His Example of Living While Dying

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Perspective.  Outlook.  Enjoying Life.

Faith. Trust.

…All things I want you to be thinking about for the next few moments.

There is a book called, Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech.  It is the story of Laura’s teenage son, Zach, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, and how God used him to reach millions around the world.  It is the story of how he spent his final three years living while dying.

I can’t imagine being a mother with a child diagnosed with cancer.  If you ever thought your typical mom-day was challenging, just think how difficult it would be when facing the death of one of your children.  Heartache.  Utter heartache.

When you read this book, you are taken through the journey of Zach’s diagnosis at age 14, his surgeries, chemotherapy and treatments to fight his cancer.  You will cry.  Maybe even sob.

There were times when I read late into the night after Dan had fallen asleep and I remember at least once trying not to shake the bed with my sobs.  This book will break your heart but not in a way that means you shouldn’t read it.  Because in all truth, you should read it.  As much as it is difficult to read, it will awaken a spark within you.  A spark that will make you think differently about how you handle your own challenges and trials.

Zach’s outlook on life was nothing short of inspirational.  Even when things took a sharp turn for the worst, Laura said,

“He confronted the future, then left it there and came back to the present where he had a life to live and enjoy.  I really loved that about him.  As his mom, it made me proud.  As a human, it inspired me.”

And this from a teenager?  I was amazed throughout the book that Zach was able to maintain such an outlook.  Obviously, he had his down moments, but they didn’t characterize those three and a half years.

It has really made me ponder my own attitude.  In the midst of trial, stress or the unknown how often have I mentally put life on hold or been consumed with the situation and stopped living?  When life isn’t easy, can I still enjoy the moments?

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So much of it comes down to trusting God for the details and the bigger picture.  It is the only way to find peace and joy in a trial.  Laura’s faith is so very encouraging as she surrendered her son’s future into the Lord’s hands.  She prayed:

“Okay, Lord.  You can have Zach.  I want him, but You see a bigger picture.  If Zach must die, please just let it be for something big.  I want it to be for something big.  Just one soul changed forever.”

God did use Zach for something big.  Before dying at age 17, he wrote and produced (in only a way God could have orchestrated) the famous song, “Clouds” which hit #1 on iTunes in Spring 2013.  A Soul Pancake documentary about him and his family went viral with over 13 million views.  His music and life touched so many and his example of living while dying continues to inspire others.

So I ask:  in the midst of whatever you are facing, how are you living?  

Check out this Book Trailer for Fly a Little Higher:

Grab the book and connect with  @LauraSobiech on Twitter and the Zach Sobiech Facebook Page.

 Disclosure:  I received this book at no cost.  This post contains my affiliate link.  Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.