Six months ago, I made a commitment and I’ve been talking dollars and miles ever since. This Sunday I’ll ride 105 miles in the LIVESTRONG Challenge, and I am so excited to wear my new custom jersey in Martha’s memory. (Thanks to Voler for rushing this to me!)
In January, I explained my mission of one dollar one mile to Martha. I told her the fundraising and ride was dedicated to her, her family, followers, and all of the people she has helped along the way. I also explained that my hope was she wouldn’t be suffering long enough to see me through this. And last week, while photoshopping a picture of Martha’s birds tattoo for the jersey – I could feel her smiling in heaven.
I emailed her parents and asked for a suggestion for a verse to honor Martha. Mrs. Depp gave me several to choose from, and told me she trusted our Lord to lead me in whatever I design and that Psalm 27 is what Martha considered her ‘cancer Psalm’. If you were blessed enough to know Martha, were in her presence, or have read her blog, you’ll understand why I picked Psalm 27:3:
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
About a year before Martha died, I sat in her living room and listened as she talked about heaven. There is something so incredibly surreal when you’re talking to someone who is dying (yet looks so healthy) and is so excited about dying and being with God. Martha would very freely say things like “when I die…”, or “when I’m in heaven…”, and “when I meet Jesus…”.
I remember feeling shocked, silent and scared the first time Martha openly discussed death with me. I remember realizing that there was something lacking in my life because nothing scared me more than dying. Even as Martha got sicker, and weaker, and less patient – she remained confident in God and His plan.
It took me at least two years of Martha’s cancer journey to understand that she had already won her fight. Living for Martha meant being with God, being pain-free and being whole again. I finally realized that to Martha – she would have to die in order to live, and that truly her fight was just waiting.
Martha was by far the most fearless, strongest and and devoted person I’ve ever had in my life. It’s no secret that Martha’s belief in God has changed lives and I know I’m not alone when I say witnessing Martha’s journey renewed my faith.