Jamie Britt is an amazing young woman who inspires me and many others often. You see, Jamie was a preemie and, as a consequence has no sight — she was born completely blind. But let me tell you, this young woman can see better than most of us. She has a sweet and sincere relationship with Jesus and has devoted her life to bringing Him honor through all things. I can’t wait for you to meet her.
Welcome to Faith Notes, Jamie!
One phone call can change your life.
On August 12, 2016, I received words no one ever wants to hear, “It isn’t good. It’s cancer.” The shock overwhelmed me. My grandfather had been sick for several months, but we were told it could be pneumonia. But, a biopsy result changed everything.
“God, why did you let this happen? Why didn’t the doctors find this earlier?”
Those were some of the questions running through my mind. While I never became angry with God, I wondered where He was during the months of pain and suffering. When my grandfather was first diagnosed, we were told it was in both lungs. Before a month had passed however, we were informed that it had spread to his brain.
The chemo and radiation treatments began to ravage his body. I can remember when I was first told, I was numb with the news. I didn’t cry or talk about it much. I asked a few people for prayer, but that’s as far as I went.
I have to be honest … praise wasn’t my first response or even my second. While I wasn’t angry with God, I wasn’t in the mood to give Him praise either. After all, we’d just been given the worst news of our lives. How in the world could we praise Him in a time like this? How could I praise Him when I was seeing my grandfather suffer so?
Pretty quickly though, I found reasons (albeit a little at a time) to praise God.
The Sunday evening after my grandfather’s diagnosis, I went to a gospel concert where one of my favorite groups, The Whisnants, were singing. During the concert, they sang a song called Not Afraid to Trust Him. Through this entire journey, that’s the word that kept repeating in my mind: don’t be afraid to trust the Lord. I’d hear it in songs, in sermons and even through faithful praying friends.
I began to realize that it was the only thing that would pull me through the darkest valley of my life.
Not Afraid to Trust Him by The Whisnants, tells of God bringing you through each and every storm in your life. That’s when the tears began to flow like a bursting dam down my face. The reality had finally hit: my grandfather has cancer. That’s also when the praise began to happen, even though it came very slowly.
Though my world had just been turned upside down, I could praise God because He knew this even before we did. It never took Him by surprise.
During this time, several Scriptures began to run through my mind. The one that ministered to me the most, however, was Psalm 62:5, My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.
Grandpa went through chemo for close to three months before the doctors said it wasn’t working. That was the hardest thing for us to hear, because we knew unless the Lord intervened, we wouldn’t have him much longer. The day came when the doctors wanted to try a new chemo drug.
Little did we know, our lives were getting ready to take a dramatic turn.
In order to get my grandfather to the cancer center, it took five people and about twenty minutes to get him from his bedroom into the living room. It then took a neighbor’s help to get grandpa from the house to the car. Once at the cancer center, it was determined that the treatment couldn’t be done. His body was just to weak. He was transported to the hospital via ambulance where we learned his liver was shutting down as well as most of his other organs.
It was decided the next morning (his 72nd birthday) that he would be transported to hospice care. That was the hardest day of my life.
I think that’s when it finally became real that we were getting ready to lose this wonderful man. He spent the next two days in and out of consciousness and pain. He would try to speak to us, but had pretty much lost all abilities.
In His goodness, the Lord made it possible for me to see my grandfather one last time before he passed away. When I got the call that he didn’t have much time left, my mom and I raced up to where he was. Though I wasn’t in the room when he took his last breath, I did get to spend some time with him alone afterwards.
In the planning of and attending the funeral, the Lord’s presence was ever near. I knew I wasn’t alone in this process of grieving. I was hurting, but knew the Lord was close to my broken heart.
My friend, He’ll carry you through your darkest times in life as well. Trust Him.
If you are grieving, the greatest advice I can give you is don’t rush the process. I’ve had people imply to me that there should be a time limit. Everyone is different and gets through things at a different pace. Take your time, but most of all let the Lord in. He is the only one that can carry you safely through to the other side.
Whatever you’re going through as you read this, my sweet sister, God is faithful to bring you through and He’s trustworthy to keep His promises. I want to end with the song that ministered to me more than any other through this ordeal and still does to this day nearly nine months later.
More About Jamie:
Jamie Britt is a devotional writer residing in Eastern North Carolina. She began by emailing Scripture out to a select group of people which later led to her blog, Encouraging Women. Jamie’s blog began after someone in the writing industry helped her develop her craft and showed great belief in the work that God has called her to.
Currently, you can find Jamie working on her first book with the working title, Turning a Blind Eye: Overcoming Offense and Insecurity. Jamie’s prayer is that women will not only realize their identity in Christ , but also know the freedom He can bring through His Spirit. For prayer, you may contact Jamie at: firstname.lastname@example.org