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Can joy be present during difficult times?
This past Wednesday morning we were blessed with guest speaker, Kristin Tanner. Kristin, a 10-year resident of the Desert, a Registered Nurse, wife and mother of two recounted her first-hand experience in finding joy while accepting a very difficult medical diagnosis of her three-month-old daughter Natalie.
Natalie was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer; merely three-months old, her head was increasing in size due to the fluid surrounding her brain and a tumor that had wrapped itself around her brain stem. The diagnosis was the beginning of a journey that Kristin later described as, “an experience that most people do not get.”
Kristin gave a phenomenal recount of her emotions as a mother during this time in her life; making decisions that didn’t always feel right, smiling when she didn’t always feel happy and finding hope when medical history dictated otherwise. Her thoughts were raw at times when she described how confusing it was, when bonding moments with her daughter left her wondering whether she should, “enjoy her (daughter’s) spirit” or “prepare for her (daughter’s) loss”. During these difficult times Kristin explained to us that her strength came from the, “peace and joy of being fully engaged as a family, experiencing their new normal and embracing Natalie’s progression and growth.”
Kristin’s final words to us Wednesday morning answered the question we ponder when faced with difficult situations, “Joy needs to be found during times when it’s not there and then remembered.”
Today Natalie has been cancer free for three years and has an 85% chance of survival; Praise God for their miracle and for the hope and the joy they experienced during their most difficult days.
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10
M2M Guest blogger