Those of you who know me can attest to the fact that I'm not a very sensitive, emotional, touchy-feely kind of person. I often substitute sarcasm in situations more tailored for tears and a hug.
Having said all that, I have to say (through tears) that I've been tremendously affected by Diana Hummell, a woman I've never met...and now never will.
As Christians we all hear our share of prayer requests each week. Someone's cousin lost his job. Someone's father needs a heart transplant. Someone's having a rough time in their marriage. Praying for these people, both friends and strangers at night has offered tremendous spiritual gifts, not only for me, but for my husband and our sons.
Nearly a year ago, my friend Janece from California posted a prayer request for Diana Hummell. Diana, who like me, was thirty-something a loving wife and the mom of two little boys, had just been diagnosed with stage-4 Cancer. I couldn't imagine.
The day I read her prayer request, I was cursing my dishwasher for not properly doing its job, whining about not having enough money for a weekend away and fervently trying to hide a dozen new gray hairs that'd popped up seemingly overnight. When I realized my similarities to Diana, and the battle she was facing, my life seemed so cushy, my concerns, so petty.
I clicked on Diana's CaringBridge.com journal link. If you aren't familliar with Caring Bridge, it's an online network that allows cancer patients to create their own websites with photos and an online journal of their progress.
Like most of us running on the hamster wheel of life, I don't have much time. But, I made time to read Diana's journal updates because I'd never encountered a woman with such grace, who handled a terminal diagnosis with such reliance on her god, a BIG HUGE GOD, who loved her more than she could imagine. Every entry was filled with hope, gratitude and a lesson she'd learned through her struggles. She reminded me so much of the Apostle Paul, who I'm quite a fan of. With every journal post I read, I just knew she was going to get better, that her cancer would be in remission in just a few months.
That brings me to yesterday, an incredibly busy day, running hither and yon, pulling everything together for a senior education seminar. It was the biggest seminar I'd ever facilitated and my nerves were frazzled. The attendees sat munching and listening to speakers. Things so far had come off without a hitch. Finally, I could relax. Sitting in the back out of view, I popped open my phone for a quick email check. "Ah, a journal update from Diana. Let's see how she's doing!" It'd been a few weeks since she'd posted.
Shock and shortness of breath took over as I read the words "This is Cameron, Diana's husband. Diana went to walk with Jesus this morning at 6:15 am while she was sleeping, a slight smile on her face."
An unexpected sense of mourning overtook me for a woman that I never even got to meet, didn't even know where she lived. Sitting in the back of the conference room, listening to an expert discuss the benefits of staying active well into your 80's, I wiped away tears for a young mother who would never even see her 40's, yet she taught her journal readers so much about being grateful for every minute of every day. She wasn't a published author with a flashy evangelistic message for the masses. She was an ordinary young woman doing life, who stopped to record her thoughts along the way.
I could go on and on about this unexpected hero, but it's better to let you read for yourself. I've pasted one of Diana's posts below.
March 3, 2010
It's with raw emotion that I write today. Last night was rough, to say the least. I don't like even writing those words and don't mean them to sound as if I'm complaining, because I have it so much easier then so many.
Just walking through the store today it hit me that life can and very much is, so fragile. I was convicted as I wandered the isles with Zach, that looking on the outside of most people, you assume they are healthy individuals pacing the isles just as you are, focused on what items they may need. Then I passed a fish tank full of fish (Zach's fav place to stop and watch) and looked back at the reflection to see a "healthy" person looking back at me. It was me, and on the outside everything appears to be "normal".
No one would guess that the night before I was gasping for air as my liver shot out the most horrific pain. That I still struggle even now as the tears flow to take a full breath of air. No one would know I have cancer.
So, where am I going with this? I guess I say all that to say that for the first time I finally realized that the person in our way, or one taking a little longer in the line that is supposed to be "fast", the one that isn't sure where they parked their car, or the person that simply doesn't respond how we think they should or in some cases the most healthiest looking person passing me down an isle...may have had his/her worst night last night. I think of the many times I allowed myself to get upset over silly little nothings like those I mentioned...oh how perspectives can change in a moment!
I also write today, because this week we are in need of much prayer. My health of course being one of them and the other is for wisdom...God's wisdom as we weigh and balance areas of our lives. We want what God has for us and are completely dependent on the road He wants us to take. Life is a journey, we're wanting to do our best to follow in the many directions He'll lead us through. We just need His wisdom!
Thank you for your countless thoughts and prayers you have already so sweetly spoken. We cling to those daily, thank you for helping bare our burdens and may God continue to bless you in ways you never thought possible.