Updated: Jan 14
By Melissa Thomforde
God's Brave Women - Melissa's Story
When I originally agreed to write for the Brave Women series, I had a plan in my head; a plan to talk about my abusive childhood, my first marriage, the adoption of my son, the unexpected gift of meeting my second husband and having a daughter after 15 years of infertility… and how God had been present in each of those places even when I wasn’t aware of it. His loving hand was there, guiding me, protecting me, when no one else was. Those are all excellent topics to talk about in order to praise the power of GOD.
Instead, I’m writing from a place of prayer and reverence to a healing God. I learned this week that my best childhood friend, Sara, who was 34 weeks pregnant with her second child, was admitted to the hospital for shortness of breath and extreme lethargy. She had lifted herself up to God and asked for prayers of healing and rest a few days before. That evening, her husband, Brandon, took to Facebook to announce that some tests and scans showed something quite unexpected – Sara has cancer on her liver and on her lungs.
This was devastating news for me. Not only because I love Sara, and I never want any harm to fall upon her, but when we were seniors in high school, she lost her younger brother Adam. Adam had been diagnosed with pediatric cancer at the age of 2 and through the power of God, had come out on the other side. But his brave little body had been devastated by the treatments he received. He was blessed to receive a heart transplant and live another 10 or so years. He was a funny kid. Always optimistic, never angry. He was a role model to me even though I didn’t understand it at the time. For as long as I live I will remember Sara’s phone call telling my 17-year-old brain and heart that Adam was gone. I will never forget the anguish on his parent’s faces as they followed his small casket out of the church on the day of his funeral. I will never forget the pain of those days and my sorrow for the suffering of my friend and her family. But life moves on. We grow up, we start our own families, and we march forward, sometimes looking back with sadness.
"I will never forget the pain of those days and my sorrow for the suffering of my friend and her family. But life moves on. We grow up, we start our own families, and we march forward, sometimes looking back with sadness."
The doctors decided that Sara would need to undergo a c-section to deliver her daughter and to help her move forward with her treatment. Before she went into surgery, she posted this message…”I have been blessed and brought to tears by many of your blessings and kind words. I want people to know about this crazy life of mine because I believe in the power of prayer! So keep on talking to our AMAZING GOD!“ Before I read her post, I was angry and confused. It’s not fair, God. How could this happen to a family who has already been through so much? Sara has spent her whole life trying to move forward, and this just isn’t right. But as I read her post, I understood. It’s not up to us to decide what is fair and not fair. As humans, it is in our nature to question EVERYTHING. There are numerous examples throughout the bible of Jesus’ disciples questioning him, asking for clarification, asking why. Thomas and Peter are excellent examples of the truth sitting before them yet they were unable to see it.
"As humans, it is in our nature to question EVERYTHING. There are numerous examples throughout the bible of Jesus’ disciples questioning him, asking for clarification, asking why. Thomas and Peter are excellent examples of the truth sitting before them yet they were unable to see it."
So I am offering my prayer of surrender to God for my dear, brave, sweet friend. With all of my power I am asking that God heal her with the power that only HE possesses. I am praying for a miracle. The point to all of this, my brave and fearless Sisters, is God is GOOD. He is loving and he is powerful and he is healing. Even as I write this with tears in my eyes, I know that what is supposed to happen will happen. And Sara’s legacy will live on through her children, her husband and her friends. She is a Christ follower, and she is prepared for what comes. I hope that if I’m ever faced with similar circumstances that I can be as great of an example of the power of God’s grace and love.
Check back next week as another Courageous Sister shares her story! If these ladies' words register with your heart, make sure to grab your copy of the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard for FREE by clicking HERE. God has made you in His image, which means you are full of His strength and grit. You may not feel this way all the time, but girl... You are Brave. You were born to be.
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Melissa is married to David and together they have 3 children - 1 adopted from foster care, one biological and one foster. Melissa is currently completing her Masters degree and has always aspired to be a writer. She enjoys weekend trips to Michigan and spending time in her garden. Melissa and her family live in Crystal Lake, IL where she attends Willow Creek Crystal Lake. Melissa actively participates in the homeless ministry, adoption and foster ministries, supports local schools and helps at the Crystal Lake food pantry. Her spiritual gifts are mercy, administration and wisdom. She would love to connect more on her blog @specialneedsmama.weebly.com.