Who is a Survivor?

My recent vacation was filled with all the wonderful moments one expects from a family vacation: wonderment of God’s creation in the state that is Alaska, shared laughter, making memories and just being together uninterrupted by work, chores, and school.  But there were also a few moments we hadn’t anticipated.

One such moment was when Thad and I had an impromptu dinner by ourselves in Denali State Park while other members of our family were on excursions.   Our server was not the young person we usually see during the summer months in Alaska.  While not old by any means, she was more seasoned in age.  We struck up a conversation and found her to be energetic and disclosed what had brought her to Alaska.

She had just ended a marriage of many years and with her last child “out of the nest” found herself at a crossroads unable to discern where God wanted her to be.  With her four children’s blessing, she jumped at an invitation from a friend to join her in working in Alaska during the summer months.  Her friend got a job working on the Denali Train and she landed the job as a server in the Denali Wilderness Park.  While the work was hard and long, she thoroughly enjoyed working with these young men and women from all backgrounds and certainly showed she had the energy to keep up with them.  She was pure joy, open, caring and sharing.  We exchanged stories, and rather than have a pity party, found the humor in the way our life was unfolding. Our connection firmly made by our common thread of faith which despite the devils determination, only served to be strengthen rather than wane.

To help us celebrate our 49 wedding anniversary, Cat brought us a cheesecake with heart shaped whip cream on it and she shared a poem she wrote to remember who she was.  I’d like to share it with you.

Dear Survivor-

I am sure you laid awake at night and ask yourself “Why me?”

When God created you he added extra strength, you see.

He knew you’d fight the battle.

He also knew you’d win.

He knew if you hadn’t found it yet, you’d find the abundant courage within.

He used it to inspire those you knew and those you’d need.

He knew that when they felt your love; also His love they’d see.

So many would admire you and you’d encourage those fighting too,

So when you ask yourself “Why me?” know God has chosen you.

God Bless You, Survivor.

We are all survivors in one form or another.  We are survivors of the fallible world we live in, survivors of bad relationships, poor work environments, divorce, abuse, or medical mayhem.  Hold fast to knowing you are God’s child and as such have the strength within to win.

Can you see God’s hands in your life through the events and/or the people he has placed in your path?

In an unlikely time and place we were reminded that we are all the survivors God created us to be.  Embrace it, believe it, and share it.

Was meeting Cat a chance encounter?  Perhaps, but I think not.  God placed Cat in our lives that day as an anniversary  gift and reminder that He is with us and has given us the strength we need for the task that is this life.  Cat’s message would serve us well on the events following our ‘chance encounter’.

As the summer draws to a close, I find myself praying that Cat finds God’s path clearly defined for her.  We were certainly blessed to have her on our path for that short time.

Cat, thanks for being in Alaska this summer, for sharing your story, your faith, and making a difference in ours.  You are a survivor – May God bless you!


Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com

Blessings for Health & Wellness.

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