Remember these colors?
Their names are Amethyst, Pesto, and Great Plains.
My mom bought them for me the moment I told her I wanted to crochet a blanket just for me. After making 11 blankets as gifts over the years--along with innumerable scarves, hats, and amigurumi animals--I was finally ready to create something big and beautiful for me.
It was just weeks after my diagnosis and already changes were happening. Changes I had never expected to come. Life after diagnosis was like stepping into a new beginning, mostly because of a not-so-little thing called hope.
A few months before I was diagnosed, I wrote about hope dying. Not all hope, of course. Hope Himself has already conquered death and will never leave us abandoned. But the hope of finding health and wholeness here in this life--that hope was slipping through my fingers, dying.
And I was nearly ready to let it go.
But something--no, Someone--kept me holding on a little longer. And three months later, after nearly a decade of waiting, Deliverance walked in the door and handed me a diagnosis.
That diagnosis was just the beginning of my road to recovery. A road that still stretches out long in front of me. But it was also, nearly instantaneously, the healing of my hope.
In hope, I stepped onto a path I'd long yearned for but never expected to take. In hope, I let go of responsibilities and expectations, turned my attention to rest and recovery. In hope, I finally, finally, finally found my faith again. And in hope, I realized something that had always been true.
I could no longer care for others in the fullest and truest sense until I learned to care for myself.
In a sense, life after diagnosis has been about learning to be me. Not the person others expect me to be. Not even the person I think I should be. Just me. The person God created me to be. The person I am right now and the person He is making me into.
And part of learning to be myself has been about finding the boundaries. Respecting my need for time to breathe, rest, create, live. Understanding that saying yes to others begins by first saying yes to who He has made me to be.
I didn't know any of that, really, when I stood in the yarn section choosing colors to love. But over the long months of laboring to create, much has happened. I have changed, learned, grown, become.
And it's all because of the One called Hope.
It's no wonder I've decided to name this The Hope Blanket.
Isn't Hope beautiful?
(Read Part 2 here to see more pictures of The Hope Blanket and learn about my creative process for the project)