|Photo Credit: Mike Hessong of Victoria, Texas|
I opened my e-mail this morning to get this piece of daily inspiration from Matthew Kelly: “Consider for a moment all the love you have ever received. Pause to envision yourself immersed in all that love at the same time. It is perhaps overwhelming. And still, all that love is nothing compared to the love of God. Has anyone ever loved you as Jesus has, does, and will love you?” (Wow. Just Wow.)
I recently had the opportunity to feel an incredible amount of overwhelming love all in one place for a special lady. It’s hard to even fathom that such an amazing outpouring of support and love is still just a tiny taste of the Lord’s love for us.
This past weekend, we attended the “Kicking it for Candace” Benefit Fundraiser hosted by friends, family, and loved ones to help defray medical expenses for Candace Smith, who has Dysautonomia.
On the Kicking it for Candace facebook page, it states:
Candace developed Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 13. Candace’s diagnosis motivated her to pursue a career in nursing, where helping the sick became her passion. She married Jason in 2007 and they were blessed with their precious daughter, Briley, in June of 2009. Candace worked as a Registered Nurse and Wound Care Specialist until her disease progressed to the point at which she was no longer able to work.
Over the past few years, Candace’s health has declined drastically. She has been hospitalized and in the Intensive Care Unit numerous times. She has received many diagnoses including Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, DVT, pulmonary embolism, psoriatic arthritis and orthostatic hypotension, all of which are the result of or fall under the umbrella of Dysautonomia.
Candace has had both a heart ablation and pacemaker surgery. She is currently an outpatient at
in Nashville, which houses the top
in the world. Dysautonomia Specialist Center
To put it simply, her body is attacking her autonomic nervous system, joints, and organs, causing multiple issues, resulting in her inability to work. At the young age of 30, she currently requires a walker to simply move around her home and uses a wheelchair for any distance longer than a few feet. She and her family are continuing to search for answers to increase her quality of life.
Many of her friends and loved ones commented on facebook after the event:
The Kicking it for Candace Benefit was absolutely unbelievable! I was in tears several times thinking about all those who opened their pocket books and those who worked so hard to organize the event. I am so blessed to have met Candace. She is truly an inspiration.
Kicking it for Candace was a class act! The strength, hope, and faith of Candace and her example of NEVER giving up shows us how we all should live our lives. We’re so proud of Candace and Jason! God's blessings to all of you!
You guys have AMAZING friends and family, which is a true testament of the love and support you have obviously shown to others.
We are so blessed to have been a part of such a special night. Candace is such a remarkable young lady and is loved by so many. It truly showed last night.
Thank you for letting me see that being strong; never giving up; and having faith are still the things that get us through. It was my honor to be a part of your event.
Candace, you have so many people that love you and your family. You are such a strong, courageous young lady! Our family is so blessed to know you.
Through tears of joy, Candace thanked everyone at the event for being her angels on earth. “I truly appreciate you all for being here, for donating, for bidding on auction items, and for working so hard to make this event come together. You are truly wonderful to our family. There are no words to express the love and gratitude that I feel. Thank you for being here for our family and for showing us your love and support. It truly makes this time in our lives manageable. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”
I was blessed to have had the opportunity to give Candace a hug that evening. Despite all she has been through, her smile still radiates hope, courage, strength, and tremendous faith. She certainly inspires me, and obviously, many others as well. For showing us all what it truly means to trust in God and never give up, we love you to the moon and back, Candace! Thank you for letting us be a part of such an amazing event! Our prayers for you continue…
Speaking of the moon and back….guess who else wanted to include his faith in Jesus during an unforgettable event? Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon.
In Aldrin's 2009 book, “Magnificent Desolation,” he shared: “During those first hours on the moon, I reached into my personal preference kit and pulled out the communion elements, along with a three-by-five card on which I had written the words of Jesus: ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.’"
“I poured a thimbleful of wine from a sealed plastic container into a small chalice, and waited for the wine to settle down as it swirled in the one-sixth Earth gravity of the moon. My comments to the world were: ‘I would like to request a few moments of silence ... and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.’”
“I silently read the Bible passage as I partook of the wafer and the wine, and offered a private prayer for the task at hand and the opportunity I had been given. At the time, I could think of no better way to acknowledge the enormity of the Apollo 11 experience than by giving thanks to God.”
Isn’t it interesting to think that some of the very first words spoken on the moon were the very words of Jesus Christ, who Himself made the earth and the moon? Love it, love it!
To those special people who share just a tiny taste of God’s love with others by the things you say and do...I love you to the moon and back! Keep it up!
|Briley, Candace, and Jason Smith|