It's that time of week, once again, to toss some gasoline onto someone deserving of applause. We take this day to shower some with gasoline that their productive world go up in flames....flames of success....rather than having cold water tossed resulting in quenched ambition.
Today I applaud my daughter, Wendy Michelle Rush Chapel. Fifteen years ago last night her fairly steady world began to completely unravel. Her fiance, as well as his brother, were victims of gruesome murders. The days, weeks, and months ahead were blinding as cavernous darkness.
An immediate battle with Epstein-Barr soon took over. Continuing college was not feasible. We brought her home. Wendy's life was now reduced to long hours confined to her bedroom; her best friend absent in finality and her pursuit of education derailed. But she didn't pout; she didn't quit. She moved to Dallas to start over. The day she pulled out of the driveway en route to Dallas, I waved a tearful farewell and then promptly checked her room to see if she had forgotten anything. I opened the closet door and their encountered everything completely removed....except one wedding dress hanging alone off in one corner.
In Dallas she met on of the greatest men on earth, Chris Chapel. He reversed her life. Our family adores Chris.
A year and a half ago Wendy gave birth to premature twins. Ana Rush Chapel died after a few days. She was indentical to her baby sister and looked like a store-bought babydoll. We stood at the grave with Chris and Wendy and said farewell to one we briefly met.
Wendy has not wasted tragedy. She has insisted it be productive. Her stability runs optimistically deep. While she and Chris reside happily in Atlanta, Wendy has encountered a young deaf woman grieving over the loss of her husband eight months ago. The young woman is fearfully lost. Wendy knows all the feelings; she knows how to face this tough-stuff head on and win. Simultaneously, she is helping a close friend bear up under the fears of her child born prematurely and weighing in at two pounds.
Wendy is one of my heroes. The neat thing about her is she's normal. One would give her a break if she wanted to have moments of "poor me", but she has never spent one such moment. Her life praises God.
Wendy-the-Pooh.....you look like you know the Living God! I love you today!