Is This Year Productive?

It has been about 4 months since I was diagnosed with breast cancer and the summer is almost over.   I feel like the time flies faster and faster recently, but  I wonder if I am growing this year:   Or is this another bad year being disturbed by cancer?  I asked George how he evaluates if his time was productive or not.  He answered that he evaluates himself twice a year on his birthday in Aug. and the end of a year, with his journal, based on the values that God wants us to have.  So, I did the same picking out several values as rulers to measure my growth.


#1.  Gratefulness

Receiving plenty of  prayers and support from both the U.S. and Japan, almost every day I feel I am blessed.  If I can enjoy some ordinary food, that I used to eat all the time, that makes me so happy. Smiles from people I see makes me so happy.   Compared with the time before the cancer, when I felt my work was not valuable and I accumulated complaints, this is a great improvement!

#2.  Humility

I have heard from organ transplant patients saying, ” You volunteers are helping us so much that we don’t know how to pay you back.” Giving is difficult but so is receiving, too.   To receive unexpected grace, we have to become humble. When Jesus offered to wash disciple’s feet, Peter at first couldn’t take it.  For him the idea being washed by a great teacher sounded too much to receive.  Yet Jesus said, without washing his feet, Peter wouldn’t have any relationship with Jesus.  I don’t know how to return the favor I abundantly receive and that makes it difficult to receive.  But if  I don’t receive there is no relationship and if I receive with humility, the humility helps me  reduce criticism or complaints, increase gratitude and respect, and become a better listener and eventually a better servant.  God is working on me.  A half-step improvement.

#3 Love & compassion

Being loved first, I am aware that God wants me to take  my part to serve people;  to be compassionate, also.  He is feeding me with great love through this battle of cancer so I can be a better loving person.  It is not the time to visit people in needs but I can pray for them, and express my care in words.  When we “wash each other’s feet”, our relationship with people and God gets more intimate. That’s the result.   Another improvement.

#4 Integrity

When we try to do or seek right things in God’s eyes, sometimes they go against a trend of the majority, and then we often face criticism and  obstacles.  Even if not, being honest may bring painful consequences and it’s not always the first thing we want to do. Yet the discernment comes not from how we feel but from the Bible and it requires humility, obedience, and love.  I am struggling with this.  Need improvement.

#5 Forgiveness

For a long time I had a conflict with my mother.  The more I found the same deficit inside me, the bigger the conflict became and we had many fights. Yet this has become the past.  God has worked on both of us and I can be truly thankful for what she has done for me.  A big plus in growth.

Though I know there is a long way to go,  at least I see some improvement this year in my self-evaluation.  May God produce lots of fruits from this nasty cancer!  May God mold me and change into  a better person!

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