Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What cannot be blown away

This past Friday, we participated in a very windy Relay for Life event. So blustery, two of the tents we used were destroyed, the metal supports mangled by the wind's huff and puff. So windy the caterer who does the survivor dinner called for fifty-five gallon drums filled with water to anchor their giant tent, which was floating about a foot off the ground.

The weather threatened to blow our decorations and giveaways off the map.

Despite the weather, we gathered to celebrate and what was most important could not be blown away.

Jerry and I were both honored to speak at the opening ceremonies. Here’s an excerpt from my talk:

“I attended my first Relay for Life Event about a year after I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

At my first relay, we were given sashes, and on them, we attached that year's Relay for Life survivor pin. As I trekked around the track with my one pin on my first survivor lap, I searched for other survivors who had multiple pins. I wanted to find another woman who lived a significant length of time beyond her diagnosis. When I spotted a metal laden sash, it thrilled my heart and gave me so much hope.

You see, when I was diagnosed, though our oldest daughter was an adult, our younger children were only six and eight years old. Oh, how I wanted to be with them as they grew, to celebrate birthdays, soccer victories, and ballet recitals. I wanted to mend skinned knees and help console broken hearts. I wanted to be there for graduations and college decisions and dare I even hope for grandchildren.

I also sensed a call from the Lord to be a writer. But I hadn’t really even gotten started and I knew it would take time.

It seemed a lot to pray for, me with my one pin on my first survivor lap.

But I did pray, and many others prayed for me. As most survivors will attest, I learned to value every day as a precious gift.

The next year at Relay for Life, I added another pin on my sash, and the next year, another.

Today, by the grace of God, here I am.

When I make my lap today, I should have about nineteen pins on my sash. I’m missing a couple, but you get the idea. Those young children are twenty-five and twenty –seven. I praise God, I celebrated when my son played goalkeeper at the state soccer playoffs. I was there when my daughter performed in her senior ballet recital. I watched the fireworks when my son graduated from the University of Georgia and cheered as the president of Oglethorpe University handed my daughter her diploma.

As far as my writing, I have four books in print, others on my computer. I’ve contributed to six book anthologies, written over 800 blog posts, countless articles and devotions, and even had a screenplay under option.  

If you’re here for the first time tonight, when you look at my sash, my prayer is it will give you hope. Nothing is impossible.  

I’ve been through a few scary times in intervening years, but God has been with me. I know others have prayed just as much and are in a real battle. I have a precious friend there now, so let’s draw courage from the Lord and let’s encourage one another.
Whether we have many years under our belt or only one, let’s have hope for the future, and let’s celebrate.”

Our oldest daughter had a baby about a year after my diagnosis. He is a senior this year and his sister followed a short time later. Oh, what joy they have brought us. What a privilege is has been to watch them grow up also.

Jerry was diagnosed with prostate cancer ten years after my diagnosis and he is now a nine year survivor. Anther tremendous praise.

When I see those pins on my sash, I see the wonderful blessings each year brought and my heart overflows with enormous gratitude.

If you know someone who has just been diagnosed, share a picture of my sash. I know from experience, it will bless them.

There are some things the wind cannot blow away.  

 "And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us . . . " (Romans 5:2-5).

“As a Ford model during the 1980’s, the New York fashion world was my world. Beverly’s encouraging stories of how God moved in that sphere help us realize that no matter where we are— even on Seventh Avenue--God wants to use us for His glory.” Nancy Stafford Actress (“Matlock”), Speaker, and Author
Faith in the Fashion District by Beverly Varnado

   A key can open more than a door. The Key to Everything by Beverly Varnado. In print and ebook.

1 comment:

BethAndrews said...

Love this post Bev - I'm so thankful the Lord saw fit to let you stay for your family and your readers - I'm blessed and inspired every time I read your words. May God give you many more years and many more words.

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