Creating Hope and Shining Light

Be joyful in hope, 

Patient in affliction,

Faithful in prayer. 

Romans 12:12, NIV

 

I love that verse.

It is an instruction manual for navigating through difficult times. Even during our darkest hours; when we have faith, we have hope.

Set your mind on things above.

And even in the midst of our trials; with hope, comes joy.

Count it all as joy.

During difficult times, we want nothing more than for those hard times to end. We want to hurry up and get to better days.  It is human nature, but God tells us we must be patient.  In the suffering, we are strengthened. In the suffering, we grow closer to God. In the suffering, we must pray and give thanks.

In all circumstances.

Yes, in suffering, we must hope.

Yes, in suffering, we must be patient.

Yes, in suffering, we must pray.

I asked the girls in my daughter’s Summer Bible Study to help me make some gifts for  the LifeConfetti bags.  They came to my home for a night of food, fellowship, and service.

I baked cookie butter cupcakes that morning.

I set up our dining room with paints and paintbrushes and other supplies.

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Then, the girls came.

I told them about some of my experiences at the cancer center when I started my treatment.  I had my faith and my family and my friends to help me through it.  My husband went with me to every doctor appointment and every chemo treatment. My family and friends supported me and cheered me on through all of it.

Not everyone had faith, or family, or friends to help them through it.

I told them about …

…the patients going through such a difficult time,

…the patients who sit alone during treatment,

…the patients who need a little bit of sunshine on their rainy days

I asked them to help be that sunshine.

They answered the call.

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Within minutes, they were scattered across the dining room table, picture frames before them, paintbrushes in hand.  They sat for a moment, making color and design choices, and then they jumped right in…

With every color choice, they decided to spread joy to others.

With every stroke of paint, the love inside of them was displayed for all to see.

With every detail they added, they punctuated that love within their servant hearts.

The picture frames were beautiful.  Some painted simple patterns.  Some painted intricate designs. Some painted encouraging verses.  Some were confident in their strokes and set out boldly on their mission.  Some were hesitant and lacked confidence in their abilities but determined to finish the task.

But all of them painted with love.

And they were all beautiful.

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All of them created something beautiful from inside.

All of them created hope.

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The picture frames dried. The verse was printed and inserted into the frames.

The bags were packed with a handcrafted frame, the verse displayed.

…so they could read that verse inside the handpainted frame, that was created with the love God placed inside the girls’ hearts.

The bags were packed with a candle.

…so they could light the candle, reflect on their blessings, and be reminded that God will always light their paths.

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The bags were packed with hard candies.

…so they could enjoy the sweet candy when the medicine dried their mouths and left a bitter taste; and be reminded of the sweet things in life.

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The bags were packed with a handwritten card.

…so they could know that someone was thinking of them, someone was praying for them, and someone cared for them.

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It was an extra special delivery day.  Summer was over and the girls were all back in school, but my daughter had a day off recently. I invited her to come along with me.

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She got to pack up a whole lot of love into those little yellow bags.

She got to load those bundles of love into the car and go with me to their destination.

She got to carry them to the 5th floor to the cancer center.

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She got to be a part of something bigger than herself.

She got to be a part of something that means the world to her mother.

She got to be a part of something that will bring joy and comfort to others.

She got to be a light.

All the girls got to be a light.

 

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The bags are left with the amazing oncology nurses.  They knew the patients. They knew who needed a little extra sunshine.  I left them in their hands.  I knew that God would guide the nurse’s hands, and see to it that those little yellow bags of light made it into the hands of the patients sitting alone in the dark.

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Thank you to the girls who brightened the days of some deserving  people.

Thank you for letting the light God placed in your hearts, shine brightly into this world.

Thank you God for letting me be a part of it.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

 

Note: If you would like to sponsor LifeConfetti in honor or in memory of a loved one; or if you would like to donate, or help in any way; please reach out and leave a message through the Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Jennifer Lilley Collins

I'm a Mom, wife, daughter, and friend navigating life with metastatic breast cancer while finding joy in the everyday and spreading hope, love, and inspiration along the way.

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