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God Turned It Around!

My name is Janine. Not long ago, I thought I was at the top of the world.  I had been at my social work job for 20 years. I had been promoted and was the Director of our program.  I led an amazing team, and I loved my job. My marriage of 30 years was strong, our kids were doing well, and we were raising our amazing grandson.  

In November 2019, I took some time off for knee replacement surgery.  There were complications, and a blood clot went through my heart and lodged in my lung, causing damage to both. I was on 24-hour oxygen and in & out of the hospital with serious respiratory issues.  A few months later, I was diagnosed with a rare aggressive form of cancer called nodular melanoma. I had seven surgeries/procedures in a year and a half.  Then COVID hit, and everyone was isolated. Then the cancer treatments caused a painful autoimmune response called neuro-sarcoidosis.  Life had thrown some lemons my way. 

Cancer stinks.  I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  But despite all that’s going on – MY LIFE HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER!!!! It sounds crazy, but it’s true. 

Because I was out of work and on disability, I was able to do remote learning with my grandson during the pandemic. My husband cared for us in every way, and my love for him grew stronger daily. Friends came out of the woodwork to help us with our grandson. I developed such a keen appreciation of the simple joys of life. And one of the most fun perks is that I finally had time to craft!!! 

Normally, I am an eternal optimist, but things were really rough.   I needed a healthy distraction to keep my spirits up. So... we invested in a Cricut Maker, and I started making so many amazing and fun things!!! Later, I learned to make wreaths. Soon, I started a small crafting business. I call it Sonshine Lemonade.  

Life threw me lemons, but God turned them into sweet lemonade!!!! 

Psalm 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth”.

It’s easy to praise God when things are going well. But it’s so important to praise Him when you’re going through a challenging time. I’ve found that when times are rough, praising God changes your perspective, keeps you focused on the positive, and keeps you going. There were lots of times when pain tried to overwhelm me, but my faith kept me going. God took something that could have destroyed me, and He turned it around, and so many amazing, good things have come out of it. Now, I am stronger because of the storm!!! 

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