Friday, February 11, 2011

Praise You In The Storm

My Aunt Sharon went to Heaven this morning.  She is no longer lying in a hospital bed.  She is not in pain.  She is not fighting her Goliath. For on this glorious day, she is at peace - the kind of peace that only comes from life everlasting.  

She is standing before our Savior and she is praising Him and thanking Him. I picture her singing and dancing.  I think of her laughing and smiling.  I know she is happy and healthy.

And even though these thoughts bring me such comfort today, I am still human and I wish that she were here with us instead.  It warms my heart to think of her in Heaven, even though at times that same heart feels like it's breaking.

What started out as a "pimple" on her scalp was later described as "malignant" and then as a "glomus tumor" - an extremely rare type of cancer with only 23 known cases.  Throughout her physical fight with this disease, she has undergone radiation, chemotherapy, multiple surgeries and more pain than you or I can possibly imagine. And not once did I hear a negative word come out of her mouth.  

"Jesus didn't want me to have cancer!"  

To call her strength "inspirational" is underselling it.  It has been said that your true colors are seen in times of hardship, not triumph.  And when Sharon was facing her greatest hardship, she fell to her knees to praise God for His blessings.  She prayed for other patients down the hall in the hospital.  She witnessed to lost souls.  She used her hardship as a way to bring herself and all of us a little closer to God.

It makes me wonder... When I am a solider on life's battlefield, and I am stricken with disease, and I am overwhelmed with physical pain, and I am forced to consider a world without me in it, and I picture leaving my husband, children, grandchildren, family and friends.... Will I remember to praise God?  Will I remember to thank Him for my blessings?  Will I remember to pray for others? 

I sincerely hope that the answer is yes.  And when I'm asked why I'm so strong, I'll say because "this is what my Aunt Sharon taught me."

I love you, Jimmy, Barbara, Melisa, Jimmy, Jiselle and Jayden.  I pray for peace for you.  God Bless the Cannon and Lawson families, her friends and church family.  For God has truly blessed us with the opportunity to know and love one of His most faithful children.

"I have shared with many of you that I am hoping for a miracle with this illness. In the last few weeks I have been praying hard about this weird cancer and where I will go with it. But with prayers and answers I know now that my miracle has happened. It is in front of me every day. This beautiful life that God has blessed me with. My husband James, our children and grandchildren. So many people praying for me every day, and blessing me every day. Strangers that I have met are now engraved in my heart. We all are living our miracle. Enjoy it and give thanks for your moment." - Sharon Cannon

My Aunt Sharon's favorite song - Praise You In The Storm by Casting Crowns

And the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
A chemo break for my cousin's wedding in Fripp Island.