Life can change in an instant. Just this morning a family at church shared the story of how they discovered their vibrant teenage daughter had stage 4 cancer.
We never expect these things to happen to us. To someone else, sure. But what happens when life’s biggest curveball hits you smack dab in the face?
Amanda Shipton says, “Even when life deals you those tough blows, you lean in and you lean on God; he’s going to work it out.”
Amanda met her husband Jason in 2004. Following a brief engagement of only 6 weeks, the pair married just before Jason had to say goodbye, leaving for his second deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Over the course of the next 10 years, the couple parted time and time again. “We both knew that he would face combat and that not everyone that left was coming home,” Amanda told Casper Star Tribune.
Amanda expressed on Facebook that Jason was her “best friend” and “the love of my life.” Which is why his sudden diagnosis in 2011 was so devastating.
The Shiptons were starting another new chapter of their lives. Their third son was on the way. Sadly, Jason was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the time, given maybe a few years to live.
The family didn’t give up, though. Their faith encouraged them to fight. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy helped Jason live past his prognosis.
“We kind of had passed that five-year mark and were just very hopeful that maybe he was that small percentage that it wouldn’t come back,” Amanda told the Tribune. “But we always knew that the odds of it coming back were very high.”
It did come back. Even so, Amanda says Jason didn’t waver. “He never really stressed out, he never got anxious, he was never angry,” she shared.
On Oct. 28, Amanda and her 3 boys — Caiden, Hudson and Sawyer — said goodbye to their “hero” of a father and husband. Jason Shipton was only 37 years old.
“All I can tell my boys and my own heart is God is still right here…” Amanda wrote on Facebook. “I don’t know when it all won’t hurt so bad… But I do know God will help us write this chapter. He is here. He is near…”
Powerful words from a grieving widow. Our hearts are with the Shipton family during this time. I think the verse Amanda shared on Facebook describes her husband best — “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 .”
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