Through the eyes of Sondra

Gaylon has done incredible things for our community locally, within our region, and beyond! It’s members of our community too many to mention with hearts and souls of gold, like hers, who understand a little can go a long way and a lot can move mountains. Our residents of great faith: today, I #honor you. Paducah, Kentucky

We all have a purpose and passion! So long as our exhales are followed by an inhale, our Spirit has work yet to do and purpose(s) to fulfill.

Some people find their purpose in great love or desire for something that moves them. Most of us, on the contrary, find our purpose in distress, a journey through illness, loss of loved ones, grief, fear, hardships, trials, battles, persecution, the list goes on. Life goes on. “This too shall pass.”

It’s often during our lowest points, those seasons the enemy uses to #bind us, that our eyes through our tears become most clear and sensitive to our surroundings, our minds become more aware and awaken our heart’s desires. God meets us in these very places he allowed! “He will not forsake you, trust.”

When we’ve reached rock bottom, drowning in the deep, clinging to wreckage, glued to the floor, then comes the Hand. Do you reach? Blame?

We all have choices. Some see his hand of mercy, his grace, some can’t. Anger or confusion, denial creeps in, but his hand is offered to all. The darkest night often reveals our greatest purpose. Don’t give up!! Never, never give up.

“Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers, especially for a stranger.” [III John 1:5]

Brace yourself:  Imagine your child has #cancer. I can’t. I can’t. So, try harder. Close your eyes for a moment. Place yourself in shoes you’ve never filled. You can’t. They aren’t your shoes to fill.

🥾👠🥿👞👢👡

Some of you don’t have to imagine these shoes because you walk in them now. You’re living it. Your journey. Your season. You know someone who has or has lived it—childhood cancer. I shudder.

I know great loss, deep painful loss. I know cancer, my perspective living my shoes aside from my dad’s eleven-month dreadful battle, his shoes. Mom’s shoes. I’ve seen cancer take great and mighty people of God, young and old, snatched away as if time meant nothing. Fleeting.

But a child with cancer? This fear, as a mother, this seeming cruelty of humanity is something I can’t even wrap my mind around. I. Just. Can’t. Praise God there are those who can.

#Gaylon, after battling her own bout with cancer, immediately felt a calling and need to witness her story of hope and survival in a beautifully written and illustrated book, “It’s Christmas Again.” Her recovery and remission are where her journey with cancer not only ended but began. Her purpose revealed.

She saw the face of her monster in the face of tiny bodies, dear children, enduring her pains, her fears, her affliction. How unfair? “These children need hope!”

Not only did Gaylon understand the pangs of disease through perseverance, but she also experienced as well, the taxing,  physical, and great financial strain upon families caring for these children.

We, outsiders, see the faces of illness in our neighbors, but we rarely see behind the scenes. We don’t see the lost time from work, travel expenses, vehicles not suited for consistently long distance, fuel costs, medical care and treatment out-of-pocket, days upon days spent at home with a sick child, being unable to work full-time, suppressing fears and tears behind a mask ‘Will my utilities be paid this month? My mortgage? My rent?’

All these added concerns to the primary hardship add only worsening distress. This is where we step in.

You see my friends; cancer isn’t just hospital bills and medical co-pays and pills, radiation, or IV’s…or the uninsured families who’ve exhausted options and who must pray a donation-only portal opens for a second opinion or experimental plan. Cancer is bigger than the #disease.

#Cancer is often a loss of income for the parents or caretakers of these brave children who need constant provision and full-time care. So many of us can’t relate with these families because a.)  we refuse to believe such hardships exist or b.)  we are not made aware of the need for assistance insurance can’t supply.

That’s why we are here. This is why Book for Hope exists today. We offer as little or as much as we can, no amount is too small, no time spent too short, to send a hopeful message of love saying, “We see you. We are here. We want to help you. How can we help you today?” #thisisus

Book for Hope’s mission as a childhood cancer charity, 501(c)(3) is not only a nonpaid board member organization mobilized to provide a bit of relief other charities don’t or can’t provide, but additionally and most importantly, Book for Hope is shining brightly, the love of God in dark places, hope to restore the light, to bring down angels, relief and laughter. We support our childhood cancer patients and families in need. #clarity #vision

We know these families and caretakers are doing all they can often with minimal means to provide some kind of normal, some sort of faith, some kind of happiness all the while somehow keeping themselves together. Day by day, strong, by night, falling to pieces. Repetitive nightmares over and over again.

Pray for these families. Pray for all children with such diagnosis’, children with cancer. They have aged beyond their years. “God, hear our prayer.”

It’s awkwardly simple to turn a blind eye to those who need or hurt. We don’t know what to do or say, so we avoid. We avoid when the hurting need us most! Open your eyes, open your hearts, our communal needs are greater than you can imagine!

It’s easy to sympathize, but many of us have an inability to truly empathize on this level, childhood cancer, or any child facing life-threatening illnesses is not comprehensible for most. How? Why?

Sympathy is always well-received and kind, but seemingly sentiments are short-lived, meaningful yet stowed away in a box, procuring a bit of gratitude but missing a deeper need. Sadly, these families need sympathy and compassion still ever so much more, hands.

Praise God for those who send kind messages and prayers! We honor you! “Bless you, God” for those open hearts and doors. Keep opening doors! Keep feet moving through them.

#Empathy is understanding, and because you feel or have felt a similar emotion.  You live the emotion. You breathe the emotion. You place above all things your needs and desires, your ceaseless prayers and outreach because this emotion overpowers. Sympathy shows respect and honor. Empathy stirs the cause.

#Gaylon is a beautiful soul who cherishes a $10 donation to her cause as an expression of love equal to that of a $10,000 donation!  Each dime, each cent, in her eyes for this cause is a glimmer much needed hope and encouragement to persevere.

Hope is immeasurably, without a doubt, most important to these families. Hope restores faith. Faith makes the impossible, possible.

#Give what you can. Help how you can. If you can’t support monetarily, donate your time. Offer to drive a child to an appointment, volunteer to work a booth at an event or book signing. Give a smile if a smile is all you can give. Whatever you can do, do that.

When I think of #bookforhope, I think #local. I think of us. Our village. Our children. Our pillars are pulling together to create a greater good for a cause worthy of all our support. If all you can do is #share this post, SHARE! Sharing is contributing! 🙏

I’ve learned many hard life lessons these past few years, this past year I’ve at times felt such pain, abandonment, betrayal, most I keep private, but I have suffered. I’ve also been humbled by the greatest of measures. I’ve been brought to my knees, face flat on the floor at times. I’ve had to remind myself to breathe.

I know pain and hurt, yet God has consistently reminded me to get up, to understand that no matter what I’ve endured, or lost, or suffered, somebody has been dealt more tremendous suffering and harder blows. Somebody’s needs are greater. At my lowest, some are lower. At my weakest, many have seen weakness of their death bed. Who am I to complain? I have nothing but love.

In the saddest of my days, it’s giving that’s given me hope for a better future. Give not because you can, not for public display, not for a reward. Give because your heart screams, “help!” You can.

Be somebody’s hope when Hope seems hopeless. THAT is God. THAT IS Holy Spirit working through you. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! 🌊 #livingwater

#SHARE #QUOTE

My thoughts inspiring this message for today 🕯

“Hope and faith are the whole of our existence! Without hope, life has no purpose. Without faith, there is no cross. Without a cross, there is no resurrection. Without a resurrection, there is no #savior. Without our Savior, life is meaningless. Show them meaningfully. Let them see #Jesus. Give hope. Give faith. Support those unable to support themselves. Be light. Be beautifully you.” -Amen

Sondra Rankin

I love you all! 💜

🖱Click the link below to learn more.

🤝Support our community of faith and the faithful.

Connect with Gaylon 📲 (270) 519-6536 direct for more info Connect with Sondra  📲 (615) 400-7351 to learn about upcoming events and ways to donate

#bookforhope #hope #faith #cancer #children #support #local #charity #National Cancer Institute

(270) 519-6536

gaylonhayden@att.net

Book for Hope®, Inc. is organized and will be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or its successor provisions.

JUST IMAGINE® is the Registered Trademark of Book for Hope Childhood Cancer Organization


 

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