Jeannette is a certified life coach, credentialed minister, nonprofit communication specialist, and author. Her personal mission is to live with passion for Christ, his servants, and his great commission, and to leave her world a better place than she found it. She does this professionally by coaching ministers, lay leaders, Christian business and nonprofit leaders, and writers to thrive in life and mission, through her practice Mission: Thrive! Coaching and Consulting. She lives in Lancaster County, Pa., with her husband, Bob.
Losing To Win
By Rev. Jeannette Scott, ACC, AGPC Life Coach (717) 405-8025
It was my favorite kind of morning, Indian summer. A November Monday, my day off.
As I set out on errands, halfway up the block, I felt compelled to drop in on Kathy. She was a neighbor, good friend, and member of my church family. She’d had home-hospice care for some time.
This day, I arrived just as a nurse told Kathy’s husband it would be any moment; at best, a day or two. Kathy was losing a long, determined fight with breast cancer.
Or, the way I see it, she was winning.
She had faith she’d enter a better life with her Savior. She had no care for herself. If she wrestled for anything, it was for peace that her family would be OK. No doubt they will, and they have Kathy to thank.
On rare occasions, this woman — who never let cancer steal her hope — confessed frustration that she couldn’t do for her family what she did for decades: cook, clean, spoil grandchildren.
But that mission was accomplished, and Kathy was now charged with a new one that would make a bigger mark than all the dinners and dusting ever could.
In endless bed rest, Kathy prayed.
She could no longer offer audible praise. From a bedside CD player, favorite hymns and choruses did it for her. In spite of cancer’s unrelenting assault, her spirit soared, though her voice could not. And all the while, Kathy prayed for family, friends, neighbors.
People prayed for her, too, uttering much more than passing sentiments of “our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
They really prayed. Once, a host of the faithful fasted and prayed in relay for more than 40 days on her behalf.
Kathy wasn’t healed in this life. But those who prayed for Kathy were themselves changed by her courage, affirmation and prayer.
Her reward is in heaven, for sure. I believe she got an earthly one, too. So did her family.
As she interceded for them, Kathy gained peace in knowing her family would be okay. Through prayer, she trusted them to God’s care, even as she prepared to meet him face-to-face.
And Kathy’s family was blessed with a tangible, lasting message from her.
When her doctor described the imminent, progressive decline that had finally begun, Kathy refused to let cancer have the last word.
She had a video recorded for loved ones just before her decline accelerated.
It was shown at her funeral eight days after my drop-in. And, in years to come, her family will see love beaming from her face, and hear her voice cheering them on as they live out the fruit of her prayers for them.