My Life Resume

by Mar 23, 2022Painful Experiences, Worst of Times


Typically, a resume summarizes one’s experiences and accomplishments to advance their career. I’d like to change that up a bit and submit the resume of my life, while asking the Lord, as I do, “Can You make sense of all this pain and craziness? Can You redeem it and use it for Your glory and for Your Kingdom purposes?”

At the age of 8, I was diagnosed with a rare bone disease that could potentially alter my life in significant ways. For years, I made trips to the Mayo Clinic to assess my health status and determine what, if anything, required medical attention.

When I was 18 and in my senior year of high school, I endured extreme pain and difficulty walking. The surgery that was to repair the damage supposedly caused by the bone disease to the tibia (main bone) in my left leg, revealed instead a rare malignant bone tumor unrelated to the previous childhood diagnosis. This discovery resulted in three extensive surgeries to remove the tumor and rebuild my leg. I lost six inches of my tibia and two years of my life as I waited on sufficient bone growth to walk again.

Nineteen, in college, and reeling from three major surgeries and a year of full-length casts on my leg that left me feeling ugly and undesirable, I fell for a boyfriend’s age-old “I love you no matter what” lie and the misguided expectations of that lie. Before long, I was three months pregnant. 

Naively believing that this news would result in marriage, I was shocked when the only option my boyfriend gave me was an abortion. With no money or any way to support myself and deathly afraid of how my parents would respond, I agreed to his demands and ended up in Boulder, Colorado, alone, afraid, and absolutely shocked at the decision I had made and what I was about to do.

At 21, I married my 19-year old sweetheart. It was a wild ride from the get-go. Ten years after we said “I do”, we found ourselves living in South Africa, his birth country and home until he left for college, where we first met. We served with Youth for Christ for three glorious years, until we were kicked out of the country, due to resident violations and his unwillingness to serve in the South African army.

Shortly after our return to the U.S., my husband was injured in a soccer incident that severely damaged his back and left him in constant, excruciating pain. Three major surgeries and ten torturous years later, he was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor that took his life within three months.  He was only forty-five.

Two and one-half years later I remarried. Despite marrying a widow, who was no stranger to pain himself, the journey has been challenging and difficult, to say the least—I doubt he’d disagree. After nearly 17 years, I’m still not sure I know how to do “remarriage”.

So, here I am, looking back and wondering, does my “Life Resume” define me? Does it limit the power of God to bring about His ultimate, glorious purpose in my life? Can the absolute, undeserved mercy and grace of God redeem all the pain in my past and use it for His glory?

We’re about to find out.