hope

Celebrating 10 Years Cancer Free

10 years ago on April 17, 2007,  I went through a major surgery to rid my body of cancer. I was 20 years old and had no idea how sick I was until coughing up blood in my dorm on Easter Sunday. (You can watch my story here.) After my parents traveled to Tulsa to take me back home to Dallas, I underwent one of the most difficult weeks of my life. Prior to the surgery, the enemy threw punch after punch to knock me down. Then the day of my surgery came and I was wheeled into the surgery room. All of the bright hospital lights & shiny silver knives on the table next to me. I asked if I could keep my bible with me on the table and the doctor agreed. 

After the surgery, I woke up to an unquenchable thirst...and quickly realized that I couldn't talk to tell the nurse I needed water. That was rough. She finally came over and gave me some ice cubes. (Thanks a lot. Lol) But that was all I could take. I spent the next few days in the hospital with these massage boots on my legs to keep my circulation flowing. I couldn't walk, talk, eat or drink. They basically shut my body down in order to remove half of my left lung to get rid of the malignant (cancer) mass and all the surrounding lymph nodes. I started practicing walking down the hall arm and arm with my dad a few days later. The nurse said if I could walk down the hall and to the windows and back, then I could go home. With my goal in mind, I practiced and prayed and gathered my strength to make it overtime. Finally, I was discharged and wheeled down to the hospital exit. I'll never forget the sound of the birds singing outside as my dad pulled up his SUV to take me home. I cry just thinking about that.... 

God has a way of turning our place of pain into our place of rejoicing.
— Emonne Markland

April has a special place in my heart. As does Easter. It was in this month that I suffered and recovered a disease that kills lives everyday. For whatever reason, God drew a bloodline around me and wouldn't let me die at 20. Then fast forward two years later, April 2009, I got married to the love of my life. Someone I didn't even deserve. Who had prayed for me and believed for my healing when I overlooked him for years. Fast forward to April 2011, Easter Sunday, I was in labor with my baby girl and gave birth on the following day, April 25. And now here I am, April 17, 2017, 30 years old and pregnant with my baby boy.

God has a way of turning our place of pain into our place of rejoicing. I pray that my story brings you encouragement to believe that the same hand that allows pain and suffering is faithful to bring joy and healing. IN THE SAME PLACE!

To God be the glory for reminding me yet again that He is the Resurrection and the Life. He will always give us beauty for ashes. The oil of joy for morning. And the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. The same God that did it for me, will do it for you.

 

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

Walking in the Dark

Walking in the Dark

Have you ever been in a dark place?

A place where you can't see your way around or understand the purpose of your journey? The darkness isn't evil, yet it prohibits your sight and makes it difficult to move forward. What I've come to realize is that life will hand you seasons and situations that cause you to walk in the dark and question everything you've seen in the light...

Your Mordecai Moment

Your Mordecai Moment

Have you ever felt unnoticed? Alone in a crowd... Lost in the shuffle...Good intentions gone unseen. I believe we all have. When considering these thoughts, I couldn't help but think of my boy Mordecai, the "supporting role" in the book/story of Esther.

Trusting God In Transition

Trusting God In Transition

I don't know what season you are in right now, but as for me and my house, we are right in the thick of transition. For the last few months, we have taken steps of faith down a road that seems uncertain, in obedience to three specific words from the Lord.

Where is Your Trust?

“What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,” says the LORD. “You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins. For without consulting me, you have gone down to Egypt for help. You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection. You have tried to hide in his shade. But by trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated, and by depending on him, you will be disgraced. For though his power extends to Zoan and his officials have arrived in Hanes, all who trust in him will be ashamed. He will not help you. Instead, he will disgrace you.” (Isaiah 30:1-5 NLT)

Beware of making your own plans without consulting God; trusting in the help of a leader instead of the right hand of the Lord. Make God your strength. Consult Him for your plans. Seek His path.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NLT)

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

Promise

the promise is worth the rain

Yesterday, it rained. All day.

My husband and I made use of the rainy weather by staying inside and cleaning up our home. Later in the day, I faced the rain and went out to Starbucks for some quiet time and reading. (By the way, I tried a pumpkin chai tea latte as suggested by the barista and it was delicious!) I decided not to take my laptop, which I usually never go to Starbucks without, and simply brought my bible and favorite book: Beauty Will Save the World by Brian Zahnd. In chapter 2, “The Greatest Wonder of All,” he shares a glorious moment he had atop a mountain. As he took a moment to breathe and bask in the beauty that surrounded him, a deer came alongside him and his antlers formed a perfect frame to the sunset. It was a moment of glorious wonder that he said he will never forget.

As I read the story, I could only image how beautiful that sight must have been. My imagination ran wild as I tried to place myself in his viewpoint, visualizing a mountaintop sunset framed by brown antlers. What a sight that must have been. After I finished reading, I headed home and noticed that there was a festival going on in my city. A large ferris wheel was going round and round and the tents covered the street to keep the goods dry. Amidst the rain, the contrast of flashing lights from the fair rides was an interesting contrast to behold. Is this my “wonder moment”? I thought. I parked alongside the festival gate and snapped a few photos of the scene with my iPhone. I used various filters on Instagram to enhance the shots, but didn’t care for the mood that was captured.

I continued home and prepared to go out again to the grocery store with my family. After about an hour and lots of team work, my husband and I completed our shopping trip and headed outside. As we looked into the sky, we were captivated by the most beautiful, bright, full rainbow we had ever seen. We gasped as we beheld this unexpected display of glorious wonder amidst an ordinary Sunday afternoon. Customers all throughout the parking lot were taking photos and gazing into the sky, grocery carts pushed aside as the priorities of the evening were delayed in this moment of divine beauty. THIS was my wonder moment.

As I beheld the rainbow, this thought entered my heart:

The promise is worth the rain.

Every rain drop that fell from the sky throughout the day was worth the display of the magnificent rainbow. I want you to know that the rain in your life will be worth the rainbow that’s coming. Although storms seem to last forever, and there seems to be no end in sight, there is a promise on the other side of your storm.

Hebrews 6:13-14 tells us that God gave Abraham a promise and swore by Himself, because there was nothing higher to swear by, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you.” Psalm 12:6-7 tells us that the words of the Lord are pure, like silver tried in a furnace purified seven times and that He will keep His words and preserve them forever. We all have received promises from God, spoken directly to our hearts and found within His word. God is not a man that He should lie, and He’s not toying with our emotions. If He said He'll do it, He will do it! The question is, are we willing to wait? There’s that gap of time between when God spoke and when the promise manifests when we must trust God and not allow impatience and murmuring delay the process. Hebrews 6:15 tells us that after Abraham patiently endured he received the promise.

In Psalm 27, titled An Exuberant Declaration of Faith, David proclaims,

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! (vs. 16-17).

My encouragement to you (and myself) today is not to lose heart! Don’t try to make a “wonder moment” happen by creating your own promise in a time of impatience, as I did with the ferris wheel photo. God is bringing your promise in His timing. A promise that will be worth every teardrop of rain we’ve cried and every loud roaring storm that we’ve endured. In the meantime, our job is to stand firm by faith, patiently endure and wait for God. The promise is coming. The rainbow is worth the rain.

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

Divine Inconvenience

This morning, I was getting my husband a breakfast burrito and smoothie from the grocery store and at the checkout I realized that I didn't have my debit card in my hand or pocket. I searched frantically as the 5 million people in line behind me that were probably in a rush to get to work on time waited patiently for this young mom to find her money to pay for her order. I couldn't find the card anywhere so I hurried and just payed with cash. After getting my order, I sat off to the side and continued to search for the card. Still, nothing. I went back to the line that I ordered from and asked if the clerk had found my card by chance. The lady behind me in line said that someone in the bakery department found a card and was asking everyone if it was theirs and was headed to customer service to drop it off. I thanked the lady & zoomed to the customer service desk. While I waited to be helped, another woman was coming to clock in for work and stopped to talk to Grace, my 7 month old daughter, and me. We got to talking about kids and she began to share with me the importance of praying for your children. She told me that she is standing in faith for her adult children that are away from the Lord right now, but that she knows they will come back into relationship with Him. I shared with her that my mom just wrote a book on prayer and handed her a business card to get more information on the book. She seemed very excited, and we said goodbye, shook hands and exchanged smiles. She said that God sent us her way this morning & that she really needed a smile. She told me that her name is Patty & that she works in the floral department and would love for me to visit her sometime. I assured her that I would as I walked away with a smile, thankful that what seemed to be an inconvenience and set back of my time was really a set up for me to be a blessing and blessed in return! I dropped off my husband's breakfast & smoothie, went back to the store for another burrito (they just looked too good to pass up!) and then headed home on my usual route. As I approached the stop light near my home, my heart sank as I saw a number of emergency lights flickering in the distance. When I got closer, I saw that two cars had crashed and two others had gone into the ditch and it didn't look good at all. Fire trucks were everywhere, one of which I captured quickly on my phone as you can see above. As I drove past the scene and headed home, I realized that my inconvenience was even more than a blessing, it was a means of protection. My baby girl & I could have very well been involved in that accident as we were headed home today. Thank you, Jesus, for your hand at work in my life, keeping my daughter and me safe from hurt, harm and danger. Thank you for intervening in my day, even though I thought I was being held up by losing my card. I know that it wasn't just a coincidence. I also thank you for protecting and caring for those that were in the accident. Be with them and give them peace. Allow them to see your hand in the midst of this situation. And bless Patti, Lord. May her children come to know You in a real and powerful way this week. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Today, allow God to arrange (and rearrange) your schedule. He may be setting you up for a blessing, and protecting you from harm.

Emonne Markland Leave YOUR Beauty Mark