Tuesday, July 20, 2010

She Is One Tough Cookie and A Warrior Against Cancer!

In this culture the word "hero" gets tossed around rather loosely at times. Or at least that's my opinion. A celebrity is designated to be a "hero" because they donate to a cause. An athlete is a "hero" because they do something extraordinary. Now please don't think I am diminishing those accomplishments. I'm not. 

But to me a true hero is someone whose selflessness and courage are such a bright shining star for others that you are almost blinded by their faith, perseverance and tenacity... and they do this day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month, and year-after-year...against
great odds. Their attitude, in the face of extreme adversity, makes you sit up and say, "So that's what real character looks like!" When faced with all the tough things life can throw at you, they hold on to God with both hands and show you what faith really looks like. 

Eileen Thompson is this kind of hero to me.

I've known Eileen for many years, and I have seen her battle cancer twice. Once, fourteen years ago...and now, unexpectedly, fourteen years later.  What is so amazing and heroic about Eileen is how she handles all of the tough things in life. She turns to Jesus and holds on to Him. She handles the most difficult adversity with grace, or as she says,... "I am still here by the grace of God. I can do this by God's grace." And I believe her! 

*Bring on the chemo-she handles it with grace. 
*Lose your hair- she handles it with grace. 
*Legs swell up so your ankles don't bend- she handles it with grace. 
*Because of the cancer drugs you no longer have feeling in your hand-she handles it with grace. 
*Have an open wound after cancer surgery-she handles it with grace.
*Raise your granddaughter in the midst of it all- she handles it with love and grace.

I'm not always sure how God works, or what makes Him smile, but I can't help but imagine that when Jesus sees how Eileen perseveres and follows Him, He must smile.

Eileen would never call herself a hero. She might even be embarrassed that I wrote this about her. That humbleness is partly what makes her accomplishments so extraordinary to me. 

She is one tough cookie, and I am proud to call this cancer warrior my friend and soul sister!
God Bless!
Love Linda

PS. Check the song in the previous post... "Let The Waters Rise!" It reminds me of Eileen!

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