Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries
Words are one of the most powerful gifts we can give to someone we love.
Words fill in the space that exists between two souls, like a magnet pulling two separate beings into one shared space.
Words reveal what is hidden and create a connection that even death cannot destroy.Words reveal what is hidden and fill in the space that exists between two souls.
Think back on the most poignant memories of your life, and you will discover that they are filled with lovely, life-changing words:
I love you…
It’s a girl…
Over the course of human history, words have been used for great evil and even greater good:
Let there be light…
We the people…
I have a dream…
One small step for man…
It is finished…
As a writer, my days are saturated with words, and I am deeply committed to harnessing their power for the glory of God and the expansion of His kingdom.“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” -Martin Luther
I have some very important words to share with you today, words that are full of purpose and love.
Words that must be written, a story that must be shared.
I just found out that someone I love is battling stage 4 brain cancer.
She is a beautiful wife, mother and friend.
She is gentle and kind, generous and supportive.
She is battling, her family is hurting, and we are all praying.
Her name is Cathy, and this is her story.
The voice in this video is her daughter Kristen, and the words Kristen chose to describe their situation are saturated with love, faith, and hope.
I met Cathy and Bart Bryant when I was 17 years old.
She was a busy mom with two beautifully rambunctious little girls and a husband who adored her.
That’s the thing about Cathy, she’s so tender and kind, I doubt she ever met a person she couldn’t quickly turn into a friend.
Oh, she would shake her head and disagree with me, but that’s what makes her special.
Cathy’s never been one to think too highly of herself, and if we were being honest, we’d all agree that she’s often too hard on herself.
Cathy and her husband invited me into their home, embraced me as one of their own, and loved me truly and completely right from the start.
They had an open door and open pantry policy, and I took full advantage of their hospitality (and their Cheetos).
In return, I would occasionally take their little girls to the community pool or babysit so they could escape for a date night.
The Bryant family loves to eat good food and fellowship with one another.
I grew up without much of a connection to my extended family, so it always made me feel special when they included me in their large family gatherings.
I’m not sure if Cathy would remember that day at the local Perkins when we met a little girl named Anya, but I’ll never forget.
Six years later, I named my first child, Anya Elizabeth.
It’s the littlest things that create the most beautiful memories, the small pieces of our story that connect us to one another for eternity.It’s the littlest things that create the most beautiful memories, the small pieces of our story that connect us.
I lived near Cathy & Bart for about a year.
One year of my thirty-four.
I’ve since lost touch with them.
That’s not to say that I haven’t loved them from afar, but I grew up and started my own family and somewhere along the way I forgot to share my words with them:
These are the words that come to mind when I think of Cathy and her family.
I haven’t spoken to this dear woman in years, yet I am compelled to share my words of love and gratitude with her in this moment.
Words are the most powerful gift we can give, and sometimes they are all we have to offer.
I’m not sure what Cathy remembers of the season of life we shared, however, I do know that she’ll never forget the day I convinced her that Parmesan cheese was just tasteless calories.
Cathy, I’m sorry I told you not to eat Parmesan cheese.
I was young and foolish, and you really shouldn’t have listened to me.
I think of you and smile every time I shred it and watch it melt over my pasta.
I’m sorry you are hurting right now, but I hope that these words are a bright spot in your day.
That they remind you of days gone bye and the power of a life well-lived.
Thank you for taking the time to invest in a young girl with big dreams, I will treasure our memories forever.
I will join Kristen in praying that you outlive your life, but the truth of the matter is, you already have.
Your family is your legacy.
No matter when God chooses to take you home to Him, I am confident you will hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Friends, you never know what your simple acts of kindness and acceptance will do in the lives of others.
They may move away or lose touch, but when you’ve shared a piece of your heart with them, they will carry it forever.
I challenge you to live life in such a way that death is not the end of your story.I challenge you to live life in such a way that death is not the end of your story.
I encourage you to give the gift of your words to someone you love today.
Maybe there is a person who you highly value and think of often, yet have never taken the time to tell them what they mean to you.
Do it today.
Words are a gift.
They deserve it.
Tomorrow may be too late.