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We are a circle of friends from all across the world who have been brought together through our love of Jesus Christ and our desire to express our faith in creative ways. Faith Sisters has been created to help you leave a legacy of faith. It is our hope that you will find inspiration in the challenges and the artwork created by our design team and our members. We encourage you to participate in the challenges, forums and post your creations in the Faith Sisters Gallery!

Monday, January 14, 2008

God's Fingerprints

We are watching the Inspiration Gallery for layouts that have recorded God's Fingerprints in your life. With the new Faith Discovery Challenge, I think we are going to start seeing more and more of His Fingerprints being journaled!

This week the God's Fingerprints Spotlight is shining on JackieAnn. What an inspiring story! Thank you JackieAnn for sharing God's Fingerprints in your life. Your story is sure to touch the lives of many. Please leave some love for JackieAnn in the comments!






JOURNALING:
Growing up in southern California, I spent a LOT of time out in the sun. Sunscreen was not even around…it was more suntan oil. Our family spent every summer at the beach house and some time every winter in Palm Springs. Because of my fair skin I would always go thru the routine of burn…blister…peel. So I ended up with a lot of freckles and moles. My mum always called them angel kisses. She told me that all the little spots on my skin were where the angels had decided to kiss me whenever they wanted me to know that they were watching over me.

When I was 30, one of those angel kisses started growing and changing. A biopsy showed that it was malignant melanoma and I had to have surgery. I was totally thrown for a loop! My grandfather had died of this same thing 10 years prior and I was scared that this was my fate as well. In addition, I had gone back to work full time a few months before, even tho Meg was 3 and Jim was only 18 months old. I was moving up the management ladder at my work. I was totally focused on what the next upward step might be… supervisor… manager? So when I got this news all I could think of was not only would I die and my children never really know me but also how could work survive without me? Wasn’t ~I~ the vital wheel that kept everything moving? How could God do this to me and ruin MY perfect life, MY perfect plan?

Because this angel kiss was located on my leg, I was forced to be bedridden for over 3 months. Meg and Jim went to the baby sitters house during the day when Michael was at work because there was no way for me to get up and take care of them. Family and friends helped, but when we were home alone, the whole burden of cooking, caring for the kids, keeping the house in order was left to Michael. All I could do was lie in bed and watch as the world continued to move around me. And slowly, my focus started to shift. As I lay in bed reading, working on a craft project, calling friends who I had lost touch with, I thought about all that I had been missing while I was so totally focused on work. I started keeping a prayer journal I wrote down all my hopes and prayers for Meg & Jim so they would have a written, tangible record of just how much I loved and cherished them in case all this took a bad turn. I so looked forward to when everyone was home. The kids would crawl into bed me with me and I would tell them stories or we would read books. We would dress up Barbie and play with dinosaurs. We would laugh and sing ~Monkeys jumping on the bed~ and they would fall off in giggles. Precious glimpses of all that I had been missing.

During my recovery time in bed, I got a phone call one morning saying that we had won an all expense paid trip to Hawaii! Several months back I had jokingly filled out a contest form in our supermarket and out of 10,000 entries they picked mine! The trip scheduled to be taken in 4 months time. If all went well, according to the doctor, my stitches would be out, the graft would be healed; I would be off crutches and finally back to walking, and could possibly even go swimming. God’s amazing timing and God’s amazing healing. Off we went to Hawaii to spend an all expense paid week at the Turtle Bay Hilton on Oahu. We swam, snorkeled, rode horses, walked along the shore, hunted for sea shells and spent precious time together as a family. It was just what we all needed to make us whole, physically and spiritually.

When we came back, I put in my notice, switched departments and started working part time. Since then I have turned down many opportunities for advancement in my job. I have absolutely no regrets, I was taught a lesson and I listened and learned most heartily. God literally knocked me flat on my back, so I would have the time and the open heart to stop….focus and regroup on just what my priorities my life are. And I learned, that being the best supervisor at my job, was not the legacy that I wanted my children to remember me for. I wanted them to remember me for being a child of God who listened, followed and was the best wife and mother they would ever know.
Since that first operation, there have been some minor setbacks with my melanoma, but all along I knew that God and his angels were watching over me. After all, it was one of their kisses that brought me back to Him.

Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared.
Exodus 23:20

14 comments:

Michelle McVaney said...

I haven't had the health issues but the past couple of years the Lord has showed me that I need to focus less on career and more in family. It took him pulling my career out from under me to finally make me realize it. JackieAnn this story really touched my heart and I am sure that it will touch many others. This is what Faithbooking is all about!!!

Kim said...

woohoo JackieAnne!!

I'm sure a lot of us can relate to your story. We get so tangled up in life that we forget the important things..thanks for the great reminder!

Dahlia Co said...

Thank you Jackie Ann for such a wonderful testimony! It helped me to appreciate the things that really matter in life... You ROCK sister!

Anonymous said...

Wow, JackieAnn...that is amazing. What a story! God is certainly watching over you! Thank you for sharing this awesome layout!

jazsutra said...

hi im jaz from singapore.Im so touched by your story.In fact the Lord touches the heart of my family 7years ago.I've nvr looked back then.thx for sharing!

Cricket said...

Wow, such a truly moving story JackieAnn. I have to tell you that my daughter was born with a mole right smack dab in her left eyebrow, I always call it her Angel Kiss but know that when she is old enough, I want to remove that kiss to help protect her.

Thank you for the reminder on what is really important in life, sometimes we all tend to forget I think!

Blessings to you!

Carolina Girl said...

What a wonderful testimony! Thank you for sharing it! There is truly a great message in your words.

Sabrina said...

What a wonderful story, JackieAnn! I, too, was working too hard at my job about 4 years ago, and the Lord let me know that this was not what I was meant to do. Not with health issues, but He made it very clear that my priorites were not in line with His. Since then, I quit my job and have stayed home with my kids. I'm happier, my kids and husband are happier, and life is just much sweeter. We don't have much money, but the memories we have and the times we've shared are much more valuable! Thank you so much for sharing your story -- it's a great reminder for us to check our priorities.

Tammy said...

Congrats Jackie Ann! Whata wonderful way to save this memory! Amazing how God touches our lives...great story!

katarinasmama said...

JackieAnn...I can relate completely to your story...I just had a malignant melanoma removed from my back in October...it did throw me for a loop...but I have faith that God wants to keep here on Earth to raise my three kids quite a while longer...thank you for the uplifting journaling...I too have started a journal for my kids...

RitaS said...

What a wonderful and powerful testimony JackieAnne - congrats for your LO being spotlighted! I,t oo, can relate to God putting one on their back in order to have you slow down and listen to Him. A cuople of times in fact! What is most important is that we listen and give Him the glory for His healing and many blessings.

Sandy said...

First I'll say I'm so glad you're doing much better. I too have recently started having health issues and had to give up my job as a Nurse. I now have more time to be a Mom to my 13 yr. old son, a wife to my wonderful husband and help others that need it. I'm more involved in my church now because I have the time. Your page showed me the reason that all of these things happen. Thanks for the inspiration and God Bless You.

Janna said...

oh my gosh, that is absolutely incredible. your story is incredible and your journalling is very heartfelt and wonderfully written! how wonderful, all that you learned... angel kisses, indeed!

God Bless,

janna

Tales of The Middle Aged Mommy said...

This is the first I've read of this, but how wonderful for you all....your children are so incredibly blessed to have you with them! You seem like a fabulous mom!

I just wanted to say I hope you are doing well this year...