Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Shining Light

By Jamie Britt
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mathew 5:16, NKJV)

"You have stage 4 ovarian cancer."

Those are words no woman ever wants to hear. But, those are the words my dear friend Shirley Lee

heard 5 years ago. She immediately had surgery and began aggressive chemo treatments. Ultimately though, the surgeries and treatments still didn't save her life.

I first met Shirley at a retreat last March. Until I was told by someone else, I never had a clue Shirley had cancer. That's not something she immediately shared. It's not that she was in denial about it, she just didn't want everyone focusing on that one thing. She didn't let the cancer define her, she let Christ define her. Shirley was a perfect example of this verse. She did let her light shine. When you were around Shirley, you knew the presence of God was in the room. She exuded it. What is it you're going through today? Is it cancer? Job loss? Marital problems? Let me encourage you, be like Shirley. Let your light shine. Be like the shirt someone had made in her honor that says "Shirley shines." Today, shine that light and shine it brightly. By the way, Shirley didn't lose her battle to cancer, she won her victory crown!

Father, thank You for Shirley and her life. I ask that You minister to each reader right where they are. Lord if they're facing what Shirley faced, give them the strength to shine Your light to the world. In Jesus name, Amen. 

8 comments:

  1. Jamie, what a beautiful post! My favorite part was how Shirley doesn't allow cancer to define her - that her identity is in Christ. Thank you for introducing me to her today. What a blessing!

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  2. What a wonderful testimony to your friend. You honored her greatly. You said this about Shirley: "She didn't let the cancer define her, she let Christ define her. " Jamie, I thought about you when I read that sentence because you don't let blindness define who you are. You are a mighty woman of God. I love you.

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  3. Wonderful tribute to a brave woman. And like Nan, I thought of you and how bright you shine. I might not always comment, but I love reading your blog posts.

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  4. THANK YOU for writing this! I knew I should have gotten the tissues out :-) Love you more!

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  5. Wow, what a wonderful testimony. Thank you for a blessed reminder of my dear friend and what shining your light looks like. What do we let define us? When truly it should be Christ! Thank you.

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  7. Shirley's step-daughter, Stephanie Lee Boggs, is my best friend. I can remember the exact moment she called me & told about Shirley's diagnosis. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. I prayed many a prayer as many did for her through her couragous battle. Shirley was the most amazing person I've ever had the honor of knowing! She may not have spoken to many others about the cancer but I can promise you she spoke to the Lord about it many times! He gave her so much courage & strength. There were many times I'd ask Steph how she was doing & told her I didn't ask about Shirley as often as I should because she simply didn't act like there was a thing wrong with her. She was never bitter or angry for the hand that was dealt her or ever said,"Why me?" Certainly not that I'd ever heard of. She always seemed to have a feeling of peace & serenity about her. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen! She met this battle head on with such dignity & grace. And near the end I know she prepared her family & friends for her homecoming. I'll never forget it was Dec.17th,2013 when the Dr's told her she only had a couple months. And the very next day she was posting it on facebook. And typical Shirley, she starts her post off by saying,"Good morning and wow what a beautiful day it is!!" How many people would be that positive? She also said in that very same post "There really IS joy in everything!!!!" She knew she was going to a better place & she'd be singing with the angels & standing in the presence of God! How could we argue with that logic? But here on earth there is a void that no one can fill. Shirley Lee touched everyone's life that she came in contact with. She knew no stranger. And she made me strive to be a better person. I often ask myself in silence."What would Shirley do?" And believe me the answer is usually quite different than my original thought! And it's always a better decision. I thank God for placing Shirley in my life. She made an impact on my life as well as many others. Her memorial service was the most amazing service I've ever been witness to. It was,well,beyond words really. Everyone that I've spoken with about the service was simply blown away. You certainly could tell that day how much she was loved. She is still loved & missed by many. And for all the times we've said "I love you" to her & she would say,"Love you more!" I'm certain that was true! If you are struggling with trials and difficulties,as Shirley was facing or any other difficulty,consider how God is using them to grow you into his likeness. He loves you too much to leave you where you are. How can you cooperate with him through the difficult times so he can transform your ways for your good? He is stretching out his hand to you. Will you answer his call and spend some time with him today? You can be sure, that time will be good for you, for as Shirley always said," God is good - all the time - and all the time - God is good!"

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