New Life

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Most Beautiful Woman I Know.....


















 Photo by Susan Enjaian Wood


I first saw Ruth at church,
on Easter.
She was singing "Power of The Cross".
She sang beautifully.
When she was finished, everyone in the church stood up and 
applauded.  And her response was to point her finger up toward 
heaven.

I will never forget that.

I saw some slight disfigurement on her face but barely noticed.   I knew I wanted to meet her.
I really believe God purposed that in my heart.
I introduced myself in the hall on the way to Sunday School 
class.  I was new.  I felt a little awkward.

She was so nice.  She told me about the rare cancer she had and 
that she had to have part of her jaw removed.  There was 
something about her, I couldn't put my finger on it.

Joy?

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all 
circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ 
Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

She gave me a brochure of her testimony, "Finding Hope Through Suffering."  I couldn't wait to read it.

In Sunday school class that Easter morning, the teacher asked for prayer for Ruth (I realized it was the woman I had just met).
The cancer had come back.  Oh no.

I tried to listen to the Sunday School teacher but was drawn to the brochure again and again.  Wow.  She had joy.  I saw it.
How?

Would I?

My circumstances seemed so utterly unimportant.  Sunday School seemed so utterly unimportant.  My perspective changed.

Wow.

I thought about her for days.

Getting to know her, I asked if she would speak to our Hunger & Thirst prayer group and she agreed.

Ruth told us her whole story.  She spoke of the horrifying details.  She told of the pain (physical, mental, and spiritual), the hurts, the fear, the sacrifices.

I still saw beauty.

She played the song, "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me

We all sat in silence and listened.  In awe.

She ate through a tube in her tummy that night.  It was humbling.

We laughed.  We cried.

Some of the hurts the women brought to the meeting included; a husband with MS, alcoholism, a death in the family, financial troubles, a recent miscarriage, and more.

She told us that all of our hurts were just as valid as before she came.  That they were no less significant despite her sufferings. 
Although impossible to conceive, we believed her.
She was right.

When she left, we were all changed.

She just gets more and more beautiful the more I know her.

Then just last year, she felt a lump in her temple and the cancer was back.  Again.  With a vengeance.  Her surgery was more intrusive.  More painful.  More scarring.

  "The Lord does not look at the things man looks 
at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at 
the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Funny thing, the first time I saw her just after coming back from her surgery & recovery was in the graveyard at our church.

On Easter.

Her husband wheeled her there as the Easter Sunrise Service had just started.   I thought she was even more beautiful in her bravery.

 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting:  but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."  Proverbs 31:30

Later, at another prayer meeting, some friends and I asked if she would speak to our homeschool group with her talk that she directed towards students.  She did.

(3 Photos by Neecie Herndon)
 
                                              
It was Powerful.

What an awesome thing for children to see someone who constantly points UP.
My kids see love.  And they give it back.  Gabrielle rushes to hug her every time they meet.  Even she sees it.  And she is only 3.  Abigail painted her nails once and loved on her.  But Abigail was the one who was blessed.

It is life changing.

Ruth could be the woman next door.  She is just an average mom.  She has the same hopes, dreams, and fears we do.  Just like you or me ...
....but really....
... she is becoming more like Him.  I can see Him in her.

Fighting (a verb) cancer for 11 years.  A homeschool mama in the midst of the craziness.   Two beautiful boys full of strength and love and fear for their mom.  An Amazing husband, the kind you don't often see.

She is incredible. 
                                                      Photo by Cassy Mirich


                                          Photo by Susan Enjaian Wood

Ruth's sense of humor puts you at ease, throws you off balance, blows your mind, cheers your soul, and refreshes your spirit.
Just knowing her is a blessing.  She is a kindred spirit.

Constantly pointing up.
Giving God glory in her suffering.
That we would all be so wise.

My beautiful friend.

I want to be like her when I grow up...........the most beautiful woman.




Photo by Neecie Herndon
"Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and 
wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes – but the inner person 
of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil 
spirit, which is precious in God’s sight."
1Peter 3:3-4

If you would like to know more about this amazing woman and Bright Hope Ministries or to hear her words pierce your heart...
Contact Ruth Moran at www.caringbridge.org/visit/ruthmoran
She is available for speaking engagements for women's groups, retreats, conferences, schools (assemblies/classrooms), churches, youth groups, luncheons, homeschool groups, etc...  Donations accepted and appreciated.
Also, please pray for Ruth and her family.

18 comments:

~Karen said...

An amazing testimony of a beautiful woman by another beautiful woman and just what I needed today.

Susan said...

I could not say this better. Thank you for this beautiful description of my sister's journey. And thank you for giving God the glory!
Susan Enjaian Wood

Diane O. said...

What a testimony to the power and beauty of God's love in a yielded heart. I'm so glad you shared, Christina. I look forward to meeting Ruth one day, hopefully soon.

Anonymous said...

You have captured Ruth's essence in a way that when its read we realize there is only one place to look and that is to our creator, God.
~Beth

Beth said...

You just made me a blog fan Christina. I didn't realize that mere words could describe Ruth, but wow, you did, and so powerfully. I do not know anyone who is so steadfast in being a testimony to her Creator. Thank you for sharing her story in such a moving way.

Jennifer said...

Thank you. This story has challenged be and touched my heart. Thank you for sharing.

Kim & Dave said...

Amazing! Thank you so much for posting!!!

Susan said...

Thank you, thanks for sharing this BEAUTIFUL story of your special friend Ruth. I want to be like her too.

Susan said...

...beauty from ashes. Just the word I needed today. Thank you so much.

LookingUp said...

Your blog tells the story of the most beautiful woman *I* know... Del. Our friendship mirrors that of yours and Ruth's with only minor detail differences.

Over the past 15 years, our Del has, piece by piece, surrendered parts of her face (including both eyes) in the Battle. And although she under the care of Hospice now, continues to grow more beautiful everyday... reflecting the JOY and LIFE and HOPE of the One in Whom she abides.

Thank you.

Lindie Wadhams said...

Lindie Wadhams says:
We had Ruth speak at our Ladies Spring Tea - and I have never met anyone who reflects the glory of her Lord as Ruth does. Her JOY is clearly not in something but in SOMEONE - Jesus Christ. She inspires all of us to share in the sufferings of Christ and to count it Joy. Meeting Ruth the first time I felt like I'd known her all my life. We love you Ruth and pray for you daily.

deb said...

Thank you for sharing this story.
Her joy and beauty is infectious and bright through your words and pictures.
Through her spirit.

Dawn Wilson said...

Do you have an audio copy of Ruth's testimony? I would love to hear it. Please contact me at: dawn@heartchoicesministries.com

Marcus Goodyear said...

This is an incredible story and the pictures bring it to life. I couldn't help but think about her family--and how her response to suffering is something they share. The pictures of Ruth and her husband especially moved me.

Anonymous said...

Ruth is Ruth!! She doesn't allow too much sympathy to be given to her. She is much too busy. Prayers and the Grace of God have given her so much. They will continue to provide, because we would be lost without her. I met her on a cruise. It was as if she and I had known one another for years. I consider Ruth a friend and a mentor. She is a natural teacher. I consider myself a better person for having met her and admiring her. I will be honest, I do not think I could live her life. I hate pain! She endures all with dignity and grace. Peace and Potential, Betty C. Parker

Anonymous said...

Tears streaming down my face. I don't understand this. But, I am reminded this week again, that God doesn't call me to understand him but to trust him. And, to think this woman is trusting him and praising him, joyfully through such a horrid type of cancer... well I am just in awe of a faith like that.
Julie W.

Christina Parker Brown said...

Thank you so much for your beautiful words! Keep praying for Ruth..... She is now battling her 6th recurrence of cancer and is still pointing up!
www.caringbridge.org/visit/ruthmoran

karen cutter said...

Looking so forward to her testimony at our church soon.

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