What an honor it was for me to write this guest post for the Compassion That Compels website. Please take a few moments to go there and meet Kristianne Stewart and her Warrior
Women who surround, bless, and pray for women who are battling cancer. Her mission is inspiring and will capture your heart as it did mine!
The recent Summer Olympics captured the attention of a watching and cheering world. There are always those dominant stories such as American Michael Phelps... who now holds the record for most swimming medals in a career, Usain Bolt from Jamaica... described as the fastest man alive, and American Simone Biles..said to be the best female gymnast thus far in history.
Personally, I love the stories of the underdogs. Daniel Dennis was an American wrestler who walked away from his sport in 2013. He wandered California for a few years living in his pick-up and trailer with no TV or internet. He coached wrestlers occasionally, but did no personal training. One day he again picked up the disciplines of his sport and qualified for the 2016 Olympics.
The two-man Italian beach volleyball team fought valiantly against the home town Brazilian team to qualify for a Silver Medal. Their story? Their teammates, the Italian indoor volleyball team, were given the majority of the funding. The two man team operated on a shoestring budget but competed with tenacity and national pride.
Finally, Novlene Williams-Mills, a Jamaican woman who ran like the wind to ensure her 4x400 relay team secured a Silver Medal. When she competed in the 2012 Olympics she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She ran anyway and had a double mastectomy after the games were over.
The Summer Olympics are now history. The athletes have returned to their countries, their homes, families and jobs. Yet, all of you remain....Kristianne's BEAUTIFUL OVERCOMERS. You are still running your races, daily fighting to overcome a silent invader that has hijacked your body and your life. You are the TRUE heroes...the everyday heroes. You will never stand on a podium to the cheers of tens of thousands of fans, or have a medal hung around your neck to honor your efforts and determination. You won't hear the national anthem of your country played as millions around the world watch on.
Let me share with you what you do have. You have Kristianne Stewart and her teammates who wage war for you... on their knees... in prayer. They are tireless in their endeavor to bless and encourage you. Always seeking and developing funding for the Compassion Bags that hold hope and love for all who receive them.
You have caregivers...moms and dads, husbands, children, treasured friends and extended family members. I'm an only child who was a full-time caregiver for my dad until he died in March of 2015. I know what your families go through....the hours, days, weeks, and even years spent at your bedside in hospital rooms, emergency rooms, and doctor's offices. Your caregivers are your Bravehearts. They attempt to hide their fears and their tears. They go without sleep and without food. They take time from jobs, routines and other family members to hold your hand, stroke your forehead, and hold the puke pan. Their emotional processing and grieving are many times put on hold. Their priority is you, your recovery, your health. They will do anything for you. Please know how loved you are by these Bravehearts who surround you!
I follow many of you on social media and find myself overcome on a daily basis with respect and awe for you. I pray for you...I cry for you. Your courage is beyond description. Your love for Jesus and your mountain moving faith, honestly, puts me to shame. You are BEAUTIFUL....you are rich in the depth of your love for your families. You fight with the fierceness of lionesses to live another day with your babies and walk with them into their futures.
You are blessed because you have a Father who adores you. He will never leave you. He washes over you with His Holy Spirit to infuse your inner being with a peace that passes all human reasoning. When you "feel" like He has abandoned you and He is deaf to your desperate cries...know He is carrying you against His chest. You are His daughter. He wraps you in His love, His comfort, His grace, His mercy.
He sees every tear. They are like shimmering, glistening diamonds....valuable and precious.