Every story is unique. Unique in it’s struggle. Unique in it’s joy. Unique in the way God works. This story is unique. Just as your story is unique. We are all aware of the unique struggle we have but are we seeing the unique joys? Are we seeing the unique ways God is working?
My friend Amy Cooper has her own unique story that she’d like to share on seeing the unique ways God is working.
“To tell of my story is to tell of Him.” The words to this song ring so true! To really share my faith journey over the years, I have to jump back to September 2004. After our son, Hunter, was born we had some complications after delivery. Hunter had difficulty breathing, needed immediate intervention, and had to stay under an oxygen hood for several hours. Also, a few days after we got home and were settling into our “new normal”, I began hemorrhaging unexpectedly and almost bleed to death in route to the hospital. As I was rushed in the ambulance and waiting in the ER for the surgeon to arrive to complete the emergency surgery, I felt the Lord was right there in the midst of the madness. As I was in and out of consciousness on the ambulance ride, I distinctly felt an unexplainable peace wash over me …even though I realized these might be my last moments on this side of eternity. The doctor later told me that if we had waited 10 more minutes, I would have died from blood loss. But praise Jesus, He saw fit to heal me and allow me the privilege of more time on Earth to be a mom, and experience the joy of raising our son!
A couple of years later, my Mom, who had been battling stage 4 breast cancer for 5 years, was promoted to Heaven. The combination of some emotional trauma from the near-death experience a few years prior and watching my precious mother struggle through the evils of cancer and pass away at such a young age, jump-started a season in my life that was filled with anxiety, fear and an unhealthy pre-occupation with trying to have control over all aspects of our family’s health I started to experience panic attacks, and recall so well laying there in the middle of the night thinking I might die before morning came. In an effort to curb any chance that anyone else I loved from getting cancer, I became obsessed with all kinds of “healthy habits”. On the outside, I looked fine and seemed fine to friends…but on the inside I was falling apart. I was reminded of what I already knew in my heart ….that I had let my good intentions lead me down a path that was very far from God’s will. My control and lack of faith was driven by fear. It took really digging into God’s word, Christian books about overcoming anxiety and fear, prayers and often taking two steps toward and one step back when eventually I started feeling stronger, having less panic attacks, and felt a greater sense of peace. One verse I read often throughout that process was Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to the pattern of this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then, you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -His good, pleasing and perfect will.” I learned that it was a choice to ‘renew my mind’ and refocus my thoughts on scripture, worship music or positive Godly things when I was in a “funk”.
But on June 29th, 2017, any headway that had been made since my struggles with anxiety and fear of illness and cancer, would be challenged beyond what I ever dreamed. Our healthy, athletic, typical 12-year old boy, and only child was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). This would begin a 2 ½ year battle against cancer…again…that would take our precious son through so much. However, from the onset and through some of the hardest moments I saw God show up in so many amazing ways! There were numerous events and circumstances where we just stood in awe at how He choreographed the details, to work things out for Hunter’s protection and to growth our faith. We like to call those moments a “God-incidence” rather than a “coincidence”. I started journaling during that time, and I love to go back through entries now, reliving those amazing moments where God’s divine power literally carried us through.
Praise the Lord! We’re now on the other side of this storm! On October 30, 2019 Hunter is declared ‘in remission’. What began as this mom’s worst nightmare, has become a pivotal turning point in the life of our family. We’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death… but through it have experienced God’s healing, comfort, and power in such tangible ways. He’s replaced fear of scary circumstances and will not let us go as we walk through the hard places. He’s given my heart a new song of thankfulness, and replaced the fear and anxiety. I still have moments that the fear but when these moments come, I remind myself how far He’s brought us and that this abiding joy He placed in my heart isn’t dependent upon our circumstances, but upon His promise to always love us and be with us through all of life’s ups and downs. For anyone walking through hard moments right now or battling anxiety and fear, I want to give you hope and encouragement that it doesn’t have to stay this way! Watch for those “God-incidences”!
Thank you Amy for sharing your story and your heart. What is your story? Have you shared it? How did God work through it? I encourage you to look for the ways He is working. Write them down. Share them.
I would be honored to walk through this process with you.
Rhonda Gould, is an ACC Certified life coach through the ICF. She specializes in helping others reveal patterns that are holding them back. She believes that every client has the ability within themselves to break the patterns and promote forward movement into career opportunities, new relationships, fun adventures and so much more. Rhonda consults with clients centered around having healthy boundaries and dealing with difficult people and hard conversations. You can learn more about Rhonda’s work at https://rhondagouldonline.com/. Initial coaching session is FREE!