Less than a year ago, we received devastating news that shattered our hearts into the tiniest pieces and shifted our perspective on life tremendously. Our youngest daughter, Carly-Faith, was diagnosed with Group E Retinoblastoma, which affects the retina, usually as a tumor. It’s extremely rare, with only 300 kids diagnosed in the U.S. per year.
Nothing could have effectively prepared our hearts to learn that our child was diagnosed with cancer. As I listened to the doctor advise us on our best options and explain where this journey may lead, I felt weakened. This was a situation that could have easily caused us to lose trust in our Father and allow the enemy to fill us with doubt.
So many questions flooded my mind. At that moment, God appeared swiftly and granted me the strength and endurance I needed but never thought I could muster under these circumstances. My husband and I immediately went to the Lord in prayer—praying for specific miracles. One of those miracles was for God to salvage her left eye. However, that wasn’t a part of His master plan. We had to rapidly move forward with enucleation, the removal of her left eye. It would’ve been easy to be swept away by our fear and our feelings, but God, instead revealed to us all of the other miracles He had planned and was working right before our very eyes!
There were so many moments where God showed up and proved Himself strong. We were able to share God through prayer and encouraging words with every doctor, nurse, and staff member caring for us on the day of the surgery.
In the midst of so much chaos I was able to clearly see that the victory belonged to Jesus and He would fill my cup. For once in my life I was able to instantly allow my pride to rest and my fear to bow—and I embraced the love of God through His people and His Word.
Instead of crying daily, I often felt myself smiling and rejoicing. Clinging to His truths and promises blessed me with boldness, peace, and unwavering faith. From this heartbreak, God reminded us of the importance of immersing ourselves in our faith and support system. He gave us clarity and showed us that regardless of how this story unfolded, whether she was to lose her eye or her life, that His grace is sufficient. His will for us was to have hope yet be at peace with how He would use our family to advance His Kingdom.
It was at one of our lowest moments we discovered a new found JOY in Jesus. The enemy wanted us to waver. He wanted our relationship with God to be based on circumstances, but we stood strong and declared that we would NOT BE SHAKEN! That our hope, peace, and joy would be in Jesus, until the end of time! God is who He says He is, and regardless of what comes our way, we must find comfort, peace, joy, and understanding in Him alone.
God is who He says He is, and regardless of what comes our way, we must find comfort, peace, joy, and understanding in Him alone.Tamela Davis
Over the last 10 years of pursuing Christ, I’ve learned a lesson I will carry through every transition in life: we are all called to the mission of knowing God and making God known. Our specific mission field may look different based on God’s plan for different seasons of life, but the overall mission should never change. Every day, when we rise from our homes, to our jobs, or within our community, we are on the battlefield for Him. We should maximize every opportunity, every victory, and every storm God has provided to lead others to Him.
We are to take on all that God has entrusted to us. We are to not only steward the good things, but to embrace our circumstances and understand that through the trials, we may be pruned.
Pruning isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. We should never just seek to be happy in our faith walk or in life—happiness is only based on circumstance. It’s only when we truly obtain and maintain joy that we are able to be unshaken. Joy is everlasting and doesn’t pivot based on what’s going on around us. And that joy comes only from our Creator, not created things.
Everything under the sun is temporary. Each experience, encounter, uphill battle, and even accomplishment is short-lived. The only thing that’s eternal is God, and if we live solely for Him, we will gain eternal life. I encourage each of you to bloom wherever you are planted—but not for your sake, only for His!
Tamela is a philanthropist, encourager, believer, cook, writer, speaker, educator, organizer, wife to NFL player Demario Davis and homeschool mother of 4 precious children. She blogs at the F word and is genuine, full of joy and encouragement to everyone she meets. We were blessed to become friends years ago when she and her family stayed with us while her husband was speaking at a homecoming game for their Alma Mater, ASU.
Follow her on Instagram @tamelagilldavis .
Also check out Demario’s book, The Unsuccessful Champion.
Click here for my favorite quotes from the book and a little review.
Beautiful story of faith!