Everything feels as if it is painted in bright colors. I am seeing my world without the Instagrammed filter of breezy certainties and perfectible moments.


[…] Cancer has kicked down the walls of my life. I cannot be certain I will walk my son to his elementary school someday or subject his love interests to cheerful scrutiny. I struggle to buy books for academic projects I fear I can’t finish for a perfect job I may be unable to keep. I have surrendered my favorite manifestoes about having it all, managing work-life balance and maximizing my potential. I cannot help but remind my best friend that if my husband remarries everyone will need to simmer down on talking about how special I was in front of her. (And then I go on and on about how this is an impossible task given my many delightful qualities. Let’s list them. …) Cancer requires that I stumble around in the debris of dreams I thought I was entitled to and plans I didn’t realize I had made.

But cancer has also ushered in new ways of being alive. Even when I am this distant from Canadian family and friends, everything feels as if it is painted in bright colors. In my vulnerability, I am seeing my world without the Instagrammed filter of breezy certainties and perfectible moments. I can’t help noticing the brittleness of the walls that keep most people fed, sheltered and whole. I find myself returning to the same thoughts again and again: Life is so beautiful. Life is so hard. […]

…I find the daily lives of its believers remarkable and, often, inspirational. They face the impossible and demand that God make a way. They refuse to accept crippling debt as insurmountable. They stubbornly get out of their hospital beds and declare themselves healed, and every now and then, it works.

This is surely an American God, and as I am so far from home, I cannot escape him.

~ Kate Bowler, 35, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. She is an assistant professor of the history of Christianity in North America at Duke Divinity School and the author of “Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel.”

Don’t miss Bowler’s full essay here: Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me

Source: Thank you Susan.


  1. Life is so beautiful. Life is so hard. Exactly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This story moved me…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael Zahaby says:

    35 years old! I shake my head. Writes so beautifully and peacefully. Having lost a young wife to cancer, I can only imagine her family’s pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just finished reading Kalanithi’s “When Breath becomes Air” yesterday…
    And now this!
    It’s a mystery still, I believe, how some people have it to face tragedy/loss/pain with such light/art/beauty and character.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Cancer requires that I stumble around in the debris of dreams I thought I was entitled to and plans I didn’t realize I had made”… this happens. When my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he/we realized just this; one is never assured of one’s dreams, so grab them while you can…don’t wait.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a beautiful and tragic lesson. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dave,
    Kate knows well the content of the Poem “The Hound of Heaven,” by Francis Thomas, for she is living it.
    God makes the unbearable bearable and the impossible possible. When enduring our worst trials no better companion to have than He who succeeded at both. He has and will show the way through the storms of life.
    We must remember, it was Good Friday that preceded Easter Sunday, not the opposite.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Carpe Diem” We never know what is ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. yes, life is truly both – it is everything,good and bad, rolled into one. beautiful piece –

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Just wow. A remarkable human being – nodding my head and ‘feeling this’….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I believe we all have subdued cancer cells roaming our bodies and for some the scavenger cancer cells find an area to exploit, ravishing, weakening the host…. while the cancer cells spread, gaining size, further expanding, reaching far off areas as they hitch hike along the highway of the blood stream.. eventually the invasive cells, number so large they become known, unleashing a journey upon the host so personally, devastating…grief starts
    Cancer or the awaiting diagnoses of is it or isn’t it cancer can send one into a spiral of the unknown, inwardly one’s mind racing, panicking, feeling like a ticking time bomb, perhaps denying the reality, letting defeat take over or silently, valiantly facing, preparing for the Battle…praying, asking for support…sharing the journey
    Life is an unknown…the journey so varied. In life we make choices…one doesn’t always make the easiest choice or we make a choice that yields more duress …we learn…. in vulnerability, we expose, we explore, we face, we grow, we teach…we blossom, we wonder, we contemplate. We even contemplate death at some point, which is universal… none of us will escape death…
    For an undetermined time, we all have life…
    Life is a gift and with each breath no matter what the circumstances we must give, appreciate, show our strength, shine our Joy… Lead with Love…there is an everlasting God…a gift to all….
    Kate Bowler, is courageous, she is appreciative and what she has contributed in her life, is worthy…I agree with what she shared, “But cancer has also ushered in new ways of being alive”…I am thankful she is rejoicing in her journey…she inspires…I wish her much Peace, Love and Happiness as she lives the life she is graced…bravely, gracefully…she is a beautiful and honest. She is coming to terms with these words, this situation…”Cancer requires that I stumble around in the debris of dreams I thought I was entitled to…” She is making the best of her Life…and teaching us of Life’s Seasons….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Deeply touching. If we only could bring those walls down and see the bright colors. Now.

    Liked by 1 person

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