My Jesus Story

Beauty comesThis story of faith begins with a little girl who went to church and did what she was supposed to do, who loved Jesus but didn’t really know Him, who always brought her best but it was always on her own terms, with her own agenda.

And then she turned 24…

When four months later, she sat in the silence of an ultrasound room, quiet and dark and she saw something she knew wasn’t right. A mass the size of a grapefruit. And for the first time, she felt pain. Real. Pain. Pain from the tumor, pain from the fear and pain from the emotion of “What if it is cancer?” or “What if I can’t ever carry a baby of my own?”

But then came December and the operation that would end in happy tears as her almost-fiancé would whisper in her ear, “No cancer AND we can still have babies!” Together, they celebrated and thanked Him. And she began to see Jesus a little differently; she began to bend toward Him instead of against Him.

And then she got married…

When she went back to her plans and her own agenda and her own terms and lived quite happily there for two months. She taught in an inner-city classroom, her dream. And they lived a simple, little love-filled life.

But then her body began to fail once again…

She had to walk away from the classroom, away from her dreams, away from everything that seemed utterly normal. And her life turned in to a litany of doctor’s appointments and tests and question marks. She tried this supplement and that vitamin and this diet but nothing could stop her body from wasting its way down to 95 pounds. She dealt with angry and disappointed and fist-flailing at her God because life wasn’t supposed to be this way for someone who had done everything right.

But then she got pregnant…

And when her body could not hold onto this sweet little love, she returned to a familiar fear that made her wonder if her frail, little self could even endure a pregnancy. And she mourned her loss quietly and quickly, she shoved it under the rug with all the other hard and put on her brave face only to go home and sob in the quiet of her own room. But in her tears, she could feel Jesus now bending toward her in all her brokenness.

And then came Grace…

Her first baby girl who would bring healing to her body. And then came her sweet towhead, Drew and her darling sassy bit, Sophia. And even though chronic illness beat at her door, she felt stronger and thought God had refined her and grown her enough to make her who He needed for eternity. So she threw herself into this ministry and that ministry and this job and that. And she thought her hard was over.

But then came February 2011…

A stroke. A miscarriage. Septic shock. Job loss. Secondary infertility. A cluster of tough stuff that nearly broke her and her little family. Their days became more about survival and trusting God with it all than it did about any agenda or plan or control. Because quite simply, they had none. It was a day-by-day holding onto the feet of Jesus. Clawing, scraping, reaching until He was all that they could see. For three years, life beat them down but Jesus held them up.

And then came a day in January…

When she would look down to see a perfect little double line that said new life was growing within her. A precious miracle that reminded her every single day of His kindness even in the greatest hurt. A miracle that salved her heart when a precious Daddy met Jesus a month before delivery. A miracle who brought beauty and joy and love into the very heart of grief. And the more she carried and then snuggled this new life, she marveled at how beautifully the face of Jesus was revealed in all things hard.

So that when April 2015 came…

When she would learn her auto-immune disease had spread to her lungs. When she would have surgery and face the truth that the same disease had reached every bit of her little body. When a week later, doctors would discover she now had a pulmonary embolism. When she received the news that immune suppression was just around the corner and she would once again, have to depend on a sweet community of friends and family that had surrounded her so faithfully in the last few years…

She knew that this time, in the hard of life, something breathtaking comes that is bigger than her best, bigger than her agenda, bigger than her plan. And that something was Jesus. The only One she knew that could take her hard, her broken and her ripped apart and turn it into something beautiful.

So the girl brushed off April and with a deep breath, looked up at His face, fell right into His arms and said, “Whatever it takes, whatever You need, wherever this leads, it’s all Yours, Jesus. So go on, now. Go ahead and make it beautiful.”


*Originally appearing in Joyful Living Magazine.

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