When I signed up to mentor, I honestly did not know what to expect. I didn’t want my expectations to be so high that they d not be met or so low that I didn’t expect anything. I knew we lived two different lives, but would we connect like I hoped? As soon as I got started, I knew it would be fulfilling, but I had no idea it would change my heart the way it has!
Fast forward two years, and I have a new best friend! (She calls us sisters, and I love that too). We have nicknames for each other–I call her “Red,” and she calls me “Peaches.” I have so many stories and fun times to share, but there’s one story that stands out in my mind from just a few weeks ago when I got the chance to pick R up from school. When she got in the car, the first thing she said was: “So, no cancer, huh?”
Let me preface. My dad was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer back in March. Our family was devastated. He quickly started chemo and radiation. Just two weeks ago, we got the news we had all been praying for ‚Äì he s in REMISSION! Praise God! We got the good news about my dad the day before I picked R up from school. We hadn’t even talked yet, so her mom must have told her from a Facebook post she saw. It meant a lot to me that her mom, who I think is great, cared enough to make sure R knew. The fact that it was the first thing she said when she saw me was incredibly sweet, and it let me know she really cared.
From day one, I have included R in my personal life, so she has been going through this with me on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. She’s not just the girl I mentor–she’s my friend! I wanted to include her in this journey of faith and to share a strong hope together for complete healing. I would ask her to pray when she thought of him. She’d write him letters and always ask me, “how much longer until he’s done with chemo?” She cared about him and was a part of his life too. Seeing that made me love her even more. She continues to ask to meet him, and one day I will make that happen. It was good for R to see my faith tested, to share in my struggle, and to hear the desperation in my voice when I asked her to pray HARD about the upcoming scan s results. I know including her in this trial was important because it was an opportunity for her to see how much I trusted God to see me through the trials that John 16:33 says will come, and yet by God’s grace and mercy, she can rejoice with me that my dad is here and feeling awesome! This has been great testimony to R that if God is bigger than cancer, then He is able to help her through any problem she might face. When we trust God in difficult times, we grow, and I hope that her faith in the Almighty has grown as well!
She is such a blessing to me. I want her to know that no matter where life takes us, she will always be special to me and that God will always be there for her. I love her like I’d love my own child. I will always remember that very special day when I got her from school and instead of “Hi,” she said “So, no cancer, huh?” It was her way of letting me know where her heart was, and it brought such joy to mine!
-Sandy Lunsford, Mentor