Former North Carolina State Women’s Basketball Coach, Kay Yow, who passed away on January 24, 2009 after a courageous battle with breast cancer once said, “I felt like I had zero control over getting cancer, but I have 100% control of how I will respond to getting cancer.” She then said something that was absolutely inspiring: “When life kicks you, let it kick you forward!”
These words became even more magnificent to me this morning after running with my dear friend, and breast-cancer survivor, Mary Scott. Today, January 23, 2014, marked the two-year anniversary of her last radiation treatment. We ran five miles at 5:30 am before she put on her US Army fatigues and combat boots and drove to her National Guard post in Raleigh. It was 14 degrees. Mary has run every day since Thanksgiving, including a day that she had a surgical procedure to remove a suspicious lump that, thankfully, turned out to be benign. That is fifty-seven days straight totaling 200.5 miles.
In Mary’s determination and perseverance, I can hear the voice of Kay Yow: “When life kicks you, let it kick you forward!”
Old Testament professor, Walter Brueggemann, once put it this way, “In life, we can never go back to the ‘good-old days,’ but with faith in Christ we can go forward with God into ‘good-new days.’” The Apostle Paul said it like this: “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God.”
Five years ago, Kay Yow died. However, the way she courageously lived out her life, and the way people like Mary Scott continue to press forward today, rekindles a great hope within our souls. A hope burns eternally, as we begin to know that we can and will always go forward, even when our very life is one day kicked out of us.
As I think about running with Mary, I am reminded of something Bernice Chambers once said about cancer:
Cancer is so limited.
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
t cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.
It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection. Amen.
When life kicks you, let it kick you forward.” With faith in the God who makes all things new, it might be easier than you think.