lot. One day, Jordyn was on the yellow swinging bar trapped by her own two hands. Needless to say, Diane got an amazing picture of her, wedgie and all.
(That story will resurface)

My favorite speaker in general conference (President Uchtdorf), talked about being grateful. I love and agree with his words completely.

They gave me 9 months to live, but guess what? I'm almost to 20. And like President Uchtdorf said, I may not be at peace with God's will, but I have learned to accept it. I know that whatever my Heavenly Father has in store for me, is the most effective way for me to learn and grow eternally.
I am not saying that I'm giving up! There will be a fight before I do that! But I am saying I am finally allowing myself to struggle.
And just like Jordyn-helpless and alone on the swing set, I feel alone too sometimes. And I have realized that just like it was her own hands trapping her from happiness, sometimes it metaphorically is my hands trapping myself. With God, I realize that my hands don't have to be white-knuckling the yellow bar. Because my God allows me to be grateful. He will always be the ground right underneath my feet to stabilize me. Just like the ground, only inches beneath Jordyn.

Moving on.

Right now my friend Jane and I are trying to start our very own clothing company called   Mindless.  We will donates some proceeds to the cureSearch foundation which donates 100% of proceeds to cancer families. It is mostly centered around the brain and I bet you can guess why!

We are doing an Easter egg hunt and are really excited to hopefully start going somewhere with it!
Contact me with any registration or donation questions! rachelelysestratton@gmail.com

I am going to have an MRI soon, but I haven't told anybody besides my family because the stress scares me! I don't want any questions about it! I have chosen to keep it a secret so as not to stress me out any more. I am more excited for this time though (as opposed to every other time), because I finally got them to sedate me so I'm not on my back on the hard table, stuck in a tube for 4 hours- AWAKE. Which is literally how long it takes.

I'm so grateful that even though what I am going through is hard and miserable, that I can find things to be happy about, to laugh over, and to appreciate.

I'll be updating real soon!
I can do hard things!
Rachel
Oh and I died and cut my hair, have I mentioned that yet!?


A snapchat I received!

Look it's me!

Selfie in the Conference Center!

Congrats Miss Cassidy Mella

All aboard the Carson Express! (friend from St. Jude with brain tumor)

Me and my friend Mariane!

Me and my friend Charmaine! 

I am thankful for all of my friends and for my family and for my religion. I am grateful for my body and my knowledge. I am grateful that despite everything I have been through, I can feel grateful.

9 comments:

  1. Rachel, you are so inspiring. Your faith, strength, and courage inspire me every time I read your posts. I think you would make the best motivational speaker. Thanks so much for posting...prayers from Maryland.

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  2. you are so dang cute. I love you so much! thank you for sharing!

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  3. love the analogy between your sister's swingset dilemna and what you are going through. Let go and let God! Still praying for you in Texas.

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  4. is that your hair????? Amazing!!!!! You should tour the country :-)

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  5. I started reading you blog back in 2012 when Mindy from CGH put a link for it. I think that is amazing that you have shared this journey with the world, through the highs and lows you have always stood strong, in your faith and all the while encouraged me and other to do the same. It still amazes me that in the lowest and weakest time God is the realest to His children and I have definitely seen this through your posts. I thank you for being so open and being real about you faith it is a beautiful thing. You would make a great motivation speaker. Prayers & love from Aus

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  6. I think your hair looks cute. And I totally saw you in the choir at conference. I jumped up and pointed you out to my husband. I said: "look there is my friend Rachel". Then I had to explain that I haven't actually met you, but I feel like we are friends because of your blog. Thank you for sharing your testimony with all of us.

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  7. Love this. Love you. Love Mindless, too.

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  8. Rachel-you have a beautiful light! A light such as yours can only come from a Christ centered heart filled with love. You are in our thoughts and prayers, and we look forward to seeing you when we get home. Love and prayers from Korea

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