Hi, my name is Laura. Just to give you a little back ground, I came on staff at our church in May of 2015 in both student ministries as well as the Early Learning Center. While being on staff is a new gig for me, I have been attending PEPC for 15 years and have grown up in Parker my whole life. While I could stand up here and tell you all about me, that isn’t why I am here this morning, I am here to share with you about someone who has a very special place in my heart.
Without further a due, meet Mckenna. Mckenna is a 16 year old young woman God placed in my life a little over 5 months ago. While I had heard of Kenna and knew of her through a family friend as well as through her high school community, I hadn’t had any real interaction with Kenna until this past November. It was Saturday morning at 5280 (a campus life camp) when God arranged that Kenna and I meet each other. Emma, one of Kenna’s best friends introduced us at the table, I chatted for a bit and headed out for program stuff. While a small interaction, there was no accident in Zane (my husband) and I being asked to run Program crew (the people who get the kids rowdy) for 5280 that weekend. God designed it that Kenna and I would meet and she would become very dear to my heart.
About a week went past and God kept stirring in my heart. I could sense in my spirit that I needed to reach out to Kenna. So through some wrestling and doubt, I listened and reached out to our family friend (one of Kenna’s best friends) and got her phone number. I texted Kenna and said something along the lines of “Hey sister, it was such a joy running into you this weekend. Even through what seemed a small interaction, I saw Jesus in you. I know it might seem kind of awkward, but I’d love to grab coffee or lunch or come sit with you in treatment sometime and hear more about your story.” Now let me pause for a minute and fill you in. Kenna has Renal Medullary Carcinoma. 200 people in the entire world have ever had this cancer and no one has ever beat this cancer. With that being said, Kenna responded to my invitation to fellowship and said “Oh wow, that sounds great, My chemo is next Tuesday and you can come if you’d like to!” Now if I can be honest with you, I was both honored and fearful. Honored that for someone I hardly knew would want me to be a part of such a fragile and intimate time and terrified because I had never experienced this before. I remember thinking to myself, maybe I should just ask her to meet during the week after she is done with all her treatment stuff, and she wouldn’t really want me to be there during all that any way… As soon as the thought was being processed into a text, God spoke very clearly to me and said, “YOU GO.” “You go be with her in her darkest moments and you hold her if she needs to be held, sing to her if she needs to be sung too, or cry with her if she needs to cry.” Let me just tell you, I am so SO thankful I listened. As I got to worship Jesus with McKenna during a seven-hour nosebleed that doctors couldn’t get to stop, even after two bags of platelets, McKenna shared through hysterical tears that this was the first time she had ever felt scared at the hospital. She felt like they couldn’t fix her or make it better. She just wanted to go home. It was in this time that I began praising Jesus, thanking Him in these moments of McKenna’s screaming, tears and pain that He allowed me to be a part of this precious life of hers. I so wish I could take the pain away and make it all better for McKenna, I wish I could give my life for her, but that is when God reminded and reminds me that He is near and will never leave. Jesus already gave his life for me, for you, for Kenna. For now, all I can do is promise to be there to worship, cry, dance, and love to the best of my ability.
Flash forward a little, I have been walking beside Kenna now for about 4 months. I have been to a handful of her chemo treatments. As I stand up here today, I can tell you that Kenna is a living miracle. After scans and testing about month ago, there were ZERO signs of cancer in her body. Not even a trace. How incredible is that? Can you praise Jesus with me? We serve an incredible God. And the greatest thing in all of this is that even if I stood up here today and couldn’t celebrate the fact that Kenna was cancer free, God would still remain good. God would still remain faithful. God would still and does still have incredible plans for Mckenna.