Sometimes you meet a random person and within seconds of talking with them, you know that you could be the type of friends who meet up for coffee and still after four hours , you find yourselves barely touching the surface of what you could talk about. Have you been there before? Chances are they are a long-lost member of “your people”; your lives intersect for a split second, and then you are forever changed.
This happened to me last fall when I met Wendy Duke. She and I sat at a blog conference together, scratching down notes, and nodding our heads like we knew what the speaker was talking about… then as the session ended, she looked at me, and I at her, and instantly a camaraderie was formed. After we talked and Wendy shared her story with me (and my mom, who tagged along with me, because she is the best!) I was left speechless as I heard about the journey the Lord has led her family on.
When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you, and your story will heal somebody else Iyanla Vanzant
This past month, Wendy has released her story in her debut book, “Grace in the Middle: An Imperfect Journey to God’s Perfect Plan”. Wendy transparently shares her struggle with God as she walked through the birth of her first-born daughter Savannah who was born with a tumor in her leg, roughly a quarter of her body weight at birth.
As Wendy and her husband Scott, welcomed their baby girl into the world, they would not let the tragic news of cancer, chemotherapy, and surgeries dampen their faith in a God who heals and restores. Hope can be found through Jesus, no matter what the circumstance, and “Grace in the Middle” is an honest glimpse into a family who struggled to find hope, but when it seemed to be lost, the Lord proved himself faithful in every way.
I am so thankful for Wendy’s vulnerability to share her story, struggles and all. Sometimes, we like to dismiss our past, or the trails, or the valleys, but when we share them, there is healing and hope that ripples, from person to person. The Duke’s story is empowering to any parent, especially so to those who have children born with disability, sickness, or struggle. As a parent we oftentimes feel as if we are in a life raft, adrift at sea, alone in our own battle, but when the brave ones stand up and say, “Hey, we have been there, it was hard, God is still good in the hard”, it is as if someone throws out a line, and all of a sudden you are boarding the bigger vessel, the one with a captain and a crew, and a path of hope.
I am forever thankful for Wendy Duke and her persistence in sharing what the Lord has done. Also, thank you to Ambassador International for providing me with a copy of “Grace in the Middle”.