Tuesday, December 08, 2009

~~hope~~

up until march 1996 i had a lived a charmed life
i had a happy childhood
i loved my highschool experience
my parents were still married & obviously still loved each other

i was a young healthy mom
owner of my own small business
working as a nurse in pediatric oncology
i spent my weekend teaching aerobics & running 10k's

i was married to a wonderful man
my husband gregg was the vision of health
best friend to many
successful college career in track & basketball
a triathlete & an avid skiier
a brilliant teacher & a wonderful youth pastor

our world turned upside down when the doctor told us he had cancer
we might do well if he survived the 5 year mark
we ended up with 9months
i learned during those months what i could hope in

i could hope the doctors could heal him
i could hope the medicine would work
i could hope in the power of positive thinking
i could hope in being 'happy' & the "he's young, he'll beat this" said by many
i could hope in the fact that everything else in my world had always worked out
i could hope in pastors who preach health & wealth
who lead you to believe that praying hard enough
combined with the "all things work together for good"
will surely bring good health

but honestly i knew the only thing i could hope in was my heavenly father
in a God whose name & character was not
dependent on the outcome of gregg's battle with cancer
whose promises are true
whether everything is seemingly all right with the world
or when that world is actually crumbling down

i'm ashamed to admit this
but scriptures had always just been beautiful poetry
stories that while i was familiar with the characters
i didn't truly feel connected with god's word
there were many many days when i honestly felt i could loose my mind
i felt like i was walking a tightrope
where any slight change
or shift would cause me to come tumbling down
& never arise again

the cliche take one day at a time
was way too grand
i was barely able to take one hour at a time
would gregg have another seizure?
when would emi need to nurse?
was it time for madison to nap?
had anyone played with savannah?
did i pay the bills on time?
supper?

i asked friends to write out scriptures for me on 3x5 cards
i carried them everywhere
when i would sit at a redlight
my mind would start to wander
anxious thoughts would begin to creep in
i'd grab those scriptures & read them out loud
over & over

i knew i wasn't alone
i knew He was with me
i knew He cared about me & loved my 3 little girls

i didn't know what my future would hold
i never prayed for a new husband
not once
maybe i was afraid to put my hope in a seemingly happy ending
but truthfully i didn't want to put god in a box
i didn't want to have the mindset that falling in love again would
right all wrongs
would make my world perfect again

but amazingly he did send dan
i think most of you know how much i love this man
how much i don't deserve him
& all his goodness

but i want you to know
that even if he hadn't sent my sweet dan my way
i would still know He was with me
that He was faithful & true
that He is the only one true thing to put worthy of hope

i wanted to share this part of my story
for you in you are in a place that doesn't make sense
if you are in a place where you feel alone
or that the answer you're praying for doesn't seem to be the one you're hearing
you have someone you can hope in

i don't tell you these things because i think i did a great job during those years
i did what anyone else would do
get out of bed
breathe in
breathe out
take care of my babies
love those around me
& lean on Him
every minute
of every day

this was us
just a few weeks after gregg passed away
christmas 1996

& these were my baby girls that year

a few weeks ago my youth pastor asked if i'd do a quick video testimony

i'd love to share it with you....

please pause the playlist on the right



Stories of Hope-Paige from gfc.tv Videos on Vimeo.>

45 comments:

Ashley Eiler said...

i don't think you will ever know how much i needed your testimony today, in a really urgent way...i wait on God daily to show me his faithfulness...i needed to hear that i need to persevere with patience for him to show me his hand...
i am in the stages of waiting and i thank you for your honesty and sharing both the bad and when it gets better...those of us who are in the depths need to hear that it does get better sometimes...
thank you friend...

*The Beautiful Life* said...

Oh Paige. Dearest, dearest Paige....

You and this testimony are the HOPE this world needs.

You personify exactly what preachers try and try to get across to the masses -- Our God never changes, His love and His character are steadfast no matter what our circumstances. And His presence is palpable to His child whether at the wedding -- or the graveside.

He doesn't promise a hurt-free life, but He does promise to carry us through it all.

Oh Paige -- how amazing your words are. I know they are truly straight from the Father Himself.

XOXO,
Ruth

T said...

A beautiful post Paige.

It took me years to forgive God for my failed marriage and I'm just coming thru it. What a wonderful,uplifting post this was for me.

Farmgirl Paints said...

Paige that was wonderful. I'm so proud of you for giving your testimony like that. You were amazing! Isn't amazing how God can take a horrible tragedy like the loss of your husband and turn it for good. I love how He meets us where we are at...in the pit and walks us through. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

pat.ellis said...

Beautifully written as is all your posts. God is good!

Megan said...

Your story is beautiful and touching.
I'm caring for my mother who has recently been diagnosed with breast and uterine cancer. I have hope but many days my heart is heavy. I'm not sure how I came across your blog but I know that it was no accident. Thanks for your courage to tell your story.

Julie said...

beautiful, encouraging and inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing. xo

Shaz said...

Oh, you are so beautiful inside and out.

Martha said...

Paige...oh what a lovely post! You are one of the most inspiring people...and I love how you just pour your heart and soul out and allowed God to walk you through this...I just knew this post would be beautiful as you are both inside and out! I am so glad that you shared and the video as well. You are a treasure my dear! Merry Christmas!

Kasey said...

I
love
you.
What a beautiful testimony and i love that you were heard in the walmart parkinglot.
Now that my friend convinces me that you are indeed a real and genuine soul.
xo

the wild raspberry said...

Dear Paige~
When I started reading your post today I didn't think that I could finish.
I don't want to think that my Shauna could leave us...
I had a terrible night last night just crying and crying. Most days seem like a bad dream that I can't wake from.
The mass wasn't supposed to be cancer.
Then...the cancer should have been all taken during the surgery.
I am in a constant battle between putting my trust in God and wondering why this is happening to my sweet sister.
Thank you for this today. Even through the tears that I am crying as I write this I will try to remember your words
~While you may look alone to the world...He will never leave you~
I love you so much for your prayers and your courage.
Warmly
Chasity

Nancy said...

Nothing I can say, really. What a testimony.... So needed this. So needed this.

Laura said...

I read your blog daily and love everything you have to say. I, too, lost my husband to cancer 4 yrs ago and that completely changed my relationship with a loving God. He does answers prayers-not always the way we want, but he answers them nevertheless. Your story inspires me and makes me hopeful for a love-filled future.

Kristin said...

Sorry this is so long!

My tender friend Paige,
To say anything would be to say that I was talking to a friend of mine last night about Gregg and you and your walk back then and my awe of the grace you held as you walked through this. Funny how you posted this today because the subject matter what almost on target to what you posted. I spoke with this friend about your walk of faith and grace through that time and how I just would watch you walk steadfast in Christ and give him your every moment, your trust, your hope in Him alone. I learned about the value of prayer during that time. If you say you are going to pray for someone that you better mean it! I learned the value of scripture. I remember this verse specifically Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." I remember that verse on Gregg's wall in the hospital. I remember your walk vividly. Through this amazingly challenging and tender time of mine presently I wish you to know that God has gently reminded me of you in those days and watching you and seeing your daily laying it down before God and trusting your, Gregg's and your girls future to him. I think God has reminded me of your walk and that kind of grace when there are tears in me that are falling tenderly from my heart and I forget to breathe and pray, God let me stand as a woman of courage and be with you God to know that no matter the outcome of my circumstances presently, no matter how painful I trust that you, God are more than enough my savior and keeper of my heart and lover of my soul. My saying to my Mom every day is I would rather be at peace alone with God than anywhere else that is out of his will. My beautiful kindred friend thank you for sharing this testimony of your life, your loss, your love for your girls, your true hope in Christ, your grace and the blessing of your tender husband Dan that adores your soul so well. I admire you Paige more than you will ever know. I mean that. I love you dearly too my precious friend.

Marci @ All Things Wonderful said...

Thank you! I feel so blessed to have read your testimony, today. We just found out, yesterday, that my little brother has a form of cancer. We are hopeful because our God is big and He is in control. We don't know all the details or the treatment, yet. Your testimony brings me much HOPE, today. You are a blessing. Thank you...I just wish I could hug you. :)

Nina Diane said...

wow...you are very inspiring

Lissa said...

dear Paige~ You are simply ADORABLE! I tried to watch this yesterday but my kids kept interrupting.... so I finally got some alone time to watch your testimony which is touching and beautiful. I have so many of those same thoughts and experiences. My sister was used many times to speak truth to me so that I would not go crazy from all the pain. He's been an amazing comfort to me and healer too. Also, would it be entirely inappropriate for me to also comment on how much I LOVE your earrings?? :)

beautiful post!

Shawn Seay said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Paige. God is always in control. Every day I struggle to give my all over to him.
Blessings,
Shawn

Jeanneoli said...

Thank you for sharing this! I can't imagine a more amazing gift that you could give a hurting world than HOPE! Your video is so precious and eloquent...and true and honest. I know your story will change someone's heart forever.

Donna said...

Thank you Paige for your inspiring story. You are such an amazing woman. God is so good. I love that you found hope and peace in Him. That you never gave up.
Many blessings to you and your family.

Southern Sugar said...

Paige, thank you. I am in that valley of uncertainty and despair. You will never know how much this post meant to me. Bless you.

Clare said...

What a beautiful post Paige!! you have really brought meaning and hope to this holiday season. you are such a faithful woman and mother. i look up to you!!

Kristy said...

oh paige. how wonderful your writings are. how open you are is so amazing. and to read your comments and how so many of us needed to hear your testimony. its just awesome. you reminded us indeed what we all need to remember. and that we must have hope.

beautiful you

amybeth said...

The best ever....I love you Paige.
You are my mentor....I miss your presence in my weekly life...but hold all the great memories of two years of being in the Word on Wednesdays.
Love you sweet friend.
Katie

Heather said...

i have no words.

except that you KNOW i needed this.

love you.
HH

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Your strength and courage never cease to amaze me......

I am sad to say that I did not have and hold onto my faith in my times of need. I felt that God was punishing me and abondoning me when I needed him most.

It took me some time to work through things, but I am now in a place where I believe that things happened for a reason. I may not have understood that at the time, but I can look back at those difficult and painful years and know that I was indeed in the palm of his hand every step of the way.....he guided me through!!

That was an incredible testimony of your faith that we could all use in our daily lives. Such a beautiful message!!

I am so happy that you are able to share you story and message with others......you are so very special.

Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful family:)

xo,

Lisa

AshleyR said...

Paige what an amazing testimony.I think it's easy to forget the magnitude of God's love for each of us. Regardless of the circumstances in our lives he's always there. After all he knows where we'll be before we get there. Thank you for sharing this!

Jerri said...

Sweet sweet Paige! I only wish I could be and write as awesome as you BUT the one thing we do share in common is this...knowing who holds our hand no matter where we are walking. I have been through lots of tragedy in my life as well and people ask how do you do it? On my own, I know it would not be possible...it is only by and through the blood and grace of Jesus that I am so blessed as I am today!!! Your testimony of HOPE is so needed in this world we live in today!! Love ya girl!

Tray said...

thank you, thank you

homebody0404 said...

Wow Paige,

That's powerful. I can't think of anything else to adequately describe how it felt to listen to you. Thank you for sharing.

Johnson Party of seven! said...

So many things I want to say...
First of all- it was so good to hear your sweet voice for the first time! I have felt for so long that I know you and I had never heard your voice!
Secondly~ I felt like your words were just for me! You know when you go to church and you are sure that the preacher is talking directly to you. Its no mistake. Its The Holy Spirit. Do you feel empowered by Him? You are.Thank you for being transparent- for letting us all in on something so personal and so raw and full of hurt and yet so full of HOPE and happy endings. I have been so down and anxious about Hutton this past week especially. I love the reminder that God already knows what our outcome will be and he is the same God that has walked every step of Hutton's journey with us and will be there every single day of our lives here on earth and in heaven. You are a sweet friend who is such an encourager. Thank you, Sweet Friend. I love you.
xoxo
Jill Johnson

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Wow.

I just had no idea you had such an amazing story, but it's not surprising, because you are just sweetness and loveliness itself. God's love and your love for your family just seems to ooze out of you constantly. Such encouragement... Thank you for sharing and being so vulnerable with us!

And on a lighter note (If I may) I ask God to keep me in the palm of his hand in the Walmart parking lot too, but only because it's a scary place for me, and I can't ever find a free space.

The Flying Bee said...

Paige...what a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. It has touched my heart. Your faith inspires me.

xo,
Adrienne

Jboo said...

Oh Paige -- that was so very touching and just what I needed to hear as my Mother is very ill and I'm feeling a bit lost at times. Bless you for sharing your story.

Janet

Mary said...

What a beautiful testimony to our faithful, trustworthy Father. Thank you for sharing your journey, for being a "light" in the darkness.

Tracey said...

Paige, dear sweet Paige...this was truly beautiful!!! Your love for God and your faith in Him are incredible to witness and hear about...and ultimately very inspiring...

When a dear friend and I had a conversation about faith one time, I told him that, to me, the one thing that faith in our Lord truly gives us is hope...and without hope, life would be so desolate and sad...

Thank you for sharing this ~

Hugs and blessings...

:) T

3 Peanuts said...

Crying my little eyes out here. What a beautiful, beautiful woman of God you are. I love your message, your spirit and your heart. I know you will give hope to many who need it right now.

blessings,
Kim

traci said...

thank you so much paige for those amazing written and spoken words. i am touched beyond words right now. i needed to read and hear this post today. thank you and bless you! xo!

Firefly Hill said...

Just beautiful Paige....you are articulate and gorgeous. Your story is an inspiration to all.

Thank you for sharing it...

xoxo

annie

PS~Erin said...

Oh Paige. What inspiration. What courage. Thank you for sharing your story and heart with us. This is so touching and I know that it has probably reached out and spoken to so many women. Wow. Just amazing.

(and you are beautiful!!)

Windy Ridge said...

Beautiuful testimony Paige! Great is His faithfulness!

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angela | the painted house said...

Absolutely beautiful story of hope. Walmart...isn't it funny where God meets us? I went through chemo with my husband two years ago and God met me in some funny places where I broke down. It wasn't until then that I knew the true nature of God and was BLOWN AWAY. He cares about the minute details and knows it all so much better than we do. Praise God!

I'm so glad that you contacted me via email. Your blog is beautiful with all the white and such pretty girls!

May God continue to bless you!!!

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