Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Moxie is a Survivor

It was a Tuesday just like any other.
Except that for Moxie, nothing would ever be the same.

It began with a teeny tiny, barely palpable little bump.

So seemingly insignificant she nearly dismissed it altogether.
But, No, she thought, better safe than sorry...

And she made the appointment.
What Dr. Truly was supposed to say was,
"Oh, it's nothing. Absolutely nothing. Don't give it another thought."
That's what she was supposed to say.

What she actually said were the very words Moxie never in
A million years
Thought she would hear.

And so began the surgeries and treatments and tests and Scans and more treatments
That comprised
The Fight of Her Life.

Moxie was brave.

She cried.

She called on strength she never knew she possessed.

And she cried some more.

She comforted others, bidding them not to worry.

She prayed.

She hoped. She believed.

And she fought.

Oh, how she fought.

If you ask her today Moxie won't come right out and say she would willingly invite this
Unbidden Guest into her life,
But she will tell you that she is not sorry for it.

Not bitter.

Not frightened...

She will tell you she is grateful for this Intruder.
It has revealed the depth of her faith,
The power of resolution,

And the beauty of hope.
Moxie will tell you that
Nothing can conquer hope.

She is still fighting.

Daily she looks the Intruder square in the eye and says
"You will not break me. You will not win this battle.
I will take from you the lessons I need and I will

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lyndle Used to Stutter

Every bird in the Whumpington Pet Shoppe talks.
Bad day? Low self esteem? Weary and ready to give up on your Dream?
Make a visit to the Whumpington Pet Shoppe.
Lyndle, the proprietor has just the ticket to raise your spirits.
She has taught all the birds to say just the things we need to hear every day and should be saying to one another:

"You look really pretty when you smile."

"You can do it. You really can."

"I believe in you."

"You have such a good heart."

"You are so much stronger than you think you are."

Lyndle knows all about needing positive feedback. Growing up with a stutter, she was teased mercilessly and not just by other children--by some grown people who ought to know better. The badgering and mocking turned Lyndle into an introverted, bashful, uncertain young lady.  She read her way through school, burying herself in other people's stories to escape the pain of her own.   

Lyndle was an adult when it became painfully clear to her that people were not likely to tell her what she longed to hear.  By this time she was running the Whumpington Pet Shoppe quietly, shyly, unnoticed by most because of her taciturn nature.  It was a murky, gloomy Autumn day when Lyndle had The Idea.  Convinced by experience as well as her own negative self talk that she would never hear from people the words she longed to hear, Lyndle  began to teach the birds to speak.  She taught them only the phrases she wished that someone, anyone would say to her:

"You have such a lovely twinkle in your eyes."

"There is a beautiful, sweet spirit about you."

"Don't worry.  It will all work out, you'll see."

"You can do anything you want to do.  You really can."

And the most remarkable thing happened: in parroting back Lyndle's words to her, the birds never stuttered.

One bright Spring afternoon, as she was helping a dear old woman with a calico kitten Lyndle was stunned to realize that she was no longer speaking in halting, broken sentences.  She had no more stutter.  You see, hearing all the kind words  that she so desperately longed for, from the birds that she herself had taught, had healed Lyndle.  

These days there is a sign hanging above the exit to the Pet Shoppe that reads:

"Listen to the birds. Then go out and sing their song. Someone today needs to hear it."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Charis is a Survivor

Her parents named her Charis.
Greek for Grace.
And when they held their precious, bright eyed newborn they had no idea just how much grace she would need a little over a decade later.  

It was a Sunday morning just like any other...except that for Charis and her family nothing would ever be the same.  

She woke not feeling well.  Probably a flu...or a respiratory infection.  Surely nothing to worry about, but Mother and Daddy took her to the doctor just to be sure.  

What the doctor was supposed to say was, "Oh, it's a harmless little bug-nothing to worry about.  Take these pills and don't give it another thought."  That's what he was supposed to say.  What he actually said were the very words and Charis and Mother and Daddy Never.  In a Million Years.  Thought they would hear.  

An ambulance ride and many, many tests and pokes and prods and tears later Charis had a diagnosis.  It was a very long word that boiled down to "Buckle up...you're in for the ride of your life."

Charis was brave. 
She cried.
She prayed.
She hoped.  She believed.
And she fought.
Oh, how she fought.

Charis fought through her fears, she fought in her prayers and she fought even as she sang.

Charis sang her way through the uncertainties and the What Ifs, through the darkest of nights, through the painful procedures and the illness that followed.  She sang beautiful, sweet melodies full of Hope and Faith and "My grace is sufficient for you."  And in her songs Charis brought Hope and Light and Life to others.  Thousands followed her journey, believing with her, praying for her and ultimately being transformed by the story she told.  

Sometimes Charis would ask, "Momma, why would a little girl get cancer?"  The answers are hard coming.  But maybe it has something to do with these verses from 2 Corinthians: 

"Praise be to...the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."

Charis' song, her smile, her faith and her hope were a comfort to people she would never meet.  She was an encouragement to thousands who would never have been touched had a little girl not gotten cancer.  Sometimes, on the good days, that knowledge was enough.  

Charis is still fighting. 
She is still singing.  
And one day Charis is confident that she will stand on a mountaintop, whole and healthy and proclaiming with great joy, "I. Am. Healed!"

And the fight will have been worth it.