Saturday, December 31, 2011


Carson the Courageous!

Jan's faith is an inspiration to many!

God has surrounded me by courageous people this year.  The courage I’ve witnessed has changed me, and is #17 of my 20 Great Things.

“Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.” John Wayne

Carson the Great faced 5 surgeries over a month’s time this summer with as much courage as I would imagine a 4 year old little guy could muster.  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” He sang these words to me one night before surgery. 

My good friend, Jan, announced on September 14th that, after 2 months of illness, she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  She was scheduled for surgery the following week, and chemo treatments would immediately follow.  Jan ended her e-mail with this courageous message:

“Thank you all for praying and encouraging me.  I have hope and am trusting in the Lord.  I have many battles and trials to come, but as Habakkuk 3:8 says, “yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

The next evening, she joined a group of ladies from our church as we drove an hour into the mountains to set up for our women’s retreat.  2 days later, she and her daughter spent the day at our women’s retreat.  Keep in mind she had been very ill already for 2 months.  What would cause her to fight through it and go anyway?  Courage.  The following week, she had surgery, and the long road of treating her cancer began.  The months since then continue to tell the same story of her courage.  As of today, Jan still has a long battle ahead, and your prayers for her continued strength and healing would bless her greatly.

Of course, I can’t leave out the Ranch Boss.  His moments of weakness were never for lack of courage.  I clearly remember sitting beside him in the hospital and thinking I would never forget his bravery, and his unwavering faith.  I felt thankful that God chose me to be right there with him, and learn some of the biggest lessons of my life.  I thought of how our boys were learning true courage firsthand by watching their dad.

The courageous walks of these 3, and of so many have been an ongoing inspiration to me all year long.  I’m thankful God chose to use them to lift me up at all the right times, and provide an example of the courage I want to have.

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” C.S. Lewis

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