November 7, 2007

A Courageous Queen - Part 1

By Sharon Jaynes

 

Today’s Truth

“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 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 (emphasis added)

 

Friend to Friend

Katie was born in Wichita, Kansas: a petite blond-headed pride and joy to the Signaigo family. In the following years, two more baby girls were born, and the Signaigo quiver was full. Katie grew up enjoying all the frills and thrills of childhood. She loved school and church activities, swimming and running, and most of all, she loved her friends.

 

When Katie was nine-years-old, she noticed a lump by her left ankle that wouldn’t go away. The soreness would come and go, but the lump remained. For over a year, she and her mom were in and out of doctors’ offices trying to figure out what this mysterious lump was all about. She was misdiagnosed as having an inflamed tendon, and then again with blood clots. Even x-rays didn’t show anything unusual.

 

In desperation and faith, Katie’s grandmother and mother laid their hands on the Arkansas phone book and prayed for God to lead them to a doctor that could give them an accurate diagnosis. He did.

 

In 1991, Katie and her parents walked into a doctor’s office at Arkansas Children’s’ Hospital. The doctor took one look at the lump on Katie’s ankle and suggested a biopsy. The procedure gave a definitive answer, however, not one that they had hoped to hear. Katie had sarcoma…cancer. In less than a week, eleven-year-old Katie lay on an operating room table while the surgeons removed her cancerous leg just below the knee.

 

“No one will ever love me or want to marry me!” young Katie cried to her mom as they nestled on the hospital bed. “My life will never be the same. What am I going to do? People will laugh at me and make fun of me. I’ll never be able to walk or run again. I’m going to have to live the rest of my life in a wheelchair!”

 

“Oh precious,” her mother spoke in assuring tones. “You will get married one day. You are a beautiful girl. You will run and swim and do all the things you’ve always loved doing. You are not going to be in a wheelchair, but have a prosthetic leg that will allow you to do all the things you did before. No, your life will not be the same, but it will be great. You’ll see. We’ll get through this together.”

 

As a precaution, Katie went through chemotherapy for one year. Besides losing her leg, Katie also lost all of her beautiful blonde hair. “When is this ever going to end?” she cried.

 

Young Katie, wise beyond her years, decided that she would just give it all to God. “I know He will take care of me,” she said.

 

Even though she was weak, nauseated and embarrassed, Katie returned to school.

 

Eventually, Katie’s hair grew back, she learned to walk with prosthesis, and life returned to normalcy. However, no one…absolutely no one but her immediate family, saw Katie’s leg. She kept her prosthesis hidden from the world.

 

Katie had become a Christian when she was nine-years-old, and her relationship with Jesus Christ had continued to grow during those difficult years. When she was sixteen, Katie felt a nudge from God that it was time for her to redeem the past by investing in others.

 

“I felt God was nudging me to go back to the children’s hospital and talk to other kids who were facing cancer or amputation,” Katie explained. “I resisted it. Boy, I resisted it. Then, one day a nurse called and asked if I could come by for a visit. ‘We’ve got a little girl here who is getting ready to have the same surgery you had six years ago,’ she said. ‘Could you come and talk to her?’”

 

“So I put my fears aside and made my way up to the cancer ward of the hospital. I showed Amanda my leg and let her touch it. As I talked to her about what I was able to do, I could actually see something in her eyes. It was hope.”

 

From that time on, Katie and her mom have made many visits to the hospital telling children and their parents about what to expect and sharing hope. Together they are taking their scars, both physical and emotional, and investing in others.

 

But the story doesn’t end there! Tune in tomorrow for part 2!

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, sometimes it is so easy to feel sorry for myself. Then, I hear about others who have so much more to deal with than my petty problems. Help me to find courage in the lives of people like Katie. Help me to shut down the pity party and begin to celebrate life! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

Now It’s Your Turn

What went through your mind as you read about Katie and her family’s struggle? (Remember, when a child goes through a tragedy, it affects the entire family.)

 

When did you see the tide turn for Katie?

 

I hope you said the tide turned when she went to the hospital to encourage someone else. Could it be that God wants to turn the tide of sorrow in your life by using you to help someone else?

 

More from the Girlfriends

Did you know your scars are beautiful to God? Why? Because scars imply healing and God can use us to share the hope and healing of Jesus Christ because of our own personal stories! If you would like to learn more about how to find purpose in the pain of your past, see Your Scars are Beautiful to God by Sharon Jaynes

 

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Click here to find out more about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

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