Monday, October 31, 2011

She Counts It All Joy

I met a young woman this week who inspired me beyond measure.  It was just a chance meeting.  Or was it?  Maybe God ordained the time and place for me to meet her.  I was in a shop where I sell my greeting cards and I am friends with some of the women who run it.  We were all standing at the register talking, when in bounced a cheerful, candy laden woman with a beautiful thick mop of curls on her head.  Everyone rushed to say hi and hug her as she stood there handing out candy.

They all gushed over her, telling how beautiful she looked and how wonderful it was to see her.  There was such love and adoration in the air that I found myself standing there with a silly grin plastered on my face.  Someone turned to me and said, "Erin, do you know, 'Sarah'?"  I shook my head no & stuck out my hand and introduced myself.

They coaxed her into telling me her story and here's where the inspiration part comes in.  'Sarah' used to work at the store.  She called in sick one day and said the left side of her body was numb and she was having difficulty remembering things.  They tried to convince her to go to the doctor.  But there had been a heavy snow storm, and living far out in the country, 'Sarah" couldn't get out and emergency workers couldn't get to her.

After a couple of days, 'Sarah' was able to get to the doctor and was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  They would have to do emergency surgery immediately.  Because of how the tumor had attached to her brain, they were not able to remove it.  She followed up with intensive radiation and chemotherapy to shrink the tumor.  She lost her hair, thus, the fuss over her beautiful head of newly grown curls. 

'Sarah' began to have seizures so they had to find a medication that would bring those under control.  Now, as if all of this wasn't bad enough, her husband left her during this time.  But I have to tell you...this woman never stopped beaming the whole time she was in that shop visiting with us.  She was calm and full of love.  I just couldn't take my eyes off of her, all the while, I'm sure,wearing that silly grin.  I have never met anyone so full of grace and gratitude and joy!  I felt it an honor to be in her presence.  Suddenly, the little bothersome things of life seemed so trivial and meaningless.

If 'Sarah' could have that gentle peace and assurance with what seemed like such insurmountable odds, I know I can choose to be more thankful.  Somehow, she had found a way to stay in His presence and let Him be in control.  She didn't give way to panic or fear.  I am honored to have met her and I think it may not have been just a "chance" meeting.  Maybe He wanted me to see what real grace and peace look like!

I continue my journey of gratitude.  Every day, there are reminders of all the blessings I have in my life to be thankful for:

106.  Having the opportunity to meet 'Sarah' and being touched by her gentleness and grace.
107.  Knowing that when there's no where else to go, He wants me to come to Him and sit with Him awhile.
108.  Time spent with a son who took a walk with me while I took pictures of trees and leaves.  He seemed to appreciate the beauty of it too.
109.  Homemade chicken noodle soup that really was good for the soul.
110.  A surprise visit from an old friend who came to town and showed up at my front door.
111.  People REALLY are buying my greeting cards.  God, you gave me the confidence when I could find none. 
112.  Lisa Bevere's book, Lioness Rising, that is radically changing my life.                                                                                                                                                  
I hope that you will share with us, the things that you are grateful for.  If you would like to see what others are saying about thankfulness, stop on over to Ann Voskamp's site, A Holy Experience.



From His lap,

26 comments:

  1. Ahhh, this is so awesome. I love how you tell Sarah's story and of course it's so inspiring and uplifting. I hope that she feels better now :) I love your #109, I feel better when I have homemade chicken soup. It warms me up.
    Have a safe and happy Halloween :)

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  2. Thank you, Barbara. She is an amazing woman and I still smile when I think about her. Have fun with your little ones tonight!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  3. Wow, we think we have problems and then you read something like this and how they smile and have peace and joy in their lives. great testimony, very humbling.
    God bless
    Tracy

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  4. I know, Tracy! It is very humbling. She brought joy with her and everyone felt it!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  5. Love this amazing story. Sarah - - only through time spent in His lap!
    Dianne

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  6. Amen, Dianne. Only through time spent in His lap!
    xo,
    ~Erin

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  7. I believe everyone comes into your life for a reason. My boyfriend got very friendly with a coworker of his and a few years ago we ended up going camping with that friend and his wife. His wife Joleen was born with a lot of kidney problems and was told she would probably be unable to have children. Even with such devastating news she grew up and was so full of life. That week camping was so full of happy memories. Shortly after returning from our camping trip she was diagnosed with Leukemia . We were able to go camping with them one more time, the following summer, but this time on their property up in the mountains. She was too sick to "tent" camp and needed the comforts of their trailer. That whole weekend various friends and family stopped by and again, she was so full of life, other than her bald head from the chemo and radiation you would never have known how sick she was. Saddly she passed away a short time later. Until I had met her I had never met a more positive person in my life, against all odds she showed strength and perseverance.

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  8. Diane,
    What a joy that you got to share in her journey with her! She sounds like she was an amazing person and a blessing to be around! Thank you so much for sharing her story with us. See...she lives on in people like you and now, my readers!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  9. This post brought tears to my eyes, erin. What an amazing woman. I truly believe in people being placed in your life for a reason. They teach us things. They put all of life's obstacles into perspective. I'm so happy to hear your cards are selling...it's no surprise...I'm sure they're beautiful and carry amazing messages.
    I'm happy you were placed in my life.
    Xoxo
    Maria

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  10. Maria,
    Thank you so much. I count it all joy that I met 'Sarah'. She touched my soul. You are a blessing in my life, as well. Thank you for such kind words about my cards. I'm trying to save enough money so that I can put up a website and sell them on line.
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  11. What a beautiful story of courage and hope, Erin. Sarah sounds like a true inspiration for what it means and looks like, to give God all the glory. Joy. Even when having experienced so much pain. I'm glad I read this today. I realize I have much to be grateful for. :-)

    Blessings,
    Rosann

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  12. Such a wonderful story of encouragement. We hope and pray the same kind of outcome for our son who has T-Cell Lymphoma. Thanks again for sharing!

    By the way, you write greeting cards? Cool!

    God Bless.

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  13. Smiling in the storm. Sarah sounds awesome.

    I'm glad you're finding success with your greeting cards! I love how sometimes we don't want to dare to dream, and God stays true to Ephesians 3:20. =)

    Lioness Rising is an interesting title. What's it about?

    Hope you're having a great day!

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  14. Thank you Erin, I needed to read this tonight! It's so easy to get caught up in my own life, Sarah is a great reminder of how precious each day is!!!

    I'm thrilled your cards are doing so well!! I love your photos!! Love you too!!!

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  15. Thank you for sharing this amazing story of hope Erin. I have a friend who is recovering from a major illness and ugly divorce. I know she will find hope in this. Where can I buy your cards. I live in NJ

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  16. Rosan,
    I was so honored to meet her. I watched her touch everyone's heart who was around her. It was the most amazing thing to see.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  17. Bryan,
    Thank you so much for sharing about your son. I know how it must hurt to watch your child suffer. I will pray for that he is able to be well from the top of his head to the soles of his feet and that you are able to feel God's presence all around your family.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  18. TJ,
    Lioness Arising is book about and for women. It's about women realizing who they are in Christ and that the Proverbs 31 woman entails so much more than we have interpreted it to mean.
    Thanks again for stopping by, TJ.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  19. Kathy,
    Isn't she just so inspiring!! Thanks for your kinds words about my cards. I hope that they do well enough locally that I can put up a website for people to buy them online.
    Hugs, sister! I love you!
    ~Erin

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  20. NJ Greats,
    I hope that your friend is blessed by this post. I will pray for her too.
    I'm only selling my cards locally as I don't have a website yet. I may do a post about them soon and maybe people could pay for them through pay pall or something. It's a very new thing for me and I'm slow to move.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  21. well I am willing to send you a check for some..I can send you an email address and you can let me know where to send.

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  22. NJGreats,
    My email is fatherschild@sbcglobal.net if you would like to email me. I can send you photos of the cards I have!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  23. What a beautiful way to focus our hearts on joy no matter what our day brings or what we encounter. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Shannon,
    She is such a joy to be around. She completely blesses me!
    ~Erin

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  25. I am positive it wasn't just a "chance" meeting. The profound affect she had on your is proof of that. I believe in those types of "God moments" all the time! And....God knows you would take that experience of meeting her, and share it with us. A blessing passed on!

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  26. Thank you, Michael Ann! I agree, it wasn't a chance meeting!!! God designed, all the way!
    I'm so honored you stopped by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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