I recently choked on a vitamin and as the pill blocked my windpipe I faced my own mortality.

This is it? Right here in the kitchen?

“I’m choking!” Croaked panic toward my husband, who was reclined in front of Sunday night football. As he sprang over to perform the Heimlich, I vomited all over the kitchen floor.

One day I will die. One day, you too, will die. We must face our mortality, a sure-fire fact. Today’s coaching tip has us reflecting on a critical question, because we are alive to read it.

Ask yourself: As I consider my current frustrations about life, relationships, future decisions, do I need to check my perspective?

To help us with that, I have an important guest to introduce today.

Meet Lara.

Her and I have talked and we feel that the time has come to fill the larger Chicks community in on her story, along with our earnest invitation for you to join us in prayer. I have alluded to our prayer need on social media, but was feeling sensitive to Lara’s wishes. Now that we have spent recent time together in conversation about her journey, I am thankful and honored to share this remarkable woman with you.

I am honored because Lara is one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. She is as sweet as southern tea, and as good-hearted as they come. I have known Lara as a neighbor, team member, player in my book, and a friend.

What I didn’t know about Lara, until she was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, is that she is also a bad-ass.

I don’t think Lara even knew how bad-ass she is, and probably needs to be reminded.

(“Hey, girlfriend! You are a bad-ass and you will make it through this next round of treatment!“)

Lara and I had the privilege of spending a gloriously crisp afternoon together, on October 24th. In retrospect, those several hours have been an Autumn pinnacle for me.

Pure. Honest. Real.

Without perspective, aren’t most days ungenuine? Fake? Distracted?

I met Lara in her hotel room where she’s had to live the past month because it sits next door to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. When I knocked on the door a squeal of sheer delight erupted on the other side. Oh, the joy in the midst of adversity! My teacher on perspective began to tutor her student before she ever opened the door.

I can’t begin to explain how good it was to see and hold my friend. Several glorious hours unfolded before us like a quiet moment in time. To be without pettiness, or insignificance, was not lost on me.

We hugged, laughed, strolled, and prayed, all as if mortality was shadowing our unanswered questions. There is a comfort that comes when all the bullshit is finally trivial, while honest doubt and hope rises in the crunchy air.

With fresh flowers and my bag of goodies out of the way, our walk along Lake Union became Lara’s turn to produce gifts. As only familiarity with testing can teach, she bestowed upon me the gift of perspective, grit, and an honest reckoning with the future.

Some gifts were exhaled through sentences…

“When I am through all this I can’t wait to discover my deeper purpose.”

“I don’t want to waste my life. I want it to count for something.”

“There are so many who need help and I want to be a resource for providing that help for cancer patients, and their families. Yes, it’s been so hard, but I have so many more resources and support than others have.”

“Don’t take anything for granted. Appreciate the little things. Each moment matters.”

Other gifts were exhibited in attitude, and unjustified joy.

I can only imagine the difference Lara has already made by the way she chooses a smile, an outfit that communicates life, and a wig to compliment the positivism she decides to embrace.

All afternoon Lara’s kindness shone as bright as the October sun.

“Tell me how you are? Coaching-what do you love most about working with your clients? How are the kids, and Adam?”

On a bench we rested after the stroll. Warmth on our faces, and pure connection between our souls. We refrained from holding hands as I entered us into prayer, because who knows what germs I may carry? But we were connected, Lara, and I. Connected and focused upon the only One who can truly help. God is the only One who remains the same. We give cancer much attention to what it takes from us, but there is so much that cancer cannot ever take away.

“Hey, girlfriend! Cancer has not taken your kindness away. It has not taken your ability to teach, love, embrace, laugh, dress up, or bring joy! You gifted me with perspective and a drink from the sweetest, good-hearted tea I’ve had all year! I am SO blessed to have spent an afternoon with such a bad-ass!”

Our moment in prayer was Holy. Those words mattered for eternity. October 24th, on a bench in Seattle, held weight incomprehensible to our humanness.

We sat together with perspective.

Has life felt overwhelming? Might you be caught up in petty pursuits? When is the last time you’ve had an honest reckoning with your future? With mortality? Are you choosing the life God intended?

I can’t begin to comprehend what Lara has already faced through endless tests, chemotherapy, transfusions, confusion, and doubt. She has a haul left to grind and will take every prayer offered on her behalf. But on that day I learned that Lara has something I don’t have. This test has added to her kindness, not taken it away. She is coming through the test, and exposing the bad-ass we never knew was there.

Keep fighting, girlfriend!

You are not alone.

You have a tribe.

You are deeply loved.

Keep fighting bad-ass…