Courage with Grace
I am sitting in the Admiral’s Lounge of DFW, here in Dallas, having just completed several days of training for a group that I teach team dynamics to. As usual, I am mentally tired and I know that the flight home has already been delayed 60 minutes, so I hope that I won’t face any additional delays and will be able to get home a little before midnight. I have meetings first thing in the morning, and know that by the time I get onboard this evening, I will be too tired to write.
We have spent the last two days at the Bell Helicopter facility near Ft. Worth and the folks there were kind enough to let us use their training room for the class I have been instructing. It was great to have a tour of the facility and see all those magnificent flying machines – although I admit that I have never learned to fly anything other than a kite…
As usual, these classes are an honor for me to teach. Invariably, I meet people who touch my life in special and unanticipated ways. I’ve taught thousands of people in many different walks of life, but due to Jill’s employment, I have a real fondness for the members of the various air evacuation teams that I get to work with. This week was no exception. You know, these are the people who transport ill or injured people to trauma centers after they have been in auto accidents, oil or gas well incidents or just about any other source of injury or sickness. And unbeknownst to me, many of the helicopters that this company uses are manufactured by Bell – hence the opportunity to meet at their facility.
Anyway, as happens many times, we were in the middle of a serious discussion about behavior and how people have so many things going on in their lives. Casually, during the course of the conversation, Heather, one of the team members, mentioned that she had just received a diagnosis that she has breast cancer! Sure enough, on May 7th, she got the news and has been making treatment plans to figure out next steps. It turns out that she will undergo a double mastectomy on June 4. For any woman this is a trauma, but Heather has a remarkable attitude about it all. She is smiling and hasn’t skipped a beat with work – yet… it’s important to share with you how impacted I was by her outlook. Several of her friends in the group had already heard the news, but for the rest of the team, it was something that everyone heard for the first time today.
Every once in a while, I wax a little theological in these meetings and I had this strong urge to pray for Heather so when class ended, and she gave me a little more detail about the diagnosis, I prayer for her – right there in the classroom. Several other Christians came up front and joined us. One member of the team even gave me a hug! It’s moments like this – walking beside people who are facing trials, that make my job so rewarding. I couldn’t help but ask Heather if she minded that I write a post about her – so that the community of believers that follows TBTB can get out in full force and offer prayer for Heather and her family during this challenging time.
The verse that I am thinking about is one that God spoke to Joshua after the death of Moses, when Joshua was commanded to lead the people into the Promised Land. He was concerned about the future, but had courage and was strong. That was what I saw in Heather today when she shared her news. She KNOWS that God is with her and that things will be fine in the end. She doesn’t just think it – she KNOWS it. And so it was with Joshua. Nothing is impossible with God. But impossible doesn’t even register with Heather. She already has the outcome firmly in her mind – and we all know how important attitude is when facing something like this.
So the verse for this evening is from Josh. 1:5, when God speaks directly to Joshua, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua was comforted by those words and they sustained him through the ordeal that God set before him. My encouragement this evening is for all of us to prayerfully support Heather during this time of courage. I know several of you who read this blog have suffered from cancer and I especially appeal to you for strong prayer. Because God has delivered you and it is time to support another sister in Christ who has need. My prayer is that God will hear our collective prayers and make this ordeal as easy on Heather and her family as He possibly can. Of course, we want her safe, secure and healthy at the conclusion of the journey.
If you would like to follow Heather’s progress, I am told that she has started a page on caringbridge.org – her name is Heather McGlasson and she was excited when I let her know that we would be honored to support her with prayer. So if you have time, and the inclination, why not send her a greeting on her page – I know she will love it, even if she doesn’t know you – just reference TBTB – she’ll understand. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…