We’ve loved sharing our good news stories each week and rather than just share a story with you today, we have a story combined with thoughts from guest author Jessica Poe. We hope today’s post is a great illustration of why telling our stories and connecting with each other is so important.
On the side of my main-squeeze mommy job, I’m a freelance writer for the healthcare industry … so, I wake during wee hours to write about or interview patients, physicians or healthcare workers. While listening, I frantically type copious notes; and later I decipher the medical jargon and write up an article. It’s a great gig – I learn so much and I make new friends along the way!
I’ve freelanced for nearly a decade, and I’ve noticed a tender trend:
Heavenly Father purposefully positions conversations that connect with current trials.
Here are three quick examples from the top of my head:
- A mentally ill neighbor created a crisis situation at our house, and just a few days later I interviewed the Director of Behavioral Health at a major hospital (who gave me tailored counsel).
- I interview phenomenal pediatricians about common childhood issues, and improve my mothering based on their words.
- I’ve talked with countless kind oncologists, oncology nurses and hospice care specialists as my father battles cancer – each sharing their empathy and knowledge.
This tender trend of connecting conversations shows up in everyday life too! It seems, no matter who shares their story, nuggets of personalized-truth come with it … truly, there are no coincidences. God places us purposefully around others. He intends for us to teach one another, and learn from one another … and for that to occur, we must speak – and listen – to one another!
Just last week, I heard Julian Martinez’ story – and the timing, again, proved impeccable. Initially, Julian’s wife thought he was having a stroke … but the Emergency Room physician announced a different diagnosis: an aggressive baseball-sized brain tumor. As soon as a proper surgical team could assemble, Julian underwent surgery to remove approximately half of his brain.
Julian told me about the weeks recovering in the ICU; and how the first question he asked his oncologist was, “Do you have faith?” The oncologist confirmed that she is a person of faith. From that moment on, Julian and his doctor began a physical journey with a spiritual outlook.
As Julian underwent radiation of the brain, he sanctified the experience by deeming the thick steel walls as – not a dungeon – but a prayer chamber. With his face masked and bolted to the table, he lay perfectly still physically; while ascending soulfully for those 25 minutes of radiation each day.
Julian nicknamed his radiation therapists his “morning angels” and included them – and every healthcare worker he came in contact with – in his experience. When Julian asked his healthcare team to reverence his time in the prayer chamber, they gladly changed the music to classical and softly interrupted only when necessary. I’m sure Julian’s Christ-like glow radiated the hearts around him, just as the lasers radiated his brain.
I love Julian’s eternal perspective during this dramatic earthly experience. He fully trusts that God has a plan and purpose for the brain tumor trial … and as he shared that very thought with his oncologist, she displayed her faith by saying, “I will have a hand in helping you fulfill His purpose … I will do anything I can to help God do His will with you.”
Isn’t that an exalting goal of our human experience – to fulfill God’s purpose, and help God do His will with us?
I told Julian that we recently learned that my father’s cancer spread to his brain … and that my dad will begin a similar type of brain radiation in the next few weeks. Julian empathetically listened and then gave practical tips (like exhaling when the beams begin, to lessen the metallic radiation taste). He even offered to talk with my dad on the phone.
I know without a shadow of doubt that our conversation was no coincidence! I know God purposefully positions people around us … He lightens our loads by allowing us to share them. He intentionally instructs through the experiences of others. This experience (and the countless others) confirms the blessings of connecting. So, let’s speak to, listen to and learn from our fellow travelers on this earthly journey. We have much to learn, and eternal life to gain. Let’s connect.