Jan 31, 2012

SHINE girl spotlight....

Happy Tuesday, SHINE friends! If you are new to SHINE, we post a SHINE girl spotlight every week.

Each girl chosen, shares her testimony (or anything she wants to share), and then she picks the SHINE girl spotlight for the following week. Got it?

So, last week's SHINE spotlight was Courtney Butler. Don't we love Courtney? Her story touched all of our hearts...and then some.

Courtney has chosen the next SHINE girl spotlight, and here is her introduction. Be blessed. Very, very blessed. (grab your kleenex box, again.)

Courtney's Introduction:
If I could’ve hand-picked my mama, I can assure you that the one God chose for me would be the one I would’ve selected.  I am beyond proud to say that my mama is truly my best friend.  Her family is her life and, to this day, she will do ANYTHING for us.  Her love never fails. 

My mom is a warrior.  She has battled through so much in her life.  She has handled all trials in her life with class and it is because of her that I have been able hold my head high through my own trials.  Her incredible strength has certainly showed me, as her daughter, how to persevere and never lose hope, for God is in control and He never fails us.   

I hope that each of you appreciate all that your mom is in your life.  If not, I beg of you to make amends with her.  You never know when it might be too late.  Just as we are important to our children, we as children, still need our moms too…no matter how old we get. 

I am PROUD to introduce you to my beautiful, strong, and fabulous mama, Freda.

I’m not a writer, but I’m a survivor!
by Freda.

~Freda and her grandchildren~

~Freda and her Mike~

“Surely it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid…for the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and He will be my Savior.”

Without a doubt, these words have been the greatest source of comfort and strength to me. I first heard them sung in church almost 30 years ago by my children. Our church‘s music department presented “ The First Song of Isaiah”  every Mother’s Day and it was quite the production with all of the church choirs participating. My children have since taught their own children these beautiful lyrics and our family continues to be blessed by them.

I married young…my husband was three years older and I loved him and trusted him will all my heart. We were blessed with three beautiful children and life seemed perfect to me. One day after almost 21 years of marriage my husband announced he wasn’t happy and that he was moving out. To say I was shocked is an understatement and my children were crushed beyond words. I was so worried about them and all I could think about was protecting them and keeping their lives as close to normal as possible. I never expected my children to be the product of divorce…but it happened and it hurt…and yet we grew so much from that pain. 

 At night, I sat in bed and read my bible. I was desperate to find answers and was so scared for all of us and our uncertain future. The words my children had sung were so true. .Surely it is God who SAVES me! I will trust in Him and NOT be afraid! We survived that year and I received strength, hope, courage and blessings beyond belief!

Five months after the divorce God put a plan into motion that changed my life completely. Events that only HE could orchestrate resulted in a blind date that led to a nineteen year marriage that has blessed not only me but my children and grandchildren, as well. My husband is a generous, kind and loving man who tells me constantly that he loves me and my children (and he has three children and six grandchildren of his own)! We have a wonderful life and I am grateful for it every day.
Nine months after our wedding I was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Unfortunately, we don’t get the opportunity to say “no thank you”, so chemotherapy and radiation followed. Being bald with no eyelashes or eye brows on your first wedding anniversary is NOT cool !!!!! My children had just “lost” their father and now I had to add to their worries with the threat that they might lose me too! As mothers, we can’t help but worry about our children and all I could think about was protecting them and keeping their lives as normal as possible. Once again, God lifted me up and gave me the courage I needed to survive!   

Almost six years ago our entire family experienced my saddest time ever. You met my beautiful daughter Courtney in last week’s blog

Watching her come home from the hospital without her baby was the hardest thing I had ever done. The entire situation with baby Harrison was such a shock to us all and no one could have ever expected the outcome. It didn’t matter to me that she was all grown up ….she was still my little girl and all I wanted was to protect her and make everything ok. Guess what? She didn’t need any of that from me! She was so strong and God had lifted her up and protected her and filled her with His love. She said to me “How can I question God’s plan for my baby”?  We are so blessed to have had him for the time we did…some families never have that chance.

 She was so strong and truly carried our entire family. I am so proud of her but even more grateful to God for His many blessings to me and my family. Trusting in God and not being afraid is the only reason we survive the difficult times we face. How blessed we are to have a loving, caring God who protects us and saves us!

Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, and this is known in all the world!   Isaiah 12:2-6

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