I met the love of my life when I was 23 years old. I can’t think of a single thing that I don’t love about him. His faith, infectious laughter, his kind heart, and his striking blue eyes had me in love very early on in our relationship. He makes me feel loved every day. And he spreads his love to so many others as he serves and protects the community as a Police Officer.

Our relationship progressed quickly, and we knew after 8 months of dating that this was the real thing. Never was there a girl more overjoyed to watch someone get on one knee to ask for her hand in marriage than me. Our future lay brightly ahead with many hopes and dreams that we couldn’t wait to fulfill!

I’ll never forget the day he told me that when I took his name as my own, that he would transfer his emergency contact to my name. At any other job, that usually means a phone call if someone gets sick. But with his occupation, it meant that I would be the first to be called if he had been badly injured or even killed on the job. At age 24, we had this discussion through tears, and we planned his funeral together of what he would want me to do if he didn’t return from work one day.

Fast forward to 3 years of marriage, and I, myself, am staring death in the face. At age 28, my husband and I found ourselves in an E.R. room filling out a POA and Living Will now planning my funeral as my life is dwindling away to stage 3 sarcoma cancer.

Where is joy to be found in planning one another’s funerals before my 30th birthday? How can life be lived abundantly while burdened with so much hurt, pain, fear, and despair?

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The only answer that I have found that is steadfast and strong is faith: The promise of eternal life in Jesus. The precepts and hope that come from the living God. Through Him, life has found direction, intention, and an abundance of joy.

 

We have found purpose through loving God and loving people through The Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and understanding what it means to love and experience abundant life and joy in a fallen, broken world.

God created us as the hands and feet (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Whether it be out in the community as a police officer or within hospital walls as a volunteer and advocate for illness, we all have purpose assigned to each of us by God. The joy that overcomes my soul as I think that He would use sinners like us to be the handiwork for his Kingdom!

It isn’t always easy, but we weren’t promised that it would be easy: we were promised that we are overcomers through Jesus:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

The Lord’s strength is sufficient and will guide, lead, and help us through the trials of this life. The more we remain rooted in Christ, His Word, and Christian community, our relationships {with God and others} will continue to strengthen and grow. There is a beautiful life to be had and it is right in front of us!

God bless you! And thank you for being the hands and feet in this life where the Lord has led you to do so!

Sparkle on, Nicole
www.SparklySurvivor.com
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