05/14/2015 12:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Unexplainable Grace

The simplest of things can hold the greatest significance and beauty. They can ignite a fire within, overwhelm us with gratitude and revive the spirit of hope that dwells inside each of us. We can search far and wide seeking out beauty in the grandest of forms, but sometimes the most substantial beauty is in the simplest of existence.

Simple Beauty
It's incredible how something as unassuming as a white piece of paper with a few numbers can carry so much meaning and beauty. It really means so many things, but most of all that piece of paper represents the life within every breath I take. It represents the grace I've been given to love another day, sing another day, to laugh another day, to breathe another day.


But it goes even deeper than that, it is a reflection of every person who has fought relentlessly not only for me, but all those with Cystic Fibrosis. That simple piece of paper is not just a representation of my life, but the fight against CF in its entirety. It symbolizes the people who have lost their lives to CF and all those still fighting. The paper that I hold between my fingers is only possible because of the selfless army of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, family, friends, and complete strangers who refuse to give up hope. There are no words to convey the depth of gratitude that dwells within me for each person who fights relentlessly for another day for each of us.

Gift of Grace
As I sat in the doctor's office, I couldn't help but think about the last six months and the journey to this very moment. What a very different path my life could have taken, and how quickly it can all change again. I think the hardest thing to comprehend and understand is why I was given this grace of time and health when so many in the exact situation as me have not received the same gift of grace. The most difficult thing about CF is there is never any clear reason why. CF doesn't fight fair, it doesn't make sense, it doesn't care about the loved ones it's stealing and the lives it's sacrificing. I am overcome with guilt and the desperate aching question of why. Why has CF shown me such grace? I feel so undeserving when I see how many incredible lives CF has ruthlessly impacted and stolen, but has spared me for yet another day.

I sat there amidst the familiar sterile room thinking about all the other people with CF that have sat in the exact same chair. I thought about their dreams, their desperation to live, the heartache of their families and friends, their souls ringing with the simple plea to just breathe. With these thoughts pouring through me, a greater passion was ignited within to fight not for myself, but for every person impacted by CF, so that they too, may be given the gift of grace and time. Because I have been shown such grace, I cannot waste a moment of it.


I know the time will come when CF will not show me such grace again. That no matter the size of the army fighting beside me, it will mercilessly steal every last breath. When that time does come, whether it be tomorrow, months, or years from now, I want to know I did everything I could to pay the goodness I've been shown forward. I want to live gratefully in each moment and for each person who has filled every grace given breath with beauty. With this grace I have so graciously been gifted, I will fight.

It might be just a simple piece of paper, but it holds so much beautiful significance and power. It ignites a passion to fight, an insurmountable gratitude, and a hope for tomorrow that simply cannot be extinguished.