Instead of Faithful Friday this weekend,
I wanted to write about something that has been close to
my heart lately as I think about it... and I have to say that the
example of this girl and her attitude and faith have grown my own
faith, so this is fitting for a post about faith and character,
of which she was a model of, above and beyond.
Last week, the world lost Lauren Hill,
a girl whose story made headlines for her positive, 'never give up'
attitude and her beautiful spirit in spite of the imminent death she faced.
She was diagnosed at 18 with a rare form of brain cancer that is
inoperable. She was told soon after her 18th birthday that she would
have zero percent chance of survival and would likely not make it through
the end of 2014. But she did. She made it to April 10th.
And thank the Lord that she did, because she deserved every last minute
possible to live the life she chose to, one of dreams and perseverance,
passion for helping others, and selflessly being determined to inspire and fight
for others despite her own illness.
I had followed her story and was so touched by her loss.
I found myself watching videos about her, like the ones I've shared above,
and crying... because of so many things... because I was so sad for
her that someone with such a beautiful heart and soul had such a short
life, because I am so close to her in age and I couldn't imagine being told
that it was the end of my life when it was just beginning, because we had
a lot in common, and because I imagined the loss her family felt, her parents
and siblings going through the worst kind of pain at losing her,
because they were expecting it and had to prepare
for it like no one should have to, and because she had to do the same.
At age 19.
And because I saw a photo of her with her dog where she is smiling
and healthy, before all of this, and I suddenly imagined her dog lying
on her empty bed and wondering where she was. Perhaps
that made me saddest of all to think about, in a way.
Thank you, Lauren, for teaching me through your life
and story the truest meaning of strength. Your attitude through
what you faced and your grace and courage will forever inspire me
and stay with me, especially your words that you were actually
glad that you were the one this happened to so you could fight
for the children and others who have the same type of cancer you did.
We were close in age, and I can't imagine knowing suddenly
that you have a zero percent chance to live and you cannot do anything
about it, but you handled it without bitterness.
I hope you knew what impact your beautiful life and resolve to
not give up had on the world- and is still having.
I'm glad you aren't suffering anymore. I pray I can
live with a fraction of the drive and positivity you did, and
I have faith I'll have the privilege of meeting you one day.
Rest in peace 1995-2015. WAY too short a dash.
Lauren's own words, an inspiration to me in faith and selflessness...
"Last January, I said to God I'll do anything to be a voice for this cancer and all the kids that can't speak their symptoms. I prayed I'd be the voice and that I'd do anything that gave me an opportunity to raise awareness and raise research money.
"I believe God has the last say. And I feel like I've accomplished what I intended."
And you did, Lauren... with the greatest strength imaginable.