My parents tell me the first place they took each of us as babies was church. Faith has played a central role in my story ever since. Thanks to my parents, from the beginning of my life faith has been a part of my story.
I was recently asked to share my “story.” But with the understanding that many who would read it were “of different backgrounds” and would not want to hear “faith”, only story. They wanted to know how I coped with Maffucci Syndrome and chondrosarcoma without hearing that faith played a role.
I can’t separate the two. I honestly don’t want to. I understand that not everyone is a person of faith, and that all still have a story. However, without faith, my story would be totally different. Without story, the peaks and the valleys , the gifts and the graces, my faith would look very different. In the valleys of my life, I’ve leaned heavily on my faith. It’s where I drew strength and hope. During the peaks of life, I’ve celebrated the goodness of the Almighty God, who didn’t desert me at my darkest moments. I cannot imagine my life without either.
Separating the two for me would be like trying to remove the oxygen from water. Please don’t ask me to try. My story, my faith, they are inseparable. They make me who I am.
I am a child of God. God has forgiven and redeemed. When I have been empty, God has filled and refilled. God’s been with me when I’ve struggled and when I’ve failed and when I’ve succeeded and achieved. God has never left me in sickness or in health. On the darkest days, God carries me and gives courage for tomorrow. On the most beautiful days, God celebrates with us. On the days we blow it and let sin and weakness have our hearts, God does not abandon us. When we try to remove him from our story, He stays anyway. He knows our griefs and burdens, our heartaches and sadness. He’s ready to hold us again. He’s ready and willing to be a part of our story again. He waits for us.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Be of good courage my friends. You are loved by a faithful God.