It was many years ago, shortly before the Eron debacle, that I met Linda. Determined to stop this giant Corporation from putting up a toxic energy plant blocks from our house I canvased the local neighborhood with flyers. I saw a lovely short haired blonde woman sitting in the front of her yard relaxing with her husband and small children. She was vibrant, full of energy and family oriented. Naturally, I thought they were the perfect candidates for my safety spiel. So, I parked my car and boldly headed over. I was right, they were horrified at the thought of poisonous cloud fumes reaching their home, and showed up at the town meeting the following night.
That was the last I saw Linda for 18 years, although I had heard through the grapevine that she had fallen ill, very ill. Over the years I received bits and pieces of her condition. It was never good. She was near death multiple times, and at points completely debilitated on a breathing tube. She not only had MS but four other major disease (including cancer) collide into her beautiful life. She was the modern version of Job without losing her family.
Imagine my surprise to see her standing tall and beautiful at a friends gathering. Her back was to me but as she stood holding a book she had written–I could tell it was Linda. Micky, who was the hostess, had shared before the party that Linda had journaled her story. I couldn’t wait for the festivities to wrap up so I could get my hands on her book and talk to her face to face. What a joy it was to see how God sustained her during many years of illness. Her eyes sparkled with hope as we chatted.
I took Linda’s book home and read it form cover to cover the following week. It was riveting! I was captivated by her journey. It brought so much perspective, especially for anyone living with chronic illness. There are so many people who struggle with undiagnosed ailments. She describes the frustration and constant battle of trying to get help from doctors who are unable to think outside the box, and had constant conflicting ideas of what was wrong. If you have ever struggled in this way reading her words brings an instant sense of kindredness. C. S. Lewis shares that we can always tell that a true connection is happening when someone says, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
Linda also incorporates childhood trauma which she explains exasberates the condition of poor health. But it is her faith which shines brightly in her autobiography. God became her lifeline and ultimate place of strength. Naturally, I knew I had to share her story on Sisterhood Of Support. Linda’s experience exemplifies the importance of support, both giving and receiving. You will be inspired after reading Linda’s book Beneath His Wings.