From Ordinary to Extraordinary

I had a very ordinary life until five years ago, when we moved to Fargo. I come from a close-knit family, and had a great childhood. I grew up in the Midwest. My parents taught me the value of hard work, being on time, and helping others. We went to church regularly, and I count knowing Jesus since I was little as a great blessing.

Dave and I were excited to start a new life in Fargo, though it was difficult leaving our family. Still, we felt like we were on an adventure. It was fun that first year, 2010, experiencing all our new community had to offer.

Becoming parents in late 2011, was a huge adjustment. Being so far from family was a challenge as we entered into the sleepless nights of parenthood. But, soon we adjusted, and Lydia started sleeping through the night.

We had about two weeks of everyone getting adequate sleep, and then Dave got sick. That pushed everything in to high-gear, like never before. I would get up regularly at 4am, just to get a head start on all that needed done each day. At only 5 months old, Lydia needed me for…well…EVERYTHING. Household management, bill paying, and dog duties fell to me. Even Dave needed physical support, in addition to emotional support and encouragement. I also worked two part-time jobs at the time.

Until Dave got his cancer diagnosis, our lives were pretty normal. When our lives were turned upside down, we did the only thing we knew to do. We clung to God for help and survival. And that is where Life became extraordinary…

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In terms of faith and trusting God, that is when the rubber met the road. Everything we had built our lives on was tested and tried. It was a physical battle, for sure. But, we saw beyond that to the spiritual implications as well.

Would we turn to God, or turn away from Him? Would He come through for us?

I soon discovered I had several deeply rooted fears. Looking back, I let fear keep me from living my life freely. But, through the cancer journey, God showed me how to tackle each one. I am so thankful.

While cancer was one of the worst things that ever happened to us, we came to see it differently. Even though Dave died, God sustained me every step of the way. When I was prone to doubt, I found hope. When I was prone to fear, I found courage. When my worst fears came true, God was with me and for me.

As the Apostle Paul writes, in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” By God’s grace, I am still standing in His strength.

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