Monday, October 6, 2014

#mandastrong


Today it is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to one of my very best friends, Manda.
I mean... check out her adorable little family!!!

Dave and I met Manda and her husband Aaron back in 2005 when we first joined our Sunday School class.  None of us had kids and we spent lots of time chit chatting and throwing baby showers :)  


In the Spring of 2008 we both joined a Tuesday night Bible Study and our friendship grew deeper as a group of girls bonded over our struggles and triumphs as moms, wives and daughters of Christ.  We've laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed.  We've shared EVERYTHING! hahaha




I knew that Manda had had cancer as a child, but that it had been in remission for years and years.  In 2009 Manda gave birth to Aiden and found out that her cancer was back.  Only two weeks after having her son, Manda made the brave choice to have one of her legs amputated in order to completely remove the cancer from her body.

As Manda underwent chemotherapy, radiation and rehabilitation I was nothing less than AMAZED at her strength, resilience and overwhelming faith.  She is joyful, confident and STRONG.  As a group we've prayed for her scans, prayed for her family and praised God for the miracles in Manda's life.  We SHRIEKED when we found out she was pregnant for the second time and SQUEALED when we found out she was having a girl :)


About three weeks ago we found out that she had a possible "spot" on her spine and I literally felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.  She had already beat this twice and there was no possible way it could be back.  As we gathered in her front yard the night before her testing and prayed over and for her we cried, hugged and spoke confidently that it was some sort of "nothing".  As it turns out, it's a really big something and Manda is now in a fight for her life for a third time.

The past few weeks have been heartbreaking and disappointing as she has found out more details about the road ahead for her and her family.  Two Fridays ago, Narci took Manda's family pictures and our group of girlfriends decided to surprise her at the end of the shoot for a little shoot of our own.


We wanted these pictures to serve as a tangible reminder of our solidarity and support and to bring her some joy and fun memories in the weeks and months ahead.  We've taken on the role as Manda's cheerleaders - cheering her on, lifting her up and encouraging her.  When every turn reveals another disappointment or hurdle she has to overcome, we want her to know that she's not in this battle alone.

Words can not express how blessed I am to have these amazing women in my life and seeing them rally around Manda instantaneously (seriously - EVERY need is taken care of within about 13 minutes of hearing the news) has legitimized the time and energy I have invested into these lifelong friendships. 

The session was over when we decided to pray over Manda... praying for strength, peace and comfort.  For wisdom for her doctors, fortitude for her husband and "normalcy" for her kids.

We thanked God for Manda's testimony and praised Him for the incredible things He has done in her life and will continue to do.

And we ended with a big MANDA STRONG! :)

Manda's treatments will begin this week - and if you would - please LIKE the Manda Strong page on Facebook to stay updated on the most recent prayer requests, needs and fundraisers.  Leave a comment and let her and her family know that you're praying.

"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." - Matthew 18:20

We had an INCREDIBLE design created just for Manda and t-shirts with the verse will be available for purchase starting on Wednesday.  All proceeds will go directly to Manda, Aaron, Aiden and Miley.  I'll be posting the link here on my blog and it will also be on the Manda Strong Facebook Page.


O, God, in our hearts, we lift up Manda as she faces the fear of the unknown today.
We join our prayers with the prayers of all who love her.
May she receive strength from knowing that many are standing before the throne of heaven on her behalf.
Give her renewed comfort, hope and courage for today and whatever the days ahead may bring.
May the knowledge of your love and ours give her peace and hope.
Guide the minds, the hands and the hearts of those professionals who are entrusted with her care.
May she find comfort in knowing that our prayers are linked with hers.
We praise You, O Lord, in all and for all of our moments. 
Help us to trust in your sovereignty in all that we do not see, or understand, or know.
Amen.

52 comments:

  1. Praying for your sweet friend. She is super blessed to have y'all in her life Jer 29:11 ❤️

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  2. Prayers for complete healing & overwhelming peace!!!!

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  3. I will be praying for your sweet friend and I will definitely buy a shirt. Im so glad she has a group of friends like you girls. I know you mean the world to her! Praying for strength, peace, and comfort!

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  4. Praying for sweet Manda and her family!!!!!

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  5. Prayers for Manda and her family.

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  6. Praying for your sweet friend right now!

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  7. Praying for your Manda and her family as well as all of you cheerleaders all the way from California!

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  8. Thank you for sharing Manda's story. I have joined you in prayer. What a strong and beautiful friend you all have in her, and vice versa. I pray that Manda can beat this beast cancer!

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    1. She's AMAZING and she's totally going to beat it! Thank you for praying!

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  9. So many prayers for your sweet friend and her beautiful family! Such a blessing to have such a support group that is lifting them all up as they will need it and they will cherish it! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for praying! We wouldn't have it any other way.

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  10. You guys are amazing! What a blessed group of friends! Know that so many are thinking and praying along with you! I pray for Manda's strength and courage and that God wraps her in love that she can literally feel.

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    1. Thank you for praying! I know she's feeling the prayers.

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  11. Sending Hugs and prayers for Manda! Thank you for sharing! Will like the FB page and purchase a shirt!!

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  12. My heart breaks for your sweet friend and her family. I know the hardship of a mother with cancer. My mom first had breast cancer when I was 11, went into remission, it came back in her lymph nodes, she went into remission, and then it came back in her lungs and she ultimately passed away when I was 18. No child should have to deal with losing a parent. Manda is so lucky to have such amazing friends like you all who are praying for her. My thoughts are with her and her family and hoping that her treatment cures her once and for all. She is a fighter! She can beat this.

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    1. Thank you so so so much, Elizabeth!!! I can't imagine going through what you went through. I'm so sorry about your mom and yes - no child should have to deal with this. CANCER SUCKS!!! Thank you for thinking of her!

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  13. Prayers from one mom to lift another

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  14. Praying for your friend and her family.

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  15. Heavenly Father, bless this family, and especially Manda with your loving care, strength, courage, faith, and total healing. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Thank you for sharing this story, I will be giving it up at church and prayer group for Manda and her loved ones.

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    1. Amen! And thank you for praying and sharing!

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  16. Praying for Manda & family!! My sister has had four different types of cancer & just moved from TX. If Manda needs to chat with someone whose been through the same journey with tiny children (my nieces are 5 & 7 and my nephew is 5) feel free to reach out. Thinking of all of you as her battle is your battle, too!

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    1. Thanks, Erin! I'll be sure to pass that along to Manda. When one of us hurts, all of us hurts... we're ready to FIGHT right alongside with her. Thank you for praying!

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  17. Praying for your sweet friend & her family!!! Love the design for the shirts! She's lucky to have such a sweet group of life long friends cheering her!!

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    1. Thank you for praying! The shirts are going to be amazing!

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  18. My heart hurts for you, Manda and her family. Cancer sucks-plain and simple. I so wish Manda and her beautiful family did not have to go through this. I wish NO family ever had to go through this. How wonderful though that she has such a loving and supportive group of friends by her side! You ladies are amazing! Lifting you all up in prayer!

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  19. What an incredible post. My heart goes out to Manda & her sweet sweet family. May God's healing hands be with her; she seems like an amazing, strong, & faithful fighter. Thank you for sharing this & the beautiful verse & prayer. Many prayers being sent her way!

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  20. You are all such wonderful people! Praying for Manda and her family.

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  21. Praying for your friend! What a true blessing to have such an awesome group of friends to lift one another up and be the hands and feet of Christ!

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  22. Praying for your beautiful friend Manda xoxo and for all her family and friends. You really are so blessed to have each other. We are blessed to be able to share in your lives, so thank you all. Love to you all from Queensland, Australia. Sam xx #mandastrong

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  23. Hi Andrea! Would you mind if i used your Manda Strong graphic on my blog tomorrow? I've linked back to you! I've included this post in my own Friday post! Thanks!

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  24. Thank you for sharing this story. Praying for Manda and her family!!

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  25. Thank you for sharing the story. I am curious...how is Manda now? My Mom In Law faced Cancer 5 years ago and is now back normal..got her left breast removed at the age of 79..I can understand the feelings !

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