Many people have said to me, “It is just amazing what God has done in you. It’s like it is a Bible story. It could just go right in there in the Bible among all the other stories.”
But I believe that could be said of any one of our lives. God is continuing to work out His eternal plan through the lives of individuals, His creation, just as He has always done. The Bible is the account of the central story – the coming of Christ, and the way God worked in history to bring that about. Our stories, though not compiled in a book, lead up to the next great event – Christ’s second coming. My hope is that you will start to see your own life story in a different light – as a part of God’s eternal plans and purposes. You might think your story is “small”, but just like the widow who gave the two mites – your story only has to touch one person, Jesus Christ, for it to have eternal significance.
First, I will tell my story as it might be recounted by someone without the belief in a bigger picture.
In 2010, I was a 32-year-old wife and mother of two healthy boys, and I was pregnant with my 3rd child, a girl, due on December 21st. I’d had a completely healthy, uneventful pregnancy up until December 3rd, when I first noticed my baby didn’t seem to be moving inside me anymore. An ultrasound confirmed that her heart had inexplicably stopped beating and she had died inside me. She was delivered dead on Dec. 6th, which was also my 7th wedding anniversary. The cause of her death was never established, and continues to be a great medical mystery since I’d had no issues during pregnancy and had no prior history of miscarriage or any other pregnancy difficulties.
One month later, on January 3rd, I went to the emergency room with severe right-sided night pains that kept me from breathing. During testing to evaluate that pain, metastatic cancer was found on my liver. Further evaluation over the next few weeks revealed that I had very advanced colon cancer, which I was diagnosed with on January 20th, my 33rd birthday. This also continues to be a medical mystery because for one, I’d had absolutely no symptoms up until the severe night pains on January 3rd. Also, I have absolutely no family history of any kind of cancer and not one single risk factor for colon cancer.
Fast forward to today. I have now been through 16 rounds of chemotherapy, the last 8 of which also included experimental drugs, and two rounds of another drug called vectibix. I am currently enrolled in a Phase 1 clinical trial at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute. In other words, I am now taking very new, not-yet-FDA approved experimental drugs basically because nothing else has worked. Nothing has slowed the growth of the cancer.
I have written my story on a website called Caringbridge. It has been visited over 470,000 times in the past year, which averages to over 1,200 hits per day. It is being read all over the nation and as far away as Spain and New Zealand.
Now, for the way I would choose to tell my story.
Let me state from the outset that this is obviously conjecture. I have NO COMPREHENSION of the complexity of the mind of God and would never pretend to state with authority that I know exactly what He is up to. But here is the way I think God might, just might tell my story. I am going to tell it as if God is speaking to you, sharing His story, the story He is writing in my life.
“Oh, I can’t wait to tell you about my precious daughter Sara, my perfect creation. Ok, ok, all of my children are perfect creations. I do say that a lot. But Sara, oh my plan for Sara was so perfect and good. Yeah, yeah, the plans are always perfect and good.Now let me get on with it…
As I was saying, my beautiful daughter Sara, who incidentally, has 4, 975,256 hairs on her head and the funniest little birthmark on her right shoulder, and makes this adorable snorting sound when she’s laughing really hard, and often falls asleep talking to me at night… Well, she was born to my perfect children Jody and Carol way back in 1978. She was born in New Zealand, thousands of miles away from other family, because her parents set off in faith to do mission work in My Name right after getting married. They had the faith in me to bear this little child so far away from family help. Oh, how they loved her and taught her about Me. How fitting she be born on the mission field, because I had a big mission in mind for her…
Fast forward a few years. Little Sara grew into a special young girl with a love for books, a love for the written word. Of course, she did. That’s how I planned it. And so at the tender age of 8 years old, I first planted my dream inside her heart. It was a big dream. She dreamed of being a writer. She dreamed of compiling words together in such a way that it would touch people’s imaginations and tug at their hearts. She dreamed not only of writing, but of helping people to see Me as she sees Me, and rightly so, as her Father, her creator, and the great lover of her soul. As a being who cares deeply for her and is always with her.
Well, then dear little Sara grew up, and though she continued to enjoy reading and writing, she discovered she was just one small person in a very big world, a world that tried to squash her dream. Her dream to touch many people by her writing got pushed further and further back in her mind because her brain told her that wasn’t very practical, that it wasn’t likely she could write anything that would really affect people. I had given Sara several interests, and she decided to follow a path to become a physical therapist. I just love Sara, and she shared my love with her patients, so of course I blessed her greatly in this career. That’s what I love to do: bless my children as they seek to glorify me.
But oh, the plans I had for Sara…
Now to the heart of the great story I am currently writing in her life.
In November of 2010, only a few weeks before her Anna was due, Sara finally got up the courage to share a bit of her writing. She wrote a letter to her church family, describing how uplifted she’d been by a recent singing service. She sent it to her preacher but asked that he keep it anonymous, for several reasons. Well, it touched his heart. He shared it with the congregation and it touched many of my children’s hearts. I knew it would you know, that’s why my Spirit had given her the words and whispered to her that she should share them.
Unfortunately, it got someone else’s attention. It got Satan’s attention.
He came to me, and just like he had with my perfect child Job, he asked permission to test her. Like dear Job, Sara had lived a blessed life. I had sheltered and protected and abundantly blessed her. She’d not known any true heartache or difficulties. I guess Satan didn’t learn his lesson with Job, so I gave him permission, though he was told not to harm Sara herself. See, I knew what was coming and the glorious things I would do…
Satan killed Sara’s daughter Anna. Now you see why it remains a medical mystery, why there was no warning. Oh, Anna’s with me now, sure. See her over there? Isn’t she amazing? I can’t wait for Sara and Brian to meet her. And especially Camden and Scott. They talk about their sister all the time.
But as I knew she would, Sara clung to me, and I drew near to her. As my child David said, I truly am close to the brokenhearted. My Spirit whispered to many of my children to show Her my love, and she felt it in a powerful way. I took care of so many details for Sara. I made everything perfect: for family to be with Anna before she was cremated, for Anna’s memorial to be perfect, for beautiful pictures to be taken of Anna by my sweet child Katie. Sara felt my presence in a new, amazing way, even on the days when grief would overtake her and she sobbed. Here’s her tears – see, I’ve collected every one. And oh, I love them but they make my anger burn. I hate death and I will end it one day!
Well, of course Satan came back. Alright, God, he said. Sure she’s not forsaken you. You have got to let me attack her body. Again, I gave him permission, though again, as with Job I told him he could not kill her.
So on Jan 3, 2011, Satan attacked her with cancer. And not just with a little bit. With a LOT of cancer. That liar, he made it look as if she’d had cancer for months and months, which I thought was ridiculous since she’d not had any symptom. I am still the supreme being in this universe so I orchestrated it so that Sara was diagnosed on her birthday, because I knew I planned to create a new heart in Sara as a result of this trial. What can I say, I’m a creative writer.
I also, and this is one of my favorite parts, wanted her to know that not only was I with her but that I had great plans for her. So I put a man in the waiting room just before she was called back to hear the news. He was the only other man in the room, and his name was…wait for it… Mr. Job. When the nurse called his name ahead of Sara, well my sweet daughter, she knew I was with her. She knows me so well she got my message!
I don’t like what Satan has done to my child over the past year of cancer treatment. He has taken her to the brink of death, physically anyway. But I knew it was coming. I knew I would fulfill my plans for Sara not just in spite of this ordeal, but through it.
Remember the dream I put in Sara’s heart as a young child? The dream of writing words that would touch the hearts of many people and help them to see me as I am, as Love?
Sara started to write. Satan had thought he could silence the writer that had emerged back in November. But My plans and My dreams cannot be thwarted. Sara sought me with all of her heart, because really, what else did have to lean on now? She was desperate for me. And so I knew she was ready. Ready to make a difference. She is writing the words and thoughts that I put on her heart through My Spirit and My Word, sharing them on the internet. And my other children are listening.
Here’s some of the things I’ve shared with Sara that her words and her life have done. Ok, I’ve done. Yes, it’s really all Me. But I am letting Sara be a conduit of my work and blessing her with a sense of purpose. Yes, she’s just the one doing the typing, but I have given her her dream, My dream for her.
Here’s just a few examples of what my children have told Sara about the effect of her words and her life:
Someone told her she saved his marriage.
Someone told her that when her son wanted her to read a book to him, but she wanted to go check Facebook instead, she thought of Sara and read to her son.
Someone told her that because of Sara’s writings and courage, her husband has started to go to counseling to address old emotional issues and it’s made a huge impact on his life. He’s now a better father and husband.
Someone told her that she’d returned to church after having abandoned it for years.
Someone told her that he snuggles with his kids at night a lot more now.
Someone told her, through tears, that she can’t wait to go to heaven now and she’s never felt that way before.
Several have told her they feel closer to Me because of praying for her.
Someone told her she now understands what her husband is going through as He battles cancer, and because of Sara, she’s not afraid.
Someone told her she tried listening to Me, and felt the most amazing thrill she’d ever experienced.
Someone told her their son decided to be baptized because of Sara’s writings and her fearlessness.
And I could go on. I have worked in the lives of so many of my children through what I am doing in Sara, through giving Sara the strength and the light by which to walk through this long, dark valley.
I didn’t even tell you about the 5k run, which I caused to be on the 5 year anniversary of Sara’s grandfather’s death, where I, through my other children, gave Sara and Brian over $30,000, and where I peaked my sunshine through the clouds during the prayer so that it shined right on Sara. Or about how I, through my children, gave Agape over $18,000 in Anna’s name which is the largest memorial gift ever given to that organization. Or about how Sara got to talk about My Spirit on the prime-time Nashville news, or about how her story has been featured in several publications, or about the huge bake sale in her honor, or the huge yard sale in her honor…I have done many, many amazing things all around Sara over the past few months.
What joy it brings me to work good in the lives of my Children! What absolute joy to see and to know when they really get it, when they really see that there is nothing to fear, because I am with them.
Just wait, just you wait to see the next part of her story.
Oh, what I have planned!
It is all good and it is all perfect.
Ok, ok. Yes, it always is…