"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1
A few years ago while at a writer's conference, the members brought up a member of our group who was very ill. I had heard her name mentioned before and had read some of her earlier books. Right now the names escape me, but I vowed I would pray for her. I not only decided to pray for her but I friended her on Facebook as I had done so many times before with some of my favorite writers. Her name was Diann Hunt and I began a friendship with a very special lady. Bear in mind that I never physically met her. I never spoke to her face to face, but her very words often cheered me up when I was down.
Last year at this time, my family received difficult news. My father was diagnosed with cancer. It was at this time that I chose to write Diann. I wasn't even sure how to word my note to her. I had been praying for her cancer battle that she had faced for a long time, yet I knew she could possibly give me some insight. She wrote back immediately telling me that her walk with cancer had started in much the same way as my father's and that it had progressed to Ovarian Cancer. She was encouraging and uplifting and her words of encouragement, "I'm here until He calls me home," warmed my heart. She even told me that I had encouraged her and to enjoy the time with my precious father.
Through the following 11 months I read every note from her and I prayed for her. I left for a mission trip in November and the week I was gone I noted that virtually nothing was said. The Lord took Diann home on November 29. For me, Diann showed Christ and showed that she loved Him above all else. One of the last posts I remembered reading, she posted these words:
"Stop! Right where you are. What do you see? Taste? Feel? Smell? Hear? Root yourself in this very moment. Memorize it.
Life is made up of these. Don't be so consumed by the past or with the future that you are blinded to your moment. Right now. The one you're given by Almighty God to make a difference.
Go out and live for Jesus today, my friends! I mean REALLY live!! You can do it! Start now. Ready. Set. Go!"
Diann made a difference in my life in two ways: she lived her life for her God and she passed the love she had on to others. I only hope that when my time on Earth has finished that people can say the same of me. What will people say of you?