TanjaTonight I chatted online for a little while with an old friend named Tanja. I first met Tanja as a camper at Covenant Pines, then got to work with her (and her whole family, actually) for a summer there back in 2001. She has quite a story. Essentially, almost as long as I've known her, she has suffered from a number of health issues (to read about them go here - it was written a few years back, but gives somewhat of a basic outline of her health struggles). When we worked at camp together, she wasn't in the greatest of health...but she was able to work as an office assistant, play guitar in chapel, and do what she could around camp. She was always very frank about her illness and it's effect on her, but faced it with humor, selflessness, and a never-ending desire to praise God...so much so that you'd sort of forget she was really sick! Unfortunately we sort of lost touch over the last couple years...I don't know why, but I just assumed she was getting better...then I saw her online tonight so we chatted. Sad to say her health has not been that great...she has been in the hospital over 20 times the past year, has had 2 surgeries, has undergone some chemo, has tried new meds, and not much is working...her disease is just progressing, and these days she spends much of her time in a wheelchair. :( So what is she doing with her time? She's working part time leading a children's ministry at a church, and going to school part time to minister to people in hospitals. Her attitude is astonishing to me. Even when we were chatting, she didn't mention her health until I asked her about it. And then she went right on to ask me about my life!
Life can be so difficult to understand sometimes, can't it. Illnesses...tragedies...pain. Sometimes I admit I just don't get it. I am so humbled, blessed and inspired when I see someone deal with their circumstances with the courage to persevere through them all for the glory of God instead of choosing bitterness. Who do you know who's done that?