What did your life revolve around the most when you were young? What did you get your security or happiness from?
I was born into a Christian home. My parents loved God and we went to church every Sunday. We shared a lot of love and laughter. But the spring before I turned five, my older sister got sick and died. I really don’t remember a lot about that time other than my whole world was shaken.
What was happening within your family during that time?
While Dad has always been the rock of faith in our family, Mom was the shining light of hope. And she lost that for awhile. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was questioning God’s love for me. I didn’t understand why He would take my sister away.
What caused you to begin opening yourself back up to God?
The men in our family, Dad and my two older brothers, struggled with the hole that my sister left in our family, but none of them ever lost their faith. I remember one time my brother, Peter, and I were out walking in the woods. It was just a few months after Jamie’s death, so we had to have only been about eight and five years old at the time.
He stopped and just looked at the trees around us as they stretched up to the sky. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “God provided everything these trees need to grow and he gave them the strength to stand in the long winter months.” Then he looked at me and said, “Britt. We’re just in winter. Spring is coming.”
When did you finally release yourself completely to God?
After that day with my brother, I basically told God He had to prove Himself. It was then that I began seeing things very differently. Our church was very concerned about Mom and our family, and someone stopped by every single day to check on us. My Mom’s best friend would come out to the house twice a week, and as I watched them together, I began to see Mrs. Williams gently challenging Mom to think outside herself. Through little actions like that, I began to see God’s care for us as clearly as Peter saw it in the forest.
How has that time impacted your life?
My job as an oncology nurse in Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital brings with it a lot of loss and sadness. Sometimes we help these children for a time and they go on to live long lives, but far more often than I’d like . . . well, they just don’t. And it’s hard not to let these kids into your heart as you work with them.
After Jamie’s death, I learned that my strength to get through each day comes from God. Without God’s strength, I would have quit my job several special kids ago. I just wouldn’t have the emotional stamina to keep going without God constantly refilling me.
Do you have a favorite verse or Bible passage which is important in explaining your Faith Story?
Psalm 105 retells the history of Israel, from the time when they went to Jacob in Egypt in order to be saved from the famine until the time God rescued them from Egypt and led them to the Promised Land. It’s a good reminder for me to not just look at my present circumstances and judge God based on my limited perspective, but to look at my whole life and all the places that He clearly showed up and loved me.
But verse 4 particularly speaks to me in where I have been. It says, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”