Thanks to Melanie for linking to one of the best blog posts I’ve read in a long time. It’s by a woman named Heather, who is a 32-year-old mother of three. Her little girl Emma is autistic and has mitochondrial myopathy, has already had a heart transplant, and will not live for much longer (that story here). Heather was recently diagnosed with a large brain tumor that is intertwined with her brain tissue. Tomorrow she goes in for surgery, which may leave her disabled, or worse. She writes of this turn of events:
My prayer for every single person reading this is that you find the peace that floods over me. That you realize that there is a God who loves you so very much, and wants so badly to have a personal relationship with you. I pray that my story touches you and draws you closer to him in ways that you never thought possible. I pray that you hold your children a little tighter, and love your husband a little deeper. I pray that you hold your parents closer and realize that in the end, everything else is meaningless. Christ’s love for you is so immense and so encompassing. I have been asked so many times how I can believe in a God who brought this into my life — who threatens to take my children’s mother away and my husband’s wife away.
…My tumor is not God’s punishment. My daughter’s terminal illness and autism and failing heart are not God’s punishment. My life is a living testimony of his grace and love. The 5 years that I have spent with this amazing child, who every doctor told me would be dead by now, is a testimony of His grace and love. Finding this tumor from an inner ear infection is a testimony of His grace and love. Being so young, and without any symptoms from such a large tumor is a testimony of His grace and love. Having 32 years of life is a testimony of His grace and love.
…Bad things are going to happen. It’s inevitable. Facing them with hope and power makes the journey so much more possible.
The great St. Francis often told his followers to “preach the Gospels always — using words if you must”. I can’t think of a better example of this than Heather and her life. Her strength and tranquility under some of the worst pressures that life has to offer is worth a stack of erudite apologetics books.
And to the many readers who have written to ask how on earth she has remained so positive and peaceful throughout the unimaginable trials she and her family have faced, she ends by saying that she hopes that her story will inspire others to investigate Christianity a bit more, so that they might understand for themselves. “Seek Him, ” she writes. “He is so much closer than you think.” Amen.
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