Holding yourself together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart – that’s true strength.
Kristen Fersovitch was one of the strongest women I know.
In Spite Of
The ultimate expression of faith is perseverance.
Perseverance is characterized by “in spite of.”
In spite of illness…
In spite of despair…
In spite of fear…
In spite of anything, I will finish with faith.
Anyone can start; finishers push through the “in spite of”s.”
Some people doubt their faith because of their problems. “If I had more faith, I wouldn’t be suffering or sick.”
Problems are why you need faith.
Still I Will Sing
Kristen Fersovitch was a young wife and mother to three pre-school boys. In August 2011 her physician diagnosed her with a re-occurrence of kidney cancer. She was told the cancer was no longer localized. The prognosis was the cancer was inoperable and she had less than 24 months to live.
Kristen’s response to the prognosis was profound.
She called me. Told me what her doctor said. Then she asked, “Pastor Bob, can I sing a song this Sunday?”
In spite of a prognosis of death she wanted to praise. That’s faith.
The song that came to her mind says is all:
“When hope is lost, I’ll call you Saviour
When pain surrounds, I’ll call you healer
When silence falls, you’ll be the song within my heart
I will praise you, I will praise you
When the tears fall, still I will sing to you
I will praise you, Jesus praise you
Through the suffering still I will sing.”
(When Tears Fall, Tim Hughes)
That Sunday, Kristen shared her story with vulnerability and courage. She sang with all her heart and faith. It was one of those powerful moments that makes time stand still.
We prayed for Kristen that day as we would over the next 25 months. She passed away October 4, 2013.
She persevered in spite of the cancer, the pain and the fear.
She finished her race.
She is still singing.
How to Have An “In Spite of” Faith
1. Start with Jesus. He ran the same kind of race you are in. He is like you. He experienced the same feelings, setbacks, disappointments and doubts that you do. He knows you.
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.” Hebrews 12:2 (The Message)
2. Study how He did it. Jesus suffered. He put up with innumerable “in spite of’s” along the way. He felt forsaken. He persevered.
3. Keep the end in mind. How could the Cross be considered an “exhilarating finish?” The Cross wasn’t the finish line. Just like cancer or any problem isn’t the finish line – not even death.
The finish line is in the eternal presence of Jesus.
4. You never run alone. Jesus promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Lean into Him.
5. Make the words of Hebrews 12:1,2 your own. Re-read them. Memorize them. Let them master you.
“…He could put up with anything along the way…” Jesus lived an “in spite of” life.
An “in spite of” kind of faith gives you the courage to persevere.
Still, I will sing!
Purchase your copy of “ORNAMENT” here.
Purchase her CD “Songs From Home” on iTunes or in North Pointe’s Bookstore.
Posts similar to this one:
How to See With Tears in Your Eyes
Ornament: The Faith, Joy and Hope of Kristen Fersovitch
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I have “in spite of” faith. After many years my faith was renewed about 3 years ago. During times when many people lose or doubt their faith, my faith has been getting stronger every day. I have experienced so many losses in the recent past. The people around me don’t know how much I have been struggling. Something I say to myself frequently is “struggling does not mean quitting.” The things that have helped me the most are reading my Bible, reading devotions and listening to music. I also try to keep doing things I enjoy, spending time with people I am close to and looking for the good I see around me. Something new that has happened is that I have become inspired to write poems and faith cards. I have found that when I focus on the good things more, that is what I think of most. There are times when it is very difficult. I am a work in progress. It all comes back to the Cross. Everyone has their Cross to bear. In the end just as we have been promised, everything will work out for good. So I keep saying “struggling does not mean quitting.” Take joy in small things. Remember to be thankful and grateful. I know that I am never alone, Jesus will always be with me, no matter what happens. Knowing this is changing my life.
I love the phrase “struggling does not quitting.” You understand perseverance. God bless you in staying the course!