Give Cancer the BOOT!

In June of this current year, I decided that I wanted to start some type of fundraiser to help bring awareness and raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer.  I prayed about this and continued to ask for guidance, as I also felt God was leading me down a path towards ministering to others dealing with cancer.  After meeting a friend for dinner one night, she told me that she had been praying for me and felt that the Lord was pulling me in that direction as well and for me to seriously be in prayer about this.  I prayed a lot, talked to my parents, Jeremy, and friends about the possibilities and just knew that I wanted to do something in October for sure, for breast cancer month.  Little did I know that “Give Cancer the Boot” would be such a successful event, and the beginning to an annual fundraiser.  

The planning began this past summer as I discussed the event with our ladies’ program leader at our church.   She was super excited about this idea and when I shared my vision to our Common Threads group of women at FIFBC, they couldn’t have been more supportive and eager to help.  Every single stage of the planning process went so smoothly.  From the catering, the musicians, the speakers, the silent auction donations, and more…God’s hand was in it ALL the way.  When working on the program I decided to include an arrow on the front.  When I shared the program with some ladies from my church, one sent the kindest message.   She mentioned how in order to launch an arrow, you must first pull it backward. A diagnosis of cancer can feel like a person is certainly being pulled in the WRONG direction. But with excellent medical care and a wonderful support team, a person, especially a Christian, can be launched in a direction that they never expected. When we make a determined effort to find a way to draw closer to Jesus, even cancer can "get the boot”.  These words meant so much to me and helped direct my focus even more on Him.   My friends and family went above and beyond to help make the fellowship hall look amazing, setting the most beautiful tables with fresh flowers and prayer boxes made by the children at our church.  Prayer cards were hand written for each attendee and the room was prayed over more than once.  When I laid my head down on Wednesday night after working at the church each afternoon, I was able to rest easy, knowing that everything was ready and it would be one to remember.  And on the night of the event, His presence was there.  It was all consuming. My oncologist spoke and shared the greatest message and sang the most beautiful song.  We never discussed what song he’d sing but I knew he’d pick the perfect one.  And he did.  The song “Somebody’s praying for me” was a song that the congregation sang at Fountain Inn First Baptist for years when I first started going after Jeremy and I got married.  Each Sunday I would cry my eyeballs out as it would touch me so.  After having a hard time getting pregnant, this song stirred many emotions as the lyrics say…

“Somebody’s praying,
I can feel it.  
Somebody’s praying for me.
Mighty hands are guiding me 
And protect from what I can’t see…
Lord, I believe, Lord I believe….
Somebody’s praying for me.”
And to know that people from coast to coast were praying for me during my battle with cancer made it that more special that this was his song choice.  
I worked for months writing my testimony and wasn’t one bit nervous to share.  My emotions did get the best of me throughout my time on stage, and my nose ran like a faucet, but God gave me the confidence to stand tall, and praise HIM as I did throughout each step of my journey.  I referenced the story of David and Goliath and how David never thought about his size in comparison to how big Goliath was.  David only thought about how big God was.  And that’s why he was confident and could say in 1 Samuel 17:46  “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down.”  I fought the giant, turning all fear over to God, knowing He would hold me as I faced the unknown over the past year.  And just to prove God’s perfect timing, my devotion for last Thursday in Christine Caine’s book Unshakeable, was about defeating giants and “what ifs”.  I think back on how many times I thought “what if cancer had not have come into my life?”.  I had to change that fear that I had to faith, being confident and trusting in Him more than in my insecurities.  And I had to do that on Thursday night as well, trust that the benefit would be a success and that many would hear how wonderful Jesus is, as He loves us all so much.
Holding Jett during the music portion of the event was super sweet, as he twirled the curls that I’m so glad to now have.  He was the only child there and told me later that he had so much fun at “my party”.  

That precious boy is my why.  He makes living sweet.  And his daddy, my husband, smiled the whole night, hugging many of our friends and family that supported us like no other over the past year.

Having many employees from the cancer center in attendance, from the foundation director, nurses, financial consultants, to Mrs. Pearlie Harris, herself, made the event complete.  Every single person that I’ve had the pleasure of working with throughout Bon Secours St. Francis Health System has been amazing.  

Their love for their job is evident, as well as their love for Christ.  My family is ever so grateful for my team of doctors, nurses, and staff that have helped to save my life.  
A very special award was given at the end of the night to my breast health navigator, Becky Steele.  

I’ll never forget the day I was diagnosed, this precious lady prayed over Jeremy and I, comforting us during this devastating time.  She has the job of telling people on a daily basis that they have breast cancer.  I cannot imagine how hard her job must be, day in and day out.  I will forever be grateful to her as she helped schedule many doctor’s appointments, checked on me regularly, and truly loved on my family and friends during this time.  She was so surprised and I hope she realizes how special she is to so many women.  The help and donations that so many people poured into this event still has me in awe.  As I looked out at our fellowship hall of over 215 people, and then found out that over $6500 was collected that night to be given to The Pearlie Harris Breast Health Center, I could hardly catch my breath to say the closing remarks.  

To think back to just 15 months ago, when I was pricked by a big ole cactus that tried to take my life, to now.  That season is over, and a new one is beginning. I couldn’t wait to feel whole again and be able to continue on with my normal life.  Habakkuk 2:3 says “The revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”  God opened my eyes and allowed me to prepare for this next season of life.  It has been filled with dreams and a God-given purpose.   It’s time to live that out and I couldn’t be more excited.

Thanks to all who came and donated to the Pearlie Harris Breast Health Center.  Much love!  

So save the date for next year…Thursday, October 3, 2019.  We’ll continue to raise money to GIVE CANCER THE BOOT!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6


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