Monday, August 11, 2014

Serving Because of Loss - Stepping Through The Door

Sometimes it doesn't make sense.  We lost our sweet Sadie Caroline to a terrible cancer.  She was just 17 months old with her whole life to live.  She was beautiful and sweet and happy, yet she suffered and died at the hands of this disease.  There was nothing we could do but pray and hope and believe.  We were so sad and heartbroken that we didn't get what we prayed for.  We wanted her healed so that she could live a long and productive life.  But it didn't happen.

You would think that this would make us angry or bitter, withdrawn and beaten down.  Oh yes, we have cried our eyes out and asked why and been depressed and heartbroken and have struggled since her death.  You might think the only thing we can do for Sadie now is decorate her grave and remember her sweetness and mourn her loss.

But for some reason, this just isn't enough for Sadie.  I mean, she would have done great things and blessed so many....if only she had lived.  So it seems that my daughter and I just can't settle into the loss.  Instead we decided to move forward and celebrate her little life by doing our best to bless others in her memory who are suffering.  Strange, really...most people would not launch themselves into personal ministries because of a loss.  They would be finding a new life and a new normal.

For me there is no longer any normal.  My ship has crashed and broken, never to be rebuilt the same.  I had to launch myself into something with true meaning..and instead of waiting around, I sprung to action. God lead me down the pathway and opened the doors and I went down the path and walked through the doors.  And it has been amazing the lives that have been touched and will continue to be touched by Sadie's life and our heartbreak.

Sadie Sunshine Chapter of Crochet for Cancer is my own ministry created out of my love for remembering Sadie, my love of crocheting, and my desire to help bring smiles to others.  Because of my own pain, I have a unique gift of empathy and caring for those facing similar circumstances.  It brings me such joy to see the smiles and know the feelings of love represented by our gifts of chemo hats, blankets, prayer cloths and prayer shawls.  This ministry is in my life all day every day through my involvement on the facebook page, the main Crochet for Cancer organization, people coming in and out of my shop, and others I become aware of who are fighting cancer.  The postman and I are friends as he either delivers a package of Sadie Sunshine to me from my volunteers, or picks up a box or package of Sadie Sunshine to be delivered to cancer patients almost every day.

My daughter was lead down a different pathway and through different doors as she created the Sadie Smile Toy Drive to benefit the children who are sick in the hospital.  The toy drive has been huge for two years and she has delivered truck loads of toys to several hospitals and to Child Welfare offices.  What a blessing it has been for her to be able to facilitate bringing such joy to children who are suffering.

A new calling for my daughter has been to go with her church mission group to serve at an orphanage in Haiti.  She is there now and they taught Bible school and loved on 115 children living in poverty without parents to love them today.  Why would she choose to do this?  It required a lot of planning, money, travel, risk, uncomfortable living conditions and more.  It is because she was open to God's calling her to go...she followed the path and walked through the door.

The benefits and healing to both of us are huge, and we pray every day that we can make a difference in this world.  We had such a loss that it is hard to imagine, but we were also blessed beyond measure.  We loved Sadie and she loved us and her life was beautiful, and she was beautiful, and that is what is important.

Have you had things that happened in your life that maybe shut you down or made you become depressed or bitter?  Ask God to lead you today into a better, more meaningful life, and then go where He asks.  Instead of dwelling on your problems and focusing on yourself, reach out to serve others.  You cannot even imagine the benefits to your own well-being and that of others until you take that step through the door.  Every day is a gift...share your life and love with those in need today.

Find out more about our ministries by going to these sites: