Friday, June 13, 2014

Finding the rose among the thorns...

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I’m still in shock and mind boggled by the recent arrest of a friend. A friend?!? A woman that I have kept contact with via text messaging and Facebook was arrested for faking cancer…. I can’t begin to tell you the tears I’ve shed for her, the prayers I have said for her. My family prayed for her daily. She led her thousands of Facebook supporters to believe that she had less than 3 months to live. I questioned her honesty years ago when she confided in me that she was an alcoholic, and now a born again Christian- yet there would be frequent pictures of her at bars. ...It didn’t add up for an alcoholic to be casually drinking. But when a woman says she has stage 4 ovarian cancer you believe her.  It just feels like the worst kind of violation to be lied to in this way. To be misled and taken advantage of for so long… The texts I have from her are so descriptive including forcing her husband to go coffin shopping, being hospitalized for 9 days, having a shunt put in her head from excessive brain swelling, vomiting to the point of nearly tearing her esophagus. I mean I can go ON AND ON.  There are no words for the shock. They say hindsight is 20/20, but I never saw THIS coming. Did I think she was milking her support system? Yes. Did I think she was lying about having cancer? No!  It became odd to me how often she would desperately complain about money. But she seemed to be a good old, struggling American with cancer.  Turns out she is just a struggling American… struggling with drug addiction? Maybe? Mental health issues? Most definitely! The odd thing is, she started this *journey* over 2 years ago! I have Facebook messages from her from a few months prior to her announcement where she said her husband filed for divorce. I wonder if she initially started this lie to keep her marriage in tact? But if that is the case- why drag thousands of innocent people into the mix? Probably because it became a gold mine for her to cash in on- at the hand of the well-intentioned givers. She asked to clothing in certain sizes to dress her kids (4, plus a step child). Dozens of people stepped up and donated hundreds of dollars worth of clothing items to her kids…. Someone gave them a vehicle. Groceries were delivered 3 times a week. A weekend getaway was pre-paid for her and her husband. Her own mother sent her large family on a week long getaway. Build-a-bear workshop opened after hours for them so each of her children could make a bear with her voice inside. The zoo gave her a behind the scenes tour of the penguins (her favorite). The list is 14 miles and 2 years long. So while we are all left shaking our heads in disbelief. While she is behind bars, wearing an orange jumpsuit- it seems there is little else to do. But that is very far from the truth. This person, this lost soul needs more prayer now then she did when we believed she was dying. I’m diligently praying for her. Because somewhere she got off on the wrong path. She needs Jesus and she needs us to pray for her…. We need to continue with our good intentions by doing random acts of kindness. Paying for the car behind you in he drive-thru. Holding the door open for someone. Opening our eyes to those around us who are truly in need. Smiling at everyone!! Someone told me today that I am a breath of fresh air in a negative work environment. It made my day! Attitude is everything and we can walk around being incredibly angry with this person- and everyone else who wrongs us. Or we can be humble.  Be blessed. I chose the latter…. Will you join me?