Blogging for Life

I have a story to share today that is just bursting from me….my fingers fly as I sit in this airport restaurant, overwhelmed with fabric-stuffed luggage and tear-stained cheeks, in awe at God’s endless grace and love.  I’d planned to blog a recap today all about my euphoric weekend at the Sew South retreat…about my fabulous new friends, my newly-stitched goodies…but God has something else in mind- something infinitely more important. Isn’t it funny how you can be going along your normal routine, mindlessly, and all of the sudden, WHAM!  God shakes things up- shakes  you  up, and you realize you’ve been stumbling around in a completely faithless, short-sighted fog?  That’s exactly where I was this morning, after congratulating myself for surviving having my antique sewing machine, and 20 bags of breast milk, unpacked and tested by TSA for explosives, followed by a full body pat down when my Featherweight set off a hazardous substances alarm (?!?!).  Needless to say, I was irritated, tired, and anxious to simply nap and get home to my family. Little did I know, that a conversation would spark with the woman in the seat next to me on the plane, and would move me more deeply that I can express.  I noticed a picture of a child on her cell phone and asked if he was her son…he was, and before I knew it we were chatting about motherhood, breast feeding, sewing, the new job she starts tomorrow, and eventually, about the reason for her trip to North Carolina.  She was returning to her other 2 children at home, after having spent 3 weeks with her 9 yo son, Uzias, who is undergoing extensive treatments as he bravely battles a level 3 brain tumor.  My heart sank to my feet as I sat, embroidery in hand, listening to her quietly share about his diagnosis, his refusal to give up even though all of the traditional treatments, including 3 surgeries and radiation, have failed to eliminate the cancer.  Here she is sharing about his chronic headaches and daily memory loss, their weekly flights out of state, and about how their insurance refuses to cover any alternative treatments- this trip alone has cost the family $50K out of pocket- and I thought my overly dramatized home-buying hiccups were “burdensome.”  Sick to my stomach. Uzias We cried as she proclaimed God’s glory through it all, praising him, and sharing the peace she feels, knowing that whatever happens is the journey God has in mind for her.  It may not be pretty, it may not be what we want, but it’s what will grow us and shape us, and we must trust him with all we are, resting our burdens on his sovereign power & omnipotence.  I am in complete awe of the faith that is holding this family together. Uzias 2 Uzias 3 I don’t believe in coincidence.  I know this was a thoroughly planned encounter by the creator who knows the inner most depths of my soul better than anyone.  Truly, a voice from the heavens telling me to “snap out of it!” and just trust. I am going to organize a quilt that we can put together for Uzias, and I’d love for you to join me.  Stay tuned for more info, once I come up with the specific plan. But in the meantime, if this post has touched your heart at all, please consider lifting up Uzias’ family with a donation to help offset the staggering cost of his treatments.  You can make a real, tangible difference for this family NOW, from the comfort of your pajama pants.  Seriously, I’m not at all into guilting- so only do it if your heart is tugging you to- but please consider giving up your next Starbucks or yard of fabric, and offering it to Uzais- your gift can help enable him to fight this devastating cancer.

Donate

 You can also lift up this sweet family in prayer, and offer them encouragement on Uzias’ Facebook page. Thanks for stopping by- it’s a privilege to be able to share my heart with you! XO

UPDATE:  Uzias lost his battler with cancer in July of 2012.  Words cannot express how much impact this young man had on the world, and how deeply he is loved by his family and friends.  The world is truly a brighter place because of Uzias, and I know that I for one am a changed person because of him, and I never even got to meet the awesome kid in person.  If you’d like to offer support and encouragement to Uzias family, and stay updated on ways that you can stand up in the fight against childhood cancer, please visit his family’s Facebook page, Prayers & Support for Uzias.

Comments

  1. Oh, Amy, what a story! I am happy to help with a quilt, just let me know

  2. Terry Ann says:

    Wow. I too believe that you were not seated by that woman “just by accident”. I am an oncology nurse and see the incredible fight and faith of my patients daily. They are an inspiration to me.

  3. God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he… I’m sure you were a blessing to this woman! Maybe I can help with the quilt from my part of the world… Look forward reading more about your plans! Blessings to you!

  4. Joy Hall says:

    Thanks for sharing. Lifting this family up in prayer to the Great Physician. Keep us posted about the quilt plans…I would love to be a part!

  5. Thank you for sharing. There are no coincidences, just Gods awesome timing. Count me in for the quilt when the time comes. Only blessings to this family.

  6. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future Jeremiah 29:11

    I totally understand what you mean! That moment when your going on your merry way and then all of a sudden everything turns on its head and you see life in a whole new way.

  7. thank you so much for sharing this…

  8. And what a lovely and loving family they look! God bless them all! Xx

  9. Thanks for sharing. I’d be happy to help!

  10. Kathy - kat550 says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to help. Will be praying and donating.

  11. What a blessing it was for each of you to be seated next to each other. God sent you to one another for a reason. Amy, you are such a kind, gentle, and faith-filled person. Thank you for sharing this with us to help remind us to have faith and trust. May the good Lord wrap His loving arms around this family.

  12. Wow! What a story. I will put a link to your blog post on my blog, as well as my Facebook page. Being a cancer survivor myself, I would be honored to help in any way possible. Thank you for sharing this story with all of us.

  13. Thanks for sharing. There are no coincidences….God put this woman in the seat next to you for a purpose. What about an auction quilt to raise funds for this family as they battle ? Mary Deeter/stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com

  14. Karen McClung says:

    Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story. God is the the Great Healer!! I will be praying for this family and Uzias as he continues to take treatments. Keep us updated on a quilt for him. We all forget sometimes how blessed we are when everything is going good.

  15. My dearest Amy, You were meant to be there at that time and place just as GOD had planned. Thank goodness you where willing to listen. Listening I believe is the hardest of all our skills that we need to learn, no matter how difficult it seems at the time. It goes to show how good you are at listening and how you are now paying it forward.

    I will also very honoured to contribute towards Uzia’s quilt and give a small donation towards the costs of his medical funds. He is certainly a champion and deserves all the prayers he can get in life! I will be praying for him and his family for Gods continued blessing and healing to remove this cancer and all other cancers from his body. Leaving him fresh and renewed for his journey called life.Julie Beard

  16. Amy, I have the current Australian Quilters Companion which has shown a picture of your quilt and a bit of information about Craftys.com would you like me to get you a copy. I will be going out again on Wednesday and will be happy to get it for you. Please email me at julie714@adam.com.au. Should you wish me to do so!

  17. What a great story of faith and fellowship in the least likely of places. Thank you for sharing their faith and yours. This is something that has become harder and harder for people to do.

  18. This is a very inspiring story. I am praying here as I type that God will miraculously heal this precious child and comfort his family.

  19. God works in mysterious ways. You were meant to be there. What a blessing you have already meant to this family. God Bless you, yours and this sweet family.

  20. I had a hard time reading this out loud to my husband. I don’t understand why this happens to some people. All I know is I have to help when it’s in my power to do so. Bless you for sharing your heart with us so we could help.
    Happy Easter.

  21. I have just read your story, and am now sitting here with tears in my eyes. I’m a Quaker and we try to hold people in need “in the light”. Know that I’m holding this amazing family in the brightest light I know how. If you are able to share your quilt abroad, I would love to be a part of it, and will follow your blog closely (I do anyway!) for more details. My heart is with you, as it is with Uzias and his family.

  22. Now I sit here in tears. Of course I’ll help with a quilt and thank you for posting a link to donate. You don’t truly realize the blessings God has given you until you encounter someone whose strength and determination leaves you in awe. The things we take for granted could be gone in a second and our lives changed forever – I met a woman and her husband this weekend, (she’s a quilter!) and her husband is a brain injury patient who now, while able to get around, requires constant care. That’s not something she signed up for when they married but an accident 3 years ago changed all of that. I thought about her this morning and said a prayer of thanks for our health and asked God to care for my family. It feels so selfish, but then I read your post and realize that there are no chance encounters and others are healthy and whole to help those who need it. Thanks again for sharing. Now I have to go fix my makeup.

  23. Hi Amy, thank you for sharing your experience and to all the comments on here, I think everyone has been touched in someway by a similar experience and like Becky says, things can change in an instant. I have made a donation and I wish this little lad and his family good health and happiness.

    Karen k x

  24. Tears you sweet thing, just tears. I would’ve been just a mess after all the TSA hassle, but then to have an encounter like this, puts it all in perspective. An amazing weekend followed by more of God’s intervening hand. Awesome. So, of course girl…I donated, I’ll quilt (like a mad woman) and I linked to this post……if we would all link to you through FB, tweet it up, or link through or blogs, we could help spread the word! You go AG, you just go!

  25. I donated a little something just because you cared enough to share your story and their journey…

  26. Sandra Louise says:

    You probably have enough quilters by now, Amy, but if you need one more, count me in. Thank you for sharing Uzias and his family’s story.
    Sandra

  27. God is good and also a Masterful Healer. Praying for his healing.I will donate to his family.Blessings, Amy and thankyou for sharing his story.

  28. Amy, thank you for sharing this family’s story and faith…we all need to be reminded of the blessings we have received and the faith we should walk in daily. You may get enough help on this quilt to make quilts for every member of the family!!!

  29. I am amazed at the courage of this mother and son, facing the most awful of illnesses with such bravery and faith. You were definitely meant to be there and to hear and share this story.

    What appalls me though, is the need for them to pay such high prices for critical healthcare. Here in the UK our National Health Service gets a lot of flack but without it, many more people would suffer and die. We pay National Insurance contributions from our wages, and this goes to the NHS so that when we need it, the healthcare is there from the simplest to the most complex problems, without the need to find large sums of money. There is private healthcare in the UK, which people pay for, but it is voluntary, and no one is denied the care they need.

    Having typed this I am now going back up the page to make a donation and I hope this little lad wins his battle.

    • Stitchery says:

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your donation Claire!!! To be clear, his family does have insurance and it has covered all of the standard treatment options- surgeries and radiation, which I have no doubt totalled hundreds of thousands of dollars. The situation they are in is that the insurance doesn’t cover alternative treatments (I imagine that state- provided health insurance wouldn’t either). These treatments are new and less tested, and are not yet mainstream, but I know what when you’re a parent with a sick child, you will do and try ANYTHING for healing, whatever the cost. I am so thankful for the opportunity we have to help them do that. Thank you again!!!

  30. Thanks for sharing your conversation and the photos. You truly were in the right place since you have the ability to share the story, like you did. If you need a quilt block, I would be honored to help.

  31. Amy -dotdotgoose says:

    Amy, I also believe life brings you just what you need at precisely the right moment. I’m so happy you feel the same and that you shared this beautiful family with us. I read their story through the link and was happy to make a donation. It was great to meet you at Sew South too :)

  32. Wow-what an amazing story. You know how my heart is touched by childhood cancer. I hate what cancer does to these sweet little precious people. Of course happy to make a block for his quilt. Am so thankful we got to spend some time together this weekend roomie! It flew by! But what a gift to have that time with such a great group. We are blessed indeed :)

  33. God is always providing opportunities for us to help one another, some are too busy to notice those moments, some choose to ignore and doubt and some obey without question. Thank you for sharing and allowing me to help too. I pray that in 6 days this community can help this mother reach her goal.

    xo

  34. Cindy Kevorken says:

    And it was not a coincidence that I visited your blog for the first time today. Thank you for giving the opportunity to donate, and I will definitely be praying for this young man and his family.

  35. Amen, sister! we’re praying for Uzias and his family here in our corner of the world. Looking forward to helping with the quilt!

  36. Rita "Mama T." Thomas says:

    Oh Miss Amy, what a wonderful post. God very quietly is always with us, isn’t He.
    When Jennifer first posted the Sew South Retreat…I was all over it, making logistical plans to go, afterall my brother lives in Charlotte. I could combine the retreat with a visit. Winning.
    Well for odd reasons, nothing seemed to gel with my logistics to get MY retreat off the ground. Harumph!
    Now I know why He held me back. You see, on a beautiful Sunday, March 10th,here in the Midwest, my daughter, a police woman(5 yrs. experience) and single mom, was shot while on her last day of training in her new job. I can’t even explain the emotions that seared through our hearts when we received that call. It’s been a little over 2 weeks and she is on the mend….stronger than ever I think despite having lost her left index finger, but grateful to be alive. God needed me here, for her, for my granddaughters(her 2 little girls),for my husband, for our sons, for her friends and collegues, for me. Mama T had to walk a different walk.
    God is good and I am grateful He spared our girl that day. After all is said and done, He holds us in the plams of His Hands, from beginning to end, despite the difficult paths we find ourselves on. We remain most blessed.
    Be assured of our prayers for Uzias and his family. May they be strengthened by God’s Grace on their very difficult path. Thank you for posting.
    Rita

  37. What a wonderful post Amy. I’ve just made a donation and would love to help with a quilt. Just let me know what you would like.
    Sorry we didn’t get to say good-bye on Sunday morning. Lots of tears shed when we all spoke about the wonderful weekend.

  38. Hi Amy, this is the first time I visit your blog. I googled Stichery Blog, and your blog came up first. But stichery can expect, what you write about is so much more important. I had to read your post twice and it touched me. Uzias poor, poor mother and father, poor brothers and the rest of the family. They are hurting and difficult, but lucky those who believe in a great and almighty God who has a plan for each individual. A good plan, which is not always what we want, God knows what is best for us humans. It was no coincidence that you had your seat next to this mother and that you had time to listen. Thank you for sharing this with us, together we can pray to God for this boy and his family.

  39. All morning I have spent watching the Craftsy block lessons you did from 2012. I thought I was just learning new patterns and easy techniques on finishing a quilt, but you ended the classes in a pregnant state with twins, so I was pulled to your blog to find out the up to date story. That’s when I read this blog of a providential meeting on a plane. What a compassionate read and a firm stand of faith for a family trusting God in the details. Thank you for taking the time to hear her story, blogging about it online, and showing a way for others to be a part of their journey. Helping someone in their time of need is bigger than my quilting projects. This weekend – Easter – is a perfect time to be reminded of that.

  40. Peggy Giese says:

    Its by His grace that we see His hand at work. What an amazing story of hope and courage. Keep us posted on Uzia’s progress.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the right time (I think God knows the only time He can get me to sit still long enough to listen is on a plane!  It always seems to be lifechanging.).  Those 4 hours lifted my spirit up to where it needed to […]