"Everyday Heroes"

The recent Summer Olympics captured the attention of a watching and cheering world. There are always those dominant stories such as American Michael Phelps, who now holds the record for winning the most Olympic swimming medals in a career. Usain Bolt, from Jamaica is described as the fastest man alive and American Simone Biles has proved to be the best female gymnast thus far in history. Personally, I love the stories of the underdogs. Daniel Dennis was an American wrestler who walked away from his sport in 2013. He wandered through California for a few years, living in his pick-up truck and trailer with no TV or internet. He coached wrestlers occasionally, but did no personal training. One day he picked up the discipline of his sport again and qualified for the 2016 Olympics. The two-man Italian beach volleyball team fought valiantly against the hometown Brazilian team to qualify for a silver medal. Their story? Their teammates, the Italian indoor volleyball team, were given the majority of Italy’s Olympic funding. The two-man team operated on a shoestring budget, but competed with tenacity and national pride. Finally, Novlene Williams-Mills, a Jamaican woman who ran like the wind to ensure her 4×400 relay team secured a silver medal. She had just been diagnosed with breast cancer when she competed in the 2012 Olympics. Novlene ran anyway after the games were over and had a double mastectomy. The Summer Olympics are now history. The athletes have returned to their countries, their homes, their families and jobs. Yet all of you remain – Kristianne’s BEAUTIFUL Overcomers. You are still running your races, fighting daily to overcome a silent invader that has hijacked your body and your life. You are the TRUE heroes…the everyday heroes. You will never stand on a podium to hear cheers of tens of thousands of fans, or have a medal hung around your neck to honor your efforts and determination. You won’t hear the national anthem of your country played as millions around the world watch on. Let me share with you what you do have. You have Kristianne Stewart and her Compassion That Compels teammates who wage war for you – on their knees in prayer. They are tireless in their endeavor to bless and encourage you. Always seeking and developing funding for the Compassion Bags that hold hope and love for all who receive them. Read More

"Then God saved my soul…BEAUTIFUL Grace"

God first saved my life then saved my soul. I had never gone to church much except when I was a kid and my momma made me. To be honest, I didn’t go for a thousand different reasons. A few months before my baby girl turned one, my life changed completely when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. My oldest girl was starting kindergarten in a few months and she needed me. I didn’t have time for this! My friend Karen was by my side the day I got the news. She made it possible for me to leave work and talk with my doctor. Since we are healthcare workers, we already knew what the doctor was going to say because we don’t call with “everything is ok” – ever. She fussed at me for returning to work that day, but I knew I didn’t want to be home alone. My “once in a blue moon” prayers changed that day to every couple of hours as I asked God to take this away from me. Cancer forced me from a nurse to patient. I went through the stages of acceptance just like in my nursing textbooks. I knew exactly what I was doing on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level, I was disengaged. Giving up was never an option. I needed a plan and I needed it to be done yesterday! Read More

"In the Dark"

Every day, I start my day in the dark. That’s about as appropriate as you can get. I was never an early riser, but in recent years, I have learned to treasure my mornings. Surprising even myself, I often jump out of bed before the alarm goes off just to get a head start. I want to savor every minute of my morning time with God. Since He hasn’t slept all night, He is always there, fresh and waiting to meet me. I arrive at my breakfast table with my journal, pen, Bible, and piping hot coffee – ready to discuss what I read, ask questions, and take notes. I love sitting at His feet and learning. Recently, I was reading Luke 18 where Jesus was going about ministering to people in need. Then totally out of pocket, He suddenly takes the apostles aside and tells them He would be mocked, spit on, flogged, and killed. The Bible says they didn’t know what he was talking about; the meaning was hidden from them. Can you imagine being there? They are following him around at the height of his ministry and thinking, “What do you mean He thinks he will be killed? We are on a roll here. Are you kidding me?”  Move on – end of subject. Jesus provides not another word of explanation. Read More

"Rebuilt by God… BEAUTIFUL Emily"

Surprise! This week I had the pleasure of meeting the outstanding people who sponsored my Compassion Bag last year at the Altar’d State store in Greensboro, NC. It was such a sweet time to say thank you to Altar’D State for this gift – not only a bag full of valuable gifts, but also for a new family of cancer OVERCOMERS. I will be forever grateful to Compassion That Compels, Altar’d State, and Kristianne Stewart for your encouragement each step of the way during my battle. You demonstrated God’s love to me in the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my life. Thank you for being God’s instruments in my life and the lives of thousands of others! Last year, I shared that I was diagnosed with stage 2, HER 2 positive breast cancer. I endured six rounds of intense chemotherapy every three weeks, with four different drugs: Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin and Pergeta. There were days when I would tell those closest to me that I was not sure I was going to make it through the chemotherapy. On several occasions, I was deathly ill. My husband, my mom, and my sister had a confidence and assurance that God would see me through this. Sometimes, when we feel our faith is weak the faithful prayers of others sustain us in our darkest hours. Read More