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“Oh, no!  Hasn’t she been through enough? Now she has to have surgery again?” Those were my thoughts when Betsy, a dear friend from church, gave me the grim news about our friend Rebecca.  Betsy’s eyes filled with tears as she told me that Rebecca, who had survived brain surgery for a life-threatening anuerysm, had just been dianosed with another aneurism in her brain, and this surgery could result in permanent brain damage. The first surgery affected her eyesight taking away her abilities to read.  “Oh, please, no, Lord.  Please may this not happen to Rebecca!” I prayed.

Rebecca had been amazing going through the situation with her first aneurysm.  She was one of those people who was a true inspiration for all who knew her, keeping a positive attitude and staying strong in faith.  Many people rallied around her in prayer.  We were all so happy when she survived her surgery.  Her eyesight was affected, but she had survived!  Rebecca continued to inspire us as she grew even stronger in faith through her recovery.

Before the follow-up appointment, things had been going great.  Rebecca had been feeling well.  She thought this was just a routine visit until God indicated otherwise.  While waiting for results from the morning’s tests, Rebecca worked on her Bible study.  She was reading from the Book of John, chapter 9.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth, “Teacher (Jesus)”, his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?    Jesus answered:  “It was not his sins or his parents’ sins.  He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him.”      – John 9:1-3

As the words settled upon her, she felt God preparing her for bad news from the doctor, specifically that she was going to completely  lose her eyesight.  Though fearful of what the doctor might say, she returned for the results of the test and said she was ok because she knew God was with her.  Sadly, her fears were confirmed.  Test results showed another aneuyism.  Surgery would again be required, and this surgery would likely take her eyesight.  Although this was terrible news was, Rebecca was not devastated.  Through her reading of John 9:1-3, God had prepared her, and had also told her that afflictions are for His glory.  With this knowledge, she felt a sense of peace and was able to accept this news knowing that somehow God could use her situation for His glory.

Another test was scheduled to help the doctor prepare for surgery.  Rebecca was to return the following week.   In the meantime, instead of worrying about her future and dreading a second brain surgery, Rebecca shared her story with everyone she could about how God had spoken to her through the scriptures, and how it gave her peace despite the possibility of knowing she faced a serious brain surgery that could cause her to be blind.

All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me (God), because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end.     – John 9:4

Rebecca returned for the follow-up tests.  She did not fear what might be ahead because she knew whatever the outcome was, it was of God’s will.  She also knew that God was with her and that whatever happened, He could use her afflictions to do good for His glory.   Rebecca bravely returned to the doctor so plans could begin for her surgery, a surgery that was expected take her eyesight.  Her courage was rewarded with good news!  The doctor said the aneurysm was stable and surgery would NOT be needed!  What?  Surgery had been certain last week!   Rebecca was overjoyed!

So the man went and washed and came back seeing!   – John 9:7

Rebecca had a very happy outcome to this story (praise God!), but it does leave one to wonder why God prepared her for the worst then spared her from from that outcome?   Was that His plan all along?  If so, why?  Or did He reward her for being strong in faith and trusting in His will by blessing her with a physical miracle?

To Rebecca what is most important is that she believed the Bible teaching  that affliction can be used for God’s glory.  She believes that somehow God was able to use her story for someone else.  Remember, she spent a week telling everyone she could about how God spoke to her through her Bible study, and how that gave her strength to trust in God, knowing her hardships could be used for His glory.

Rebecca says she doesn’t know who needed hear God’s message of hope through her, but trusts that there was someone who needed to hear her story and witness.

They asked, “Who healed you?  What happened?”  He told them, “The man they call Jesus…and now I can see!”    John 9:11

In follow-up, Rebecca shared the following thoughts with me:

“I really feel that this experience was eye opening because I did my next Bible study and we were again in John, and Laz died. Jesus comes, but not for 4 days. Instead of being mad that Jesus did not save Lazarus from dying, His friends Mary and Martha still loved Jesus and welcomed him. See, I think Jesus let that happen so yes, to show the miracle for the glory of God, but He also must have known that He too had faith of the sisters.  I know have a “God answer” when someone asks me, “If God is so good, why did he let you have your surgery, lose you reading abilities ect…? MY answer, “Because He knows I will not betray him and still give him the control. He can trust me!”

I was blessed and inspired by Rebecca’s story and hope you will be, too.  Our God is an awesome God, indeed!    Like my friend, may we all be blessed that we might bless others, too.

The above is shared with permission from Rebecca Sardella.  She is a loving Italian wife, mother, grandmother, and special friend to all she meets.

May God’s blessings upon you continue, Rebecca!  Thank you for letting me share your story!

Hello, friends!   I wanted to let you know about a great online magazine for teen girls.  It’s called “niNe”, and it’s a Christian-based magazine that strives to be a positive influence on teen girls.  niNe addresses all the topics that interest teen girls – boys, fashion, looks, self-interests, friendships, being cool, current social issues, etc., but does so from a Godly perspective.  The first edition was published in 2006 and featured Bethany Hamilton.  The current issue features teen actress Taylor Spreitler who is a former soaps star, movie actress, and is now starring in the ABC Family show “Melissa and Joey.”

Are you wondering about the title, “niNe”?   The number nine represents the nine fruits of spirit as listed in the Bible (see Galatians 5:22-23), and the second “n” is intentionally capitalized to put emphasis on inner beauty.  Cool, huh?

I’ve recently become friends with Melinda Laging, founder and publisher of niNe magazine, and can personally recommend niNe magazine for all teen girls!   Women past their teen years like it, too!

Want to see the current issue?  Google niNe magazine and take a look!  I think you’ll like what you’ll see.

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