“How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.” (Psalm 31:19 NLT)
Kelsey Johnson met me shortly after the amputation of one of her legs. She had come to my Beautifully Flawed retreat in search of hope and encouragement in the midst of the difficulties she had been facing.
Eight years earlier, Kelsey was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease called Scleroderma, an autoimmune disorder in which the connective tissues tighten and harden. Over the years Kelsey’s disease had taken a serious toll on her physical health and brought with it overwhelming discouragement. The worst part was that her faith in God had suffered to a point of burn out.
After several surgeries, Kelsey made the difficult decision to have her leg amputated in order to get ahead of the progressive disorder. Then Kelsey began making plans to attend the Beautifully Flawed retreat. Undeterred by her new circumstances Kelsey took action to find hope and gain resilience.
Intersecting with me and other amputee women at the retreat not only changed the trajectory of Kelsey’s faith, it changed her life. “There were so many ‘me too!’ moments as I got to know other girls,” Kelsey shared, “People there acknowledged my fears…they understood me. Yet they pushed me to do more anyways.” During the retreat Kelsey overcame her fear of the ocean and surfed with the other girls. By the end of the week, she was glowing with the light of Christ and inspiring everyone around her.
Kelsey’s life reflects the beautiful truth that, even in our darkest hours God is still good.
When we trust and fear Him, we too can experience the promise of Psalm 31:19; that God has great goodness and blessing in store. Our futures may not be without pain, struggle, or hardship, but just like Kelsey demonstrated, with the Lord we can find the strength to continue moving forward.
Being unstoppable means, even when life is difficult, I live in the confidence that God is good and available to me as a comfort and hope.