Newsletter – Volume 35


Newsletter – Volume 35

February 26, 2024

This Week

Confessions From the Back of the Pen
Meet Davia...

When I first met Davia, I found her to be one of the kindest souls I had met. She was authentic, joyful, spiritually-attuned, but also fun. It was only later that I learned about the hardships of her life, which included watching her husband die of cancer. As a result, she has a powerful personal message. She is one who has taken the pain of life and turned it into a message of real hope and victory.

I was born in Florence, SC, the youngest of four girls. I grew up feeling a good bit of oppression, and one of the greatest answered prayers of my life is that God delivered me and gave me his joy that has sustained me through so much.

I married a pastor, and we saw some amazing things over our 32 years together. We had a unique calling in the sense where we often functioned as a prophetic voice in the churches we served. You might say we were black sheep types even in the church. So, prayer and tenacity were always a crucial part of our work. All of which served me/us for the health challenge that came later in life.

On my 50th birthday party, my husband complained of severe back pain.  There were a variety of symptoms that we didn’t fully understand until we finally saw a GI specialist. We were surprised to discover that he had stage 4 cancer that inflected both his esophagus, several lymph nodes, and his left hip. He had already been through so much conquering type II diabetes and high blood pressure. He really was so committed to health; it was hard to understand why we were now here. But God somehow gave us the grace to face our new challenge.

We took a non-traditional approach to the cancer treatment, combining prayer, natural/holistic treatments and radiation/chemo. Nevertheless after 7 months he passed. We did what we could, but it didn’t turn out as we hoped. I can’t help but look back and wonder if we/I really did everything we could – and anybody who has walked this path understands these doubts are a normal part of the process. I just couldn’t let those thoughts become my preoccupation. Instead, I purposefully focused on the things that helped me move forward. The admonition out of Ephesians 6:13, was especially helpful, where after having done all, just stand!

It also occurred to me that when you find yourself walking through these harder situations you realize how much everything you have experienced in your life prepares you for the harder parts of life yet to come. In my case, the Lord graciously gave me a premonition of these harder things. I never really gave voice to it, but when the hardship came, I saw it as God’s grace to prepare me.

Now that I am several years removed from that experience, I marvel afresh at God’s provision. I never got mad at God or questioned his love for me. I saw a counselor. I put on tenacity when it was needed, and also gave myself permission to fall apart. Over time you just learn to put one foot in front of the other. I often found myself saying, “Yesterday may have been a really bad day, but today is a new day, and I am trusting God to take me through. It is a battle, but he has given us the tools to fight it.”

And he still does…

Word of the Week


Adjective: without companions

It’s something we don’t want to talk about.  It’s embarrassing.  So, we try and ignore it, which only intensifies the feeling of separation and alienation.  Our typical remedy is to stay busy. Or we attempt to numb out, working hard to avoid having to deal with the truth.  But as it is with most things, once we actually name it and muster up the courage to sit with it, it’s not as intimidating as we made it out to be.  Solutions begin to make themselves known, and God himself whispers, “I will never leave you…”  It’s a courageous thing to face something scary, but it feels even better concluding it cannot beat you.

A Book I Have Been Reading

The Healing Code

The Promise: Dr. Alex Loyd discovered how to activate a physical function built into the body that consistently and predictably removes the source of 95% of all illness and disease.

Admittedly, this book by Alexander Loyd and Ben Johnson is a bit out there. I cannot recommend the solutions proposed by this book (yet), because I haven’t started the practices myself. But if the testimonials shared by the adherents are legit, then it seems worth trying. I am about half-way through the book, and I am going to give myself to the practice over the next 3 months to see if there is any change in my overall well-being. I am also hoping it will have a positive healing effect on the cancer battle I have been waging. Will keep you up-to-date.

A Personal Request

My Fellow Cancer Warriors

Promise worth holding on to: From a human standpoint this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:6)

When you are part of the cancer community, you are always hearing stories of others in the same battle. Of late, I’ve gotten updates (both encouraging and discouraging) from friends who regularly ask for prayer, might you consider joining me in prayer for them?

  • David Peters
  • Lynn Blackmore
  • Toni Fowler
  • Lara Fletcher
  • Jeremy Lukasavage
  • Carrie Griesen
  • Leila Zhumasheva
  • Suzanna Hake

And please remember their significant others – it is as much a trial for them as it is for the patient. Thank you

For Your Consideration

Support for the Van Waarde Foundation

The Van Waarde Foundation underwrites a variety of projects and team members that are oriented around resourcing and encouraging fellow Black Sheep Messengers. Over the last few years, we have been fortunate enough to add some new team members who are equally impassioned about our mission and vision. I now have an administrative assistant (Jennifer), who coordinates my schedule, edits and posts the Pocket Prayer reels, designs my weekly newsletter and monthly Impact report. We also have a video technician (Preston), who helps record the SideWalk Conversations, Pocket Prayer reels, and coordinates the podcast schedule. The resources of the Foundation also fund the website development and updating and provides the capital to fund upcoming book projects and travel for speaking engagements. If you would like to help support this good work, you can explore more here and if you are already participating, thank you for your ongoing generosity.

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