one foot in front of the other...

It's been three months since I have been diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. A journey I never thought I would be on but here I am. Searching, longing, desiring that "new" normal. I received a card in the mail last week that defined HOPE. "It's that beautiful place between the way things were and the way things are yet to be." Way to go, Hallmark. You put words to the way I feel each day. I'm in the middle. We all are. The dash in between the day we were born and the day we die. The battle. The time that we prepare, we trust, we stumble, we love, we cry, we laugh, we doubt, we live. The middle. One of my favorite musicians, Ellie Holcomb, sang about it so well in her song, Find You Here.
July 28, 2016 was my last day of work at a church that was my place of employment for 20 years. I sensed it was time for something new. I dreamed of starting a non-profit and use my story for others as they battle through their own story. I wanted to speak and write. I had no idea what that would look like, I still don't, but I knew I had to put one foot in front of the other and take the first step. The very first day of "retirement" , I sat on my deck and googled, "How Do I Start A Non-Profit." I spent the next few months applying for disability (a full time job in itself), meeting with friends who were wise with 501C3's start ups and listening to God. A lot. I had been approved for disability and enrolled in medicaid, as I waited and trusted until my first source of income came five months later. I was amazed how the whole process was relatively painless and so thrilled that my ministry did not have to support me financially. It Takes Hope (www.ittakeshope.org) was born.

sneak peek with the team at It Takes Hope  (photo credit: studio 6.23)

sneak peek with the team at It Takes Hope
 (photo credit: studio 6.23)

God is so faithful even when it feels like you are just treading water.
I joke that I didn't realize I quit work for a full time job in cancer. But God knew. The timing of it all has been amazing. Don't get me wrong, I hate that I have cancer. It makes me so disappointed that my future is unknown. But it was with FA. What's critical is what I do in the middle. How I fight this battle. Oddly, that's the fun part.
"It's that beautiful place between the way things were and the way things are yet to be."
HOPE.
We all need it.
One step at a time.

Holly LeBlanc