New Life, An Incredible Journey - Bill & Ann Cather

Girls Fast Pitch Softball has been a part of our lives for about 15 years. Our granddaughter began with T-ball and is ending her last semester playing Division I, NCAA. Many instances stick out in our minds as exceptional: exceptional plays, exceptional coaches, exceptional girls, exceptional venues, and exceptional human-interest stories to name a few.  However, it was Saturday before the first Sunday of Lent, 2016 that touched our hearts and will long be remembered.

Missouri State University was playing Northern Colorado at a tournament at the University of Texas, Arlington. There was a beautiful young woman that was recruited by MSU three years prior. In the beginning of her sophomore year, Allie was feeling tired and just could not seem to navigate, as she was accustomed. After going to the doctor and many tests later, Allie and her family received the devastating news that would knock anyone backward. Allie was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. What news to an 18 year old, beautiful, young, active woman who was in excellent shape and had a wonderful life ahead of her.

Allie fought hard, her family kept an active page on Facebook about her condition, and she had legions of prayer warriors praying for her regularly. Allie received a bone marrow transplant and many major health issues continued. She missed a complete year of college, but was able to return after a year and has since passed her one-year of transplant. However, it was through her faith and by her tenacity that Allie has become a shining light for many. It was on this Saturday, February 13, that the MSU softball fans got to show their love for her and deep respect for her bravery.

Allie went to bat for the first time in two years! When she walked to the plate, the MSU fans stood and cheered. It is not for certain, but a good venture to say there were few, if any dry eyes among the MSU fans, players and coaches. What a time! Allie drew a walk, but for us it was a homerun.

Psalm 18:28-30 could well have been one of the many scriptures that Allie turned to in her time of distress. You, 0 Lord, keep my lamp burning: my God turns my darkness into light. With your help, I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Jesus turned to God at his most difficult moments. He is our shield. God has been a shield for Allie. Jesus experienced new life. So has Allie. Thank your God.

Reflection Question
When has God been a healing presence, a shield, for you?

We come before you with such grateful hearts. Help to remind us that we can seek comfort in you and with your strength; we too can advance against a troop or scale a wall. In the name of your most perfect gift to us, Jesus. Amen.

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