Note from Jessica: Thanks to all of you who have submitted your inspirational women nominations. I have loved reading them so much. Today’s inspirational women was nominated by one of my readers, Lori. I know she will inspire you as she has me. I’ll let Lori take over from here. Thanks for sharing, Lori!
I’d like to introduce you to my dear friend, Shannon.
Shannon is a 38- year old mother of 2 young boys. She and her husband have been married less than 5 years. This past summer, Shannon went to the doctor to find out why she wasn’t conceiving, as they desired to have more children.
What they found was breast cancer. Within a few weeks of her original checkup, they discovered it was Stage 4, not Stage 2 as they had hoped, and that it had spread to her spine, liver, and bloodstream. And that it was incurable. (And oh by-the-way she will need to be on medicine the rest of her life that makes having more children impossible.)
Multiple blows. Massively life-changing news.
She’s such a bright spot in the life of her cancer doctor that he told her she’s his favorite, saying he wishes all his patients had her attitude and joy. I’ve had the unbelievable privilege of accompanying her, along with her mom, to her chemo treatments, every 3 weeks.
It sounds strange, but I savor my hours in the chemo ward.
Even while being pumped full of multiple IVs that knock her flat for days, she is thinking of others. At one visit she overheard someone say something potentially hurtful to me, and although woozy from the drugs she immediately offered me kind words and grace.
I fetch her pillows, heated blankets, and donuts. But the gifts she gives to me during those chemo days are so much greater: the assurance that joy and peace ARE possible in the midst of the unthinkable, that life is too short to be distracted or derailed by the petty or the unimportant.
We have meaningful conversations with the other chemo patients. No need to worry about small talk – conversations about death and mastectomies and treatment are their daily realities. They’re looking death straight in the eye.
She smiles back. She has no fear of the future. She knows she is His. And she shines.
Shannon, you absolutely ARE an inspiration. May the Lord continue to bless you, holding you tightly in his hand.
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