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When the unexpected happens how do you respond? Or, to take it further when your dreams are dashed and there is no hope to fulfill the purpose you had imagined for your life, how do you respond?

My husband Mark and I have had many discussions on this topic. We watched our daughter Melissa's response to finding out she had ovarian cancer. "Oh, Mom, that is so great. God is going to do amazing things!" We observed her response to the news she needed a hysterectomy two months before her wedding. "Oh, no matter if my womb is barren or blessed I will help bring children into a deep love and adoration for You!" These are not normal responses from a 20 year old woman who dreamed of being a wife and mother and serving the Lord alongside of her husband, Melissa's responses were supernatural. and rooted in her knowledge of the eternal purpose for her life.

When the unexpected happens it doesn't change our mission or our purpose. Jesus was asked, "'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?' Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 'This is the first and great commandment. 'And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 'On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.'" - Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV As a follower of Jesus Christ my purpose is to love the LORD my God with all my heart, soul and mind. My mission is to love others as myself." My circumstances do not influence my purpose or my mission. Every unexpected turn in the road is an opportunity to love Him more, shine for Jesus and share His great love with others.

No matter what happens in my life, in my country or the world my purpose and mission remain the same. I want to live every day on purpose and on mission. I am grateful for my daughter Melissa's example of living this out. I've been forever influenced by her life, her great love and intimacy with Jesus, and her responses to life's hardest trials.

You can read Melissa's journals and the details of her journey in Melissa, If One Life . . . available on Amazon.

If you haven't seen the movie, I STILL BELIEVE it is available for rent and for purchase. It is a beautiful movie that portrays Melissa and Jeremy Camp's extraordinary journey together. See the movie and read Melissa's book to get the full details. The movie and the book are changing lives!

All for Jesus,

Janette Henning (Melissa's mom)

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