She’s A Fighter

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It felt like any other normal day. I was in my bedroom trying to finish up some school assignment when I heard my parents calling my sister and me downstairs in the kitchen. For some reason, I could feel my stomach drop although I had no idea what my parents wanted. I knew that they were gone most of the morning since I woke up. My parents were sitting at the kitchen table, smiling nervously at us. I automatically felt chills run up my spine. I couldn’t decipher whether if it was excitement or nervousness at the time. Once my sister and I sat down at the table finally my father began to speak.

“Your mother and I just came from the doctor’s office…your mother has breast cancer.”

My heart stopped for a moment. I actually was waiting for my parents to just begin laughing and to tell us that they were kidding (but thinking back on it now, that would have been a very sick joke to play on us). However, I could tell from the way they looked at us that this was very serious.
the-social-web-takes-on-breast-cancer-awareness-month-5ae68dc0c6I didn’t say anything at all. I mean, what words could you say after your parents just dropped this huge bombshell. I am not even sure if any emotions displayed on my face but my mind was whirling at a million miles an hour. I actually don’t remember the rest of the conversation because I was having my own conversation in my mind. I kept thinking how did this happen to us?

I am not a person who blames God when tragedy strikes. I’ve known Him practically all my life and He had always taken care of me no matter what. Even though I was not mad at God that my mother had breast cancer but I couldn’t stop asking Him why did this happen?

Everything seemed to pass like a blur. I remember the conversation with my parents that I immediately went upstairs to my room and changed into some workout clothes before going outside to jog. Jogging always seemed to calm me down when I was stressed about my classes or if I just wanted to blow off some steam, however, this time, it couldn’t calm me down. Instead, while I was jogging I felt like I wanted to scream. My mom had cancer and I felt as if I was in some sort of nightmare. I was completely helpless to do anything and I did not know what to think.

I just stopped jogging for a while and just began walking. While I was walking I was talking to God. “Lord, I have no idea what is going on. I don’t blame You that my mother has cancer but I just don’t understand why. I guess I am not supposed to understand the reasoning but I really need You right now. I can’t deal with this on my own.”

Suddenly, I felt this rush of peace filling me that I never experienced before. I could almost hear God saying “I got this, the daughter. Just trust me. Your mother is going to be ok.” It made me think of Psalm 34:17 when it says, “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

It is during those rough times that forces you to see where you have your hope in. This time, it tested me to see whether I had my own faith or whether I was just holding on my parent’s and grandparent’s beliefs. I had to fight for my faith because that was all that I could cling to. I had to trust that God would make a way for us because if I didn’t lean on Him I did not have anything else to support me. But I am so glad that I am able to have my trust in Him because I know that despite whatever I go through that God will always be right there. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV 

My mother was (and still is) a fighter. Although it was my mom’s struggle, we all fought with her. She not only fought through cancer but fought for her faith. I never saw her waver in her love and dedication for God. Even when she had to go through chemotherapy, which practically took much of her physical strength, she still praised God in the middle of 11535912_10205704250383839_5609092937280356906_nthe storm. My mom is actually the praise and worship leader at my church and no one in our church knew she had breast cancer. The only ones who knew about it were my
immediate family and very close friends. We did not want others to feel sorry for us but to see how God was going to do something miraculous in our family’s life. So there were church services while she was still going through chemo and felt sick in her body, but she still sang her heart out to God. I could see how her praise and worship to Him literally gave her not only spiritual but physical strength as well.

Not only did God give her strength but He also completely healed her of breast cancer so quickly that the doctors were puzzled. They had never seen breast cancer just disappear like that. However, we all knew it was a miracle. God truly did have everything in His control.

So  I just want to encourage you that no matter what you’re going through, God will be with you in every storm like He did with my family. We may not understand the reasons behind why we have to go through certain situations, but throughout it, all God still can give us a peace that is beyond our understanding and in the end give us victory.

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

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One of the Most Beautiful Women in the World

She was told that she would never amount to anything, that she should just kill herself and was labeled as the “Ugliest Woman in the World” on YouTube.  Yet, thatunknown did not stop Lizzie Velasquez! Born with a very rare disease that only two other people in the world has, she is challenging the world what true beauty is.

“Beauty isn’t skin deep. Beauty is a smile that makes others feel warm inside. Don’t strive to be ‘pretty’. Learn that you’re beautiful.” ~Emily Grace

What really drew me to Lizzie wasn’t her condition but her strength & optimistic spirit despite the hard trials she had went through. However, her condition is very complicated.

“The main symptom of the syndrome is that I’m not able to gain weight. Right now I am 23 years old and only weigh about 60 lbs.  I have zero percent body fat as well.  I’m also blind in one eye and have limited vision in the other… The small amount of information that I just wrote about is literally the only information my doctors know about my syndrome.  It’s just one big mystery and hopefully one day there will be a miracle and an answer to all our questions.”~Lizzie Velasquez. (For more information about her rare disease you can click on this link and find a YouTube video about it.) 

Lizzie Velasquez has not let that bring her down. Instead of allowing self-pity consume her, Lizzie has been traveling across the nation as an inspirational speaker, bringing hope and a new sense of beauty to many lives. Her book, “Be Beautiful, Be You”,which came out last year, has provoked many readers to see past the media’s perception of “pretty” and to just be themselves.2

“After spending years wanting to look like everyone else, I realized I needed to love and accept myself just as I am. When I stopped listening to other people and started making a life for myself, I discovered my purpose in life, my passion.” ~Lizzie Velasquez, “Be Beautiful, Be You.”

We can all learn from Lizzie. I think the phrase “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” completely describes her life. But we should all do the same as well…including myself. As Christians, we should be the happiest and most optimistic people alive yet, it seems like we were are the most worried and discouraged when hardships blow our way. God tells us in Philippians 4:6 to not be anxious for nothing, but just come boldly to God in prayer…with thanksgiving. Sometimes, I find myself completely lost in my own distress that I loose sight on who my Father is…and who I am!

Romans 8:28~“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I think that verse is better than the lemonade phrase because if we know that we love God and we are His children, why wouldn’t our Father take care of us? He never does anything to harm us because He loves us too much. That verse should give us more hope in our lives no matter what happens in our lives.

“God has given me an amazing life. God has also given you an amazing life…God cares about you. I want you to understand that knowing God makes the difference. I hope you find a lot to smile about on your journey.” ~Lizzie Velasquez, “Be Beautiful, Be You” (available on now Amazon)9780764820793_p0_v1_s260x420

So be beautiful and be YOU!