Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25: Only Jesus can turn trial into blessing ~ Part 2

I would never belittle the suffering that comes with a cancer journey, but there is another type of suffering that haunts my worst nightmares. How does one possibly endure tragedy happening to one of their children?

Approximately one month before my diagnosis, I heard the story of Olivia Constants. Olivia was a 14 year old sophomore at our local high school and member of our church. She died in a tragic sailing accident on the Severn River on June 23, 2011. I never got to meet Olivia and don't know her family well, but I have had the honor of meeting her mom once. It was just before her first Christmas without Olivia, and she expressed that they were {obviously} struggling with how to celebrate the holidays without their beloved daughter. Although there was unspeakable pain in her eyes as she spoke of Olivia and I walked away with a heaviness in my heart, I will never forget the hope I received from our fifteen minute encounter.

She knew that her sweet daughter had accepted Jesus into her heart and was in His Presence. Because they are confident of God's perfect plan, they could turn the trial they were facing and would face for the rest of their lives into something that could bless other people. She spoke of meeting with other parents who were facing similar struggles of losing their teenage children. She spoke of counseling and encouraging Olivia's peers who were struggling over losing their friend. I have since heard about the Olivia Constants Foundation which is a non-profit organization established by her parents and older sister with a mission to do as much good as possible for whomever they can in the spirit of Olivia.

When I wonder how does one possibly find the strength to keep going in the face of such loss, I think of this precious family. They choose to celebrate Olivia's life every chance they get by blessing those around them. Sounds like perspective that only Jesus could give.


  1. So true that it is the type of perspective that only Jesus could give when faced like such a tragedy like Olivia's family. I too do not know how parents endure tragedies that happen to their children; that is one of my biggest fears as a parent and mine are young adults and I know if something should happen, God would be walking right alongside me, but still it is a fear of mine.

    My niece has a dear friend who was in her wedding 10 years ago. The friend went on to marry and have three children; their youngest, a sweet little boy got diagnosed with brain cancer a year ago this month. They did all they could with treatment, but God is choosing a different path for them than the one they would have chosen and it won't be long before he will be going home to Jesus. Yet their faith and their hope is still in God no matter what. Totally amazing. I would hope if faced with such a thing I would have that faith and that hope.


    1. Thank you for following, Betty! And thank you for all your sweet comments along the way. I am so sorry for your niece's friend. I imagine they are reaching many people with their example of faith in the face of such heartache just as Olivia's family has ministered to me.