Tuesday, February 12, 2013

To Be a Hero

    Useless imaginings, that's what my husband said they were.  We had just moved here to Henderson Maryland and were settling in fine.  We met a wonderful, talented woman who had leukemia which required treatment every six months.  I imagined how that diagnosis must have changed her life...and wondered, if that were me would I do half as well as she?  I told my husband, "there is no way I would be able to face such a thing...how could anyone?"  He replied. "You would face it fine, God would give you the strength when you needed it."  No, he hadn't heard half of what I  just said.  This woman was a hero in my eyes. Or what about the other lady we met who had severe, crippling Lyme disease.   She bore her frailty with patience.... sweetness and love poured from her life.  To see a hero at work, at play, or on an ordinary day.  The patient faith, the persistent strength. Strength from within where the real battle is fought and won.   She's an over comer, one of the greatest heroes I know. What would I do?

   Have you ever asked yourself, what if that were me?

    In the beginning of Karagen's illness, a friend of the Jonathan's family did a YouTube video addressing the subject of Karagen's cancer.  He entitled it "Compliant Suffering".  He simply could not fathom why God would allow an innocent child to get cancer, and asked that question many times throughout his video.    He spoke of Jonathan and I as being "compliant with God's will."  When I first saw his video I was offended, especially since it wasn't his child who was sick. Yet slowly, the title grew on me in a positive way. I've pondered the title of his video all these months and tried to answer the question he asked so persistently.  How can we be compliant when bad things happen?
    Compliant:  Obeying, obliging, yielding, especially in a submissive way.

   Yes, with that definition, I guess we did have "compliant suffering", I rather liked the sound of that.  Let's take it one step further and change it to "submissive suffering."

   Submissive:  Inclined or ready to submit, unresistingly or humbly obedient.

   Is this to say that we didn't fight her disease as best we could, without putting her through endless torment to get her well?  Yes we fought, with all our strength, to her very last breath, we fought.  However, in regards to our attitude towards God, and what He was allowing, we kept our attitudes submissive.  Such a crucial word in the believers vocabulary and core beliefs.  We believe that our Father God is the Master Molder, we are the clay.  The more pliant and soft (trusting) the clay is, the better vessel it can become under the Master's master molding skills.  Karagen showed that to me.  I never heard her question bitterly why God let her get cancer, cutting short all her hopes and dreams in this life.  She endured her pain and suffering without complaint....she showed submissive suffering.

   Karagen showed us what a hero is.  It is not someone who is super strong and extremely gifted.  A hero is someone who inspires us with their faith and passion in a bigger purpose, even if no one believes it but them.  A hero is someone who faces insurmountable odds with courage and dignity and shows how strong the human spirit can be even in the face of tragedy, an unfair diagnoses or a pointless accident.  A hero is someone whose strength and perseverance inspire us to do better, be better, love more, and see thing clearer.  A Hero's life... put's life into perspective.

   The best hero's are never the ones looking to be  hero's.  They are simply the ones who do the best with what they have, who stay focused and vigilant.  They are the ones who are ready...to fight....to help.... to rescue...to be strong... to believe.

   It was Job who faced severe adversity and in the midst of the worst personal carnage in history that said "Though He slay me yet will I trust in Him." (Job 13:15)  It was David who was small, stinky and underestimated that slew a giant, inspiring an entire nation to fight. A faith whose actions inspires us hundreds of years later.  It was Abraham Lincoln who persevered in the face of brutal slaughter, vast starvation and self doubt who finally brought an end to the civil war and freedom to slaves.  It's the woman with leukemia and the woman with crippling Lyme disease, who face personal hardship, seldom complaining, yet they still manage to pour their lives out for others.  It's Karagen, who's life inspired her parents to keep fighting, to see everything...everyone.... differently.  Who to her last breath never railed at God or was angry with Him.  Who fought her cancer and worked hard.  These are  some of the hero's who inspire me.  They change the way I look at the world and circumstances around me.  They change me.

  I am a proud mama to a STRONG HERO!

Someday, maybe I'll be one too.

This is the last photo we took of Karagen.  This was taken the week prior her death.  She was usually in severe  pain, but she never complained.

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