Receiving a life changing diagnosis in one’s family can cause you to do things you would never have done otherwise. You realize you have only today (as we all do), but a deep sense of urgency resides prominently within your being. Relationships take precedence, it feels necessary to make dreams become reality, and you might just do something weird like go have a food fight at a state park. Yes, that happened.
I don’t have any good words for cancer, but I am grateful for the new lenses I have to look at life. I want to introduce you today to someone else who knows this feeling well.
Meet Abra and her husband.
Last year their daughter, Naomi (pictured above), a mere two years old at the time, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a kind of childhood cancer. To say the diagnosis was scary is a vast understatement. I didn’t know Abra at the time, but I had a lot of friends on Facebook who did. I followed their journey on their “Praying for Naomi” page. Naomi’s story thankfully has a happy ending. Through surgery the majority of the mass was removed, and follow-up appointments have shown her to be cancer free!
Abra joined the Bible study I attend in the fall, and I got to hear her story firsthand. And it wasn’t so much the healing that impressed me, but her story of how she had to humbly accept help from friends, family, and even strangers. The generosity of people overwhelmed her, and all of us who heard her story were touched as well, as she shared many of the gifts she received and what they meant to her.
Here’s where the story gets most exciting. Abra and her family wanted to give back.The idea of living in the moment became so real that risk no longer seemed something to be avoided, but to be embraced.
First, they got a dog, not previously on the agenda apparently. Then, of all things, she got a tattoo. You can read her post about it here, but let’s just say she wasn’t previously a tattoo-wearing kind of gal. Finally, most exciting of all, she and her husband started an online business featuring t-shirts with positive messages for kids, and some for adults. They would love to add another child to their family through adoption. In their desire to help other families do the same, they are donating $5 from every shirt sale to a family pursuing adoption or a charity partner.
Her story resonates with me for so many reasons. I know the feeling of embracing the “Now.” I relate to her realization that “Grace is enough.” When she wrote to me and said, “I’m realizing what it means to truly live,” I knew I had a kindred spirit. Finally, when I read the words on the t-shirt that said, “Take risks,” I cried. You may remember from my previous post “Risk” is my word for this year. You better believe if that one becomes available in an adult size, I’ll be wearing it!
I don’t know what difficulty you may be experiencing right now, but I know Abra and I can both tell you, “Grace is enough.” What is one thing you can do to open your arms wide to the now? Psalm 30:11 says, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.” Accept grace today from the only one who can accomplish this.
Life is too short to not reach out with our gifts to make a life changing impact! Check out Abra’s new line of shirts here at Little Loves, or you can “Like” her Facebook page. Buy a shirt, support adoption, change the world! Share this post with your friends so we can help Abra spread the word.