I was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma on Tuesday, August 30, 2016. As you can imagine, this is scary and upsetting news and is a threshhold into a new land that no one goes to willingly. However, it is where I find myself now and has drawn me into much reflection and prayer. This new land offers a strange paradox: everything's changed and nothing's changed. My sense of my own mortality is much more real, but it's always been before me. It has required more honesty in the past in order to face it, whereas now it is thrust into my face. I am much more attracted to, compelled even to live in the moment and for today, since tomorrow's not guaranteed. But that's exactly what I've been called to do by many spiritual and wise sages for many years prior to my diagnosis. It's really all any of us have. It's probably too early to be thankful for this illness-there is surely much pain and difficulty ahead- but the fact is that barely a week into my diagnosis and it has brought a crystalline view of the preciousness of life that I rarely possess. I've been up and down over the last couple weeks, initially feeling numb and that deer-in-the-headlights feeling Sometimes I'm feeling somewhat peaceful, other times fear and anxiety creep in or I just feel overwhelmed. Today I have felt a deep sense of peace and groundedness in God, and I am so thankful. I think this is due in no small part to all the prayers and supportive messages, stories and words of encouragement I have received already, from family and friends, including many from the churches where I work (including TWO hand written letters -who does that anymore!). I have been blessed by their messages and care.