Greetings friends! It’s time for another life-changing, heart-moving installment of our “Everyday Jesus” blogging series. Today it is my great privilege to introduce not only a talented writer and dear friend of mine, but also a beautiful woman who has an incredible heart for Christ. Meet Tracy. She’s awesome. She’s sweet. She’s profound. Plus… She’s a K-State Alumni and Military wife (just like me. Thanks, Jesus.) Get ready for a powerful testimony of what it really looks like when we are ALWAYS looking for Jesus– particularly in everyday life.
I love encountering the majesty of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father, in the darkest of moments.
You gotta love boarding a Southwest airplane. It used to be chaotic, but now order has been restored to the masses due to the ticket number groupings and vertical beams that Southwest installed in the waiting area. However, before the beams were born, I felt like a herded calf being pushed along. On one particular “cattle call,” my life (and carry-on bag) collided with hers.
The people in front of me were whispering. They seemed irritated, and other passengers crammed in beside them were staring at something. Above the commotion, I heard sniffles. Someone was crying. Our line started to move again. The couple in front of me slowed and moved around a woman who was visibly upset. I instinctively touched her shoulder, walked around her, and turned to look into her face. I offered her a Kleenex and asked if she needed anything. She doubted there was anything I could do to help her.
And the God of All Comfort entered the scene.
I took her by the arm and started to help her down the gateway and into the plane. I learned that she was on her way back to meet her family. She didn’t want to give her children the news that her breast cancer had spread. She was scared and devastated. She said I wouldn’t understand. She had no idea who she was talking to.
God did though.
He chose for me to meet this woman at this particular moment of darkness in our lives.
Days before I sat in the Mayo clinic holding my mother’s hand. We were waiting for another batch of test results. By this point, I was used to seeing her in pain, and I loathed her breast cancer with everything in me. Just when my heart seemed to find hope, the Mayo doctor confirmed that a scan found a tumor in her brain. My heart was dashed into a billion pieces once again.
Stunned, my mother and I found the nearest bathroom, and let our tears flow freely.
I began to journal and stumbled across 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. With what little strength I had left, I simply wrote: “If my mom must suffer in this way, then please let me use this trial for your glory. Help me to comfort others, with the comfort I believe you are going to give me.”
As I continued to walk down the gateway with a weeping stranger, all I could hear is “I AM the God of All Comfort Tracy, comfort her as I have comforted you.” Talk about a God encounter! I didn’t care if I held up that boarding line all day–this woman was going to hear my story. Through tears, I told her about my mother and about how her courage and faith in God affected me. She got an ear full about the comfort and strength I’d received from Jesus. As she listened, her tears slowed, and she began to smile. As I helped her to sit, she said thank you and embraced me. I told her that I would pray. And pray I did.
I will probably never see this woman again.
God gave me 5 minutes with her. I believe God knew this was enough. The Kleenex, the touch, the listening ear, the tears, and my testimony were enough. It was enough for the God of all Comfort to be experienced through a hurting and imperfect vessel.
In the end, my mother journeyed through breast cancer for 11 years. She won her battle when she passed from our arms into the arms of Jesus on October 8, 2012. I encountered the majesty of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and God the Father in the midst of her cancer.
God still hasn’t answered my question of why. I no longer need Him to. He was gracious to answer a prayer from my journal. I hold onto the memory of that stranger’s smile and call it to mind when I miss my mother. It reminds me that one of my darkest moments has glorified God, and this is enough for me.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” ~2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV 1984
Tracy is proudly married to Chad, a pilot in the United States Air Force. Whenever they are not being relocated, she loves to drink green tea and watch re-runs of LOST. She also enjoys chasing their two children, Jackson (4) and Katherine (2), throughout their toy-infested home. Tracy graduated from Phoenix Seminary in 2005, and served as the Director of Student Women at Scottsdale Bible Church from 2005-2007. She is also the author of Images of His Beauty, a newly released Bible Study, for young women who struggle with self-image issues and eating disorders. You can find out more information about the study and follow her blog at One Degree Ministries. You can also connect with her on Facebook or chat with her via Twitter.