My life changed forever on May 10, 2016 when an oncologist’s diagnosis of PNET Brain Tumor was spoken about my precious, two-year old daughter, Emma Beth. Just one day earlier, Emma Beth had been healthy and happily playing with friends when she suddenly began displaying signs of paralysis on the right side of her body. The doctor’s diagnosis meant that Emma Beth would have less than a 20% chance of surviving and would be facing a possibly unsuccessful surgery to remove the egg-sized tumor growing in her brain.
Immediately, I walked out of the room and headed straight to the hospital’s garden where I wept and prayed. As I felt God’s presence meet me on bended knees, the words of Philippians 4:6 swept over me, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” It was in this moment I felt a peace that God would fight for me and Emma Beth.
And I sensed a calling to minister to others that I would encounter through Emma Beth’s diagnosis. I did this through bracelets I made that were inscribed with “God can. God will.” I handed out thousands of them. I prayed with and over babies and their families, trusting no prayer returns void.
God opened doors for me to share verses of encouragement with others, including the mom of a little boy fighting the same brain cancer as Emma Beth. I initially stood silent as this mom struggled with hope, believing that her baby would die. Then God granted me an opportunity to take this mom’s hands and tell her of a God who was big and amazing, a God who was a bigger physician than the ones helping save the lives of our children.
Over the past three years, my daughter and I have had the opportunity to lead seven people to Christ. Regardless of our outward circumstances, we have chosen to stand firm in our faith and be a light to others walking through a difficult and dark time.