Today I want you to meet my sweet, funny, amazing cyber-friend, Rachel Wojnarowski. Her story is one of God’s redeeming grace and the choice she’s made to chase after His plans and hold onto His hope — with all that she has in her.
I grew up in a wonderful Christian home with fabulous Christian parents. We were faithful to church and I graduated from Christian school. I went on to Christian college and completed the circle by teaching in a Christian school. My future husband was a “preacher boy” and when we married, the plan was that he would take a youth pastor position wherever God led. Only after we married, he had serious doubts about his calling and stopped attending church all together.
After two years of marriage, a precious daughter was born to us via emergency c-section. She experienced oxygen deprivation and required resuscitation, but she lived. Three years after Taylor’s birth, I discovered that her father had been having an affair essentially four of the five years we were married. In spite of that great protective environment I’d always known, and being faithful to God’s house, sin had erupted my “perfect” life and my marriage to this man didn’t withstand. Bad choices were made by both parties and we divorced.
In spite of all the pain and loss of the “perfect” life, God brought a solid Christian man into my life and He has given us a wonderful story of grace and redemption. But in the midst of Matt and I falling in love, my dearest mom fell severely ill, diagnosed with a rare type of anemia. Two months later the diagnosis was changed to leukemia and she lived just six short months after that. Mom was the strongest, most faithful Christian I’ve ever personally known; she was my best friend.
During my divorce and my mom’s death, the discovery process for Taylor’s developmental delays became more intense. Doctors often blamed the delays on her lack of oxygen at birth. But in my heart, I knew there was more to her issues. Nine months after my mom’s death, the diagnosis for Taylor came through: MPSIIIB, a rare, genetic metabolic disorder which causes gradual neurological degeneration. The average life span is 10-15 years and there is no cure, or even a treatment.
Upon receiving Taylor’s diagnosis, my walk with the Lord became intense. I did just what Renee talked about this week in chapter four. I asked all the why’s and the how’s. I wanted God to spill out His plan for my life in one day.
But through His Word, God has taught me that faith is not only a one-time decision; it’s an everyday decision.
Trusting His plan for your everyday life is equally as important as trusting Him for your eternal life.
While God has richly blessed Matt and me with a beautiful family and more blessings than we can count, Taylor’s disease has not changed. Every day is by faith, that God would have His will for her life and ours.
Each day we claim His promises and make the choice to run towards His plan.
Rachel, your story has changed me. The first time you shared it in an email, I got Holy goosebumps up my spine, down my arms and into my toes! Your journey of choosing hope through your past and into the present brought tears to my eyes. I’m inspired by your faith and your surrendered life. To be broken daily, like bread, held up (like loaves and fishes) as an offering of God’s of love and mercy. You my friend are beautiful – inside and out.
And here are some behind-the-scenes “only Jesus knew” details: I didn’t know Rachel’s story. When God prompted me to ask her to be a guest I wasn’t sure what part of my book she’d write about. But HE did! How precious is our Jesus? He knew we needed to hear her story and be strengthened by the way she has chosen courage and one-day-at-a-time steps of faith. The way she is choosing to walk out hope gives us all a picture of what it looks like to live the message of chapter 4 with Jesus. Thank you, Rachel!!
Thank you, Renee, for the privilege of sharing!