our friend, ramon:

March 9, 2012

I know this blog is typically about pretty things and crafts and inspiration. But I was truly inspired by someone in a huge way this week. and I am really compelled to share with you.

Some of you may have remembered I mentioned my friend Ramon. We met Ramon at Rock Harbor in Costa Mesa back in 2010. We met with a weekly gathering of friends for several months. We would study the bible together, pray and laugh together and encourage each other. Eventually though all our schedules got crazy and our little group stopped meeting. But the time we spent together was pretty great.

Less than 4 months ago, on the weekend of December 10th, Ramon and Allison were told that what doctors originally brushed off as a sinus infection, was actually a tumor in Ramon's sinus cavity that spread to his eye and brain. They took a biopsy of the tumor and determined it was cancerous. on December 29th, they found out his cancer was stage 4 and had spread to his liver, spine, and hip. The doctors decided to start chemo immediately. On January 11th, they started the first round and then another round on February 1st. on February 25th, their oncologist informed them that the chemo was ineffective and radiation would be more harmful than good. Ramon was sent home.

We were able to visit Ramon this past Wednesday with a couple other friends. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was anxious about visiting. It wasn't like going over to sit and chat over tea, you know? We prayed beforehand and were reminded this was not about us. We were going to show Ramon support and tell him that we love him. I did not realize or even think about how the tumor would affect his outer appearance but as we walked into his room, I didn't recognize Ramon. We sat at his bedside and held his hand and let him talk. We joked and laughed with him about the times we shared together. Ramon asked us how we were doing and what was new. Who does that??! He has only weeks left to live and he still asked us how we were. Ramon spoke of Jesus and how at the beginning of all of this, he knew he wasn't going to be okay. Jesus was calling him home and preparing his heart. Even though he didn't look the same, Ramon was still the same inside. I didn't see death in that room, but hope. We saw courage in Ramon. and joy. and peace. Most of all, Ramon showed us Jesus that day.

I sometimes wonder why people are brought into our lives, if only for a moment. We only knew Ramon for a small time of our life while we were engaged. But his story will always remain with us. We actually found out my mom had cancer in 2010. At one of our bible studies, we asked for prayer. We asked to pray that it would be only stage 1 or 2, and Ramon said, "forget that, I'm just going to pray for a complete healing and that there would be no cancer at all!" That is Ramon.

As believers of Jesus, we are not called to a life of sunshine and unicorns and rainbows. We don't believe because we are promised a wonderful and easy life. We don't do it for the comfort it brings. Sometimes I've had people say to me, "well those beliefs work for you. sure. you have faith and something to find comfort in. it works for you." Dearest friends. It is so much more than something that just works for me or that I find comfort in. It is the air I live and breathe. It is in my husband, who loves me with such abandonment. It is in creation - in the ocean, and sunsets and sunrises, and the sun & stars and the whole galaxy (which is pretty big!) It's in my mom who was healed of cancer. In Ramon's wife Allison, only being married for 9 months, still acknowledging the Lord has been with them in this. It is in Ramon who wasn't healed but is still proclaiming Jesus at the end of his life!

If this story isn't inspiration at it's ultimate, I don't know what is :) Ramon showed me the most inspiration I've ever seen in my life. He reminded me what faith looks like. true, unwavering, unrelenting, immovable, authentic faith. Though Ramon's story may seem very sad and tragic, I wanted to share it with you that you may be encouraged and possibly seek Truth. What we've taken from Ramon's journey is just to be grateful for life. For each new day we get to wake up and have breath and live another day. For our loved ones. Words like love. hope. peace. courage. strength. faith. joy are not usually associated with death, right? but in Jesus they are. Natural human emotions would dictate us to be sad about Ramon dying at only 31 years. There is actually 100000x more joy than sadness for those who believe and have hope. The hope of heaven and Christ. Many years ago, because of His great love for us, Christ came and died for us that we may live and not be bound to the sins of the world. He just asks you to make the choice to believe and accept him. That's it. There aren't any strings attached, really and truly! There isn't any thing more you need to do. You don't need to do any good works or perform rituals at church. Just believe! He won't force you to believe. He allows you to come on your own free will.

Anyway, these thoughts are probably really scattered but thank you for letting me share with you - whatever you believe in. perhaps you share these beliefs. maybe don't believe in anything. or maybe you're skeptical of everything I've just shared. Maybe you don't want to read this blog anymore because there's too much Jesus here ;) Whatever the case may be, thank you for reading Ramon's story. Thanks you for letting me be vulnerable and share something I so wholeheartedly believe in with you today. ps: if you have any thoughts you want to share, perhaps some questions or even issues you have with this post, please feel free to comment below or email me!

Update: I want to update this post based on a comment I received to note that it is truly with all my heart not my intention to offend anyone through this and if I have offended you, I am deeply sorry for that. That is not what I want you to take from this post whatsoever. Whatever you believe, I appreciate you even reading and with a open heart. I can definitely see how if I read some other post about something when I believe what I do, I would be turned off too! I understand this won't resonate with everyone. but please know I mean no offense.

I thought I'd end this post with something Ramon said on his journal updates. He didn't write on it but his mom interviewed him asking him what he'd want to say to anyone reading. Here's what he said:

"Jesus Christ is Lord. Never let the cloudiness of what is seen take your attention from the unseen. There is a whole other world at work. If we lose sight of that, we lose sight of everything" - Ramon Vidaurri, January 29th, 2012
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120 hello's:

  1. Wow. Such encouragement, Danni. PRAISE the LORD for the hope and joy He has blessed Ramon with. WOW. Only peace from the Lord could do that.

    Do you still attend Rock Harbor in Costa Mesa? That's where my husband and I go. I just moved out here from PA last May.

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  2. Thanks for sharing Ramon's story and how it threads into the tapestry of your life. And thanks for so passionately sharing about the bedrock of your life.

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  3. I am so sorry about your friend. As a cancer patient, my heart goes out to anyone who is told there is nothing more modern medicine can do. What an inspiration your friend is! Praying that he would continue to feel God's presence as close as his breath through every single step of this journey.

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  4. @Cara - We are actually attending Mariners in Mission Viejo now.. Cool that you go there! My brother still goes there. We should meet up some time :)

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  5. Amen! What a testimony for true authentic faith.

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  6. What a beautiful story and strong, happy ending to a life lived for Jesus. His Lord is gathering him home now and you and I won't be far behind. Have you heard "More" by Andrew Peterson? Perhaps you'd be encouraged by a listen.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eauTfmAtS4I

    Thanks again for sharing and praise God for his peace that passes all understanding.

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  7. Thank you for sharing and being so vulnerable on your blog. This was very encouraging.

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  8. Beautiful post! Thank you for writing it and for being bold enough to share it.

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  9. That's so heartbreaking, but yet so encouraging. Thanks for sharing. Gives good perspective, right?

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  10. AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

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  11. AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

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  12. Thanks for sharing Ramon's story with us ... Watching someone die is a truly incredible experience (some liken to birth). I pray for Ramon and all who have been touched by his short life on this earth. He sounds like he'll make an amazing angel.

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  13. Thank you for that Danni. I just posted today about our family still in the midst of a 15 month layoff. We spent years serving as full time missionaries and sometimes we feel so let down that life is not going according to plan (obviously OUR plan, not HIS) and we can take our eyes off of what is most important. Him.

    Hugs today~
    Blessings from Lexington

    Megan @ Art of Homemaking

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  14. this is and always will be one beautiufl post Danni. Thanks for writing this and sharing your heart and his story with all of us. Cancer kills. We all know that.. it can be oh so scary.. but the truth is the truth is the truth. I shared your post on FB and on Pinterest. You are an inspiration. xo hugs fr Fargo, bonitarose

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  15. What a heartbreaking story--something that only faith can get you through. I am not religious but am encouraged by your words and beliefs, and the strength that you - and Ramon - are showing because of your hope. Thanks for sharing, best wishes to you all.

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  16. That was beautiful,and so very very true! I am putting those words on my bathroom mirror.

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  17. Danni, this truly is a wonderful post. It is heartbreaking that his life is so short and yet wonderful that he has such amazing faith.

    But I must be honest. I have been an avid reader of yours for the last two years...and I fear that it is time to part ways. I have not been Catholic for 10 years and this post kind of pushed me over the edge.

    I think your faith is incredible and you have a beautiful blog, maybe just not for me anymore. You are lovely, as is your style! I wish you the best Danni.

    Peace.

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  19. Danni,
    I am so glad I happened over here today. This post was beautifully written, and I can feel your heart in it. I experienced some similar things this month with the passing of my grandfather. Its amazing how people are weaved in and out of our lives. It is part of a beautiful plan that God creates.

    Thank you for not being afraid to hide this big part of who you are. Not enough bloggers do. We need these reminders and life is too short to worry about stepping on peoples toes.

    If it makes you feel better about Mr. anonymous above, I am also Catholic and for that reason I AM thankful for you and the light you bring to the blogosphere. This is why you attract so many people. If it loses some sensitive readers along the way so be it. Please keep it up!

    Much love,
    Anna

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  20. Truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing with us

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  22. Dany, hablo español, pero entiendo un poco el inglés cuando lo leo y a veces uso traductores...

    Jesucristo todo lo puede y lo importante es mantener la Fe siempre, especialmente en las adversidades (enfermedades, tragedias, etc)... y sin embargo hay que mantener la Fe abierta a la voluntad de Dios, puesto que es Él quien decide cuando seremos sanados milagrosamente y cuando ya es hora de partir.

    Las personas que mueren físicamente pero en la Gracia de El Señor, dejan una lección gigantesca en la vida de los otros... nos enseñan que lo único que realmente importa en la vida es estar en Paz con Dios... y es impresionante el nivel de Santidad y Sabiduría en Cristo a la cual pueden llegar las personas que están cerca de la muerte física...

    Dios te bendiga Danny a ti y a tu esposo

    Kisses Bye Bye :)

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  23. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this story. While it is sad in a way we do have such hope in Christ. I pray this time proves to be an encouragement to Ramon's family though it will be difficult and unimaginable for many of us. God is really using his story to impact many and I know I will send friends and family alike to share what has brought me so much hope today.

    I have been experiencing a great week thanks to a small experiment in writing what brings me joy in the Lord at work rather than griping and this is the icing on the cake. What a powerful reminder that my attitude toward this life I've been given can impact so many for Christ.

    Thank you for sharing not only this story, but your faith today. I enjoy your blog so very much.

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  24. I'm so thankful that you shared this story. I'm thankful for the beautiful reflection of Jesus in your friend, Ramon. What an incredible encouragement!

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  25. thank you for not being ashamed of the gospel. i love your blog, and all of the pretty things, of course. but more than that i love that you could totally not talk about these things and DIDN'T make that choice - thank you for putting the gospel on display. oh, and for having a totally gorgeous blog which i visit daily :)

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  26. Thank you for sharing, very lovely.

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  27. Goodness, my heart swelled so much reading this. We need strong people in the world like him. Such a powerful example of faith for others.

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  28. Oh, dear. I very much appreciate separation of church and, er, blog.

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  29. Thank you so much for sharing this truly inspirational story. It's so easy for us to get caught up in the world and lose sight of eternity. Always a good reminder.

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  30. This is very encouraging Danni. I will pray for your friend & his family. His quote is powerful.

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  31. "He just asks you to make the choice to believe and accept him. That's it. There aren't any strings attached, really and truly! There isn't any thing more you need to do. You don't need to do any good works or perform rituals at church. Just believe! He won't force you to believe. He allows you to come on your own free will."

    this is exactly what i needed to hear today. Ramon is an inspiration and thank you for sharing his story!

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  32. Youre friend seems like an amazing guy and Im sorry for what he (and his family and friends) is going through.

    Re: anonymous above, Im not religious but I wouldnt discard your blog just because of this post. Its your space to do with as you please. Believe what you want to believe, write what you want to write.

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  33. Danni, this is an incredible post. We don't read about bloggers being vulnerable enough and it will always invite readers to connect with you in a more real way. I remember you mentioning your friend Ramon during a post where you shared some photos of pastries and you were questioning the significance of it all when crazy life altering things like a fatal illness can totally rock our worlds and change our perspective.

    You glorify God in such a beautiful way. Thank you for concentrating on the hope and joy brought with living in Christ. I've said it multiple times before and I will continue to praise the way you make Christ look great, the way you share your heart transparently and seemingly so effortlessly (I have SUCH difficulty articulating these things sometime) and the way you share the Gospel so boldly and brilliantly. Thank you for sharing about your friend Ramon. We will be praying for him.

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  34. Danni, I'm sorry that you will soon be losing a friend. Your story touched me and I know many others who will not take the time to post. I will pray for his wife Allison (my daughter's name so it will be easy to remember.) That is a true story of faith..that even in the midst of loss there is hope. Amazing...thank you for the reminder of what it means to be a Christ follower.
    Blessings!
    Gina

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  35. Really encouraged and thankful to the Lord for revealing other Christian Sisters and brothers in the blogosphere! Thank you for your boldness and sharing this story with us, and I pray that your readers, no matter the faith background, will not be drawn away because of your vulnerability here but be drawn to look into their own hearts and seek Truth. Thank you for posting!

    themarimakes.blogspot.com

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  36. Wow. That's so powerful. Praying prayers of peace and comfort.

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  37. Thanks for sharing... To God be the glory!.

    "I am not ashamed of the gospel"
    Romans1:16

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  38. Hi Danni - I have only just started reading your blog and today I realised why i accidentally found it! My mother is in the final stages of her battle with brain cancer and she just yesterday talked to me about her fear of death, her concern she would not make it back into Jesus arms and that she could see paths open to her but she didn't know which one to take. Even though it is 6:00am here is Australia, I am off to the hospital right now to read her Ramon's story. She has been a practicing catholic her whole life and at this final stage when it should be giving her peace - it has only given her guilt and fear. I think we have something to learn from Ramons grace and I want to remind mum she too has that before it is too late. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story and know that it has made a big impact on our family in these last days of mums life.

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  39. Thank you, Danni, for your openess! You are an encouragement to all! It's so painful to say goodbye for now, but we have the hope and expectation of a reunion someday, and Ramon lives on in our memories.
    Elena

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  40. This was really beautiful (and sad) to read. You write very well.

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  41. thank you for sharing the love of Jesus... God bless you

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  42. Thanks so much for sharing, I'm so inspired and proud that you are sharing your faith on your blog. Thanks for continuing to be an example to other readers and bloggers! I appreciate it so much, and am inspired to live today more grateful than I have been. Hugs!

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  43. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing Ramon's story with us! Such a truly inspirational reminder that the joy and peace that Jesus brings is all-encompassing and surpassing all worldly reason. My prayers go out to him, his family, and all who have been touched by his light.

    Your vulnerability and obedience in sharing your faith is such an encouragement to me.

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  44. So sorry to hear about your friend Ramon-thanks for sharing this with us. Two weeks ago we found out that my maternal grandmother has breast cancer,she had surgery Monday and is doing well (thank God) we are all staying positive and praying for her well being because we know that with God everything is possible.
    Thanks for your wonderful blog and for being you!!

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  45. What a lovely and uplifting post. Truly moving. Thank you so much for choosing to do so. Love and blessings....

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  46. Hi Danni,
    I just wanted to encourage you not to be put off from posting about Jesus Christ and the gospel message because of the possibility of offending others. He is what this life is all about. Blog numbers do not matter. Eternity and people's souls matter.

    When confronted with the Truth of God's Word, people get uncomfortable because it is convicting. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Heb. 4:12

    It's not fun to get negative comments and lose readers, but it is worth it:

    "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Matt. 10:32-33

    Read Matthew 5, be "salty" and rejoice!
    Kelsey :o)

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    1. I could not agree more with this comment.

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  47. Thank you for your sweet candor with this aspect of your life!
    Love, Blessings, Grace and Peace to you!

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  48. Thank you so much for sharing this story. The lord is the love we hold in our hearts in it's purest form.
    The peace we get from this is what carries us through.

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  49. Hey Danni!
    I really wanted to say thank you for sharing this story! It was definitely very moving and encouraging! It's been a struggle for me to live a God-centered life, but it was really inspiring to see how powerful God can be in our lives and even in our struggles! Thanks again for sharing such a beautiful story!

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  50. Danni, thank you so much for sharing. My thoughts and prayers are with Ramon and his family. I am a fan of your blog for over a year now and I find it very inspiring there aren't many bloggers who share their beliefs and religion. I practise another religion and I am not put off by your blog in fact it has made me realise some of the things I have neglected in life. Thank you so much and keep up the great work.

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  51. Wow. Thank you for sharing. Such encouragement in Ramon's story and in your bold faith! Praying <3

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  52. Thank you for your beautiful post, for sharing your warm and wonderful friend with us, and for not being afraid to share your heart and faith. I send you a giant hug and love.

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  53. thank you for sharing your heart and your friend's story, I am sorry to hear you are losing a friend! you should always share what's in your heart! and please keep sharing! I think Ramon's words will resonate with me forever!

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  54. Danni, thanks for sharing! I always appreciate your thoughts. And it is definitely encouraging to know that Ramon is holding on to Jesus and Jesus only, because He is the source of eternal life. Can't wait for heaven, where there will be no more suffering or tears!

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  55. This post moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing Ramon's story and for being so bold as to lift up Jesus Christ throughout. While it is hard to see a friend go...it is certainly encouraging to know he will be united with our Savior in heaven soon!

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  56. Danni I think it is rad that you are following what Jesus calls us to do spread the truth and make disciples of all nations. I am so sorry to hear about Ramon but it is comforting to know that he is in the right place with Christ! I honestly think you should NEVER worry about the people who are going to leave your blog because you talk about your faith. They are forgetting that this is YOUR blog and not theirs and you are allowed to put on it whatever you would like so hold strong. There will always be haters. I also go to Rock Harbor 7pm service, which service do you guys go to? God bless you guys and I will be praying for Ramon and his family!

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  57. I want to thank you for your fearlessness in sharing your beliefs. I saw the comment about separation of church and blog...that is ridiculous. It is your blog for your own personal thoughts, beliefs, and feelings no matter what they may be. It is our decision as readers to take them to heart, push them aside or not even read them at all. I want to encourage you to continue to be honest and real in your posts, and I am thankful for people like you who are braver than me...for people like you who have been given a platform [like this blog] to stand on and share the Word no matter how receptive the audience may or may not be.

    God bless you and your sweet friend Ramon,
    Katie

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  58. As difficult as it may have been to share this story, I hope you know how amazing it is for you to have done so! It almost goes without saying that I am praying for not only you, but for Ramon and his wife... however... I can't help thinking about the people who are too afraid to comment here because you & Ramon have given them so much to think about. I am also praying for them. Thank you for being so unafraid to share the many things that we often take for granted. What a refreshing and hope giving story. Keep it up Danni, He is using you. :)

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  59. As someone who never grew up with religion I didn't find your post offensive. It is a lovely memory of your friend. Anonymous's problem is entirely one sided. It's a hang up with them. Keep writing as you want, this is your blog.

    But I did want to point out something to you. On your rss feed you have google ads. After reading your moving post about Ramon it was quite jarring to see an ad. Just wondered if you knew it was there.

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  60. Oh I forgot to say it was an ad for stage 4 cancer.

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  61. I agree with Jennifer, I saw my sisters Dad pass away a few months ago and it reminded me of a birth - I didn't want to say anything at the time but it stayed with me and gave me a lot of comfort.

    I think this is a lovely post and I think you are very brave opening yourself up to everyone.

    xox

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  62. HI I am so glad I ran across this today as I caught up on my blog reading!It is refreshing to just talk about our faith plainly and I am glad you did. I loved Ramon's quote! a good word for the day!

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  63. I just found out my parent has brain cancer as well a few weeks ago so I can really relate. I am across the world so its been really tough.

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  64. This is just what I needed to read today...this morning I have been praying for a friend who is going through a very tough and aggressive cancer...I have been asking God...why? Your perspective and the words of Ramon deeply touched me and have helped me this morning. Ramon's quote is one I will share...God is amazing and it is people like Ramon who make him real. Hugs ....blessings and thanks. xoxo

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  65. ♥ Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Galatians 4:16

    Ramon is incredibly inspiring. He's definitely letting the Lords light shine through him in his life as are you for sharing The Gospel. Thank you for the happy tears and beautiful post : )

    ♥For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. Romans 1:16

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  66. Thank you for sharing this. It's refreshing to see someone share their faith so beautifully in the blogosphere. I am going through a very similar situation with a friend currently, so I "felt" this post. I am so glad to know we will see our friends again! Thanks for not being afraid or ashamed to share Jesus- and for setting a beautiful example...no matter what the cost.

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  67. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and Ramon's story. I'll be praying for you and your friends during this time. I could not help but compare myself to his wife and think how would I handle something like this? Would I blame God and turn away from Him for choosing to take away my loved one? Or would I have the strength to see the bigger picture and Gods plan in all of this? I am so encouraged by this story and reassured of the hope we have in Jesus, a hope that never fails.

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  68. I'm sure you will delete this comment, but thought you should know that this has completely turned me off of your blog. If Jesus is so great, why would he not prevent the millions of children who die from poverty and disease to continue to die every single year? The thousands who do every single day? The reason people in the West can survive cancer is because of science and treatment, something most of the world does not have access to. It boggles my mind someone would think God is so great because someone they love is saved, while thousands of others die. Great God you have there.

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  69. I'm just so happy and proud that you were courageous enough to share the Gospel. It can and sometimes will offend people...it might mean you lose followers. In this blogging business, that's a big deal. It might make you unpopular...BUT it's definitely a risk we should all be willing to take.

    Thank you for posting. :)

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  70. Of all the beautiful things you have shown us on your blog, these statements of faith (both yours and Ramon's) are by far the most beautiful!

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  71. I just wanted to say I find it so encouraging as a teenage Christian, to see you being so open about your faith. So many people never want to mention they're a Christian with all the stigma that can bring, so seeing you openly declare your love for Jesus AND still being successful is so inspiring.

    xo

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  72. thank you. so terribly sad but amazingly beautiful as Jesus is part of his life forever.
    as the Bible says: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
    Matthew 16:26

    Prayers & thoughts for him and his family.

    k

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  73. Thank you for being bold enough to share this story about your friend. I am so happy he knows Christ. What an encouragement this was to me; may Christ be glorified in our lives!

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  74. An amazing and heartfelt post that is beautifully written.

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  75. beautiful.
    thank you, thank you for sharing the story
    and for sharing what being a follower of Christ looks like.....hope, joy in all circumstances.

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  76. thank you for "being a believer of the Word not a hearer only".
    Thank you for not being ashamed.
    prayer go out to your friend.
    paula

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  77. Such a small world - i ready your blog from Australia but I grew up in MN and I used to carpool to School with Allison and her sister in 3rd grade. What the heck?

    I hate that things like this can happen, it is so awful, I will be praying for them, thanks for your post.

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  78. Thanks for sharing! Brought tears to my eyes and reminded me what's important!

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  79. What a truly beautiful and inspirational post! Ramon's positive outlook gives me such strength!

    Thank you for being so honest and open with us. Never forget that this is YOUR space to share whatever you would like with us. Your words and Ramon's story have touched so many. Thank you!

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  80. Danni: Longtime reader of your blog. Lovely, lovely post. Thank you.

    To Anonymous #69:

    God is great because he loves us so much. It might not seem like it -- our world sucks, and earthquakes and tsunamis and cancer and cholera in Haiti were never a part of his plan.

    But he saved us by offering us a better life after this. That this crappy, broken-up world is not the end. And that people that die prematurely of cancer, something God didn't intend, have more to look forward to. They have eternity with God to cling to. And that's big.

    We have a good God, who governs a crappy world made that way by our free will to make bad choices. But there is more to life than this.

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  81. Just found your blog today through Cakies. Preach all you want, darling. Jesus is proud of you and so am I- not that that matters. But just an encouragement, as you will have naysayers.

    Your blog has a new fan in me.

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  82. you have no idea how bleesed and inspired by your post! thank you so much for sharing!i truly needed to hear this

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  83. I hate that you have to offer an apology to your readers. Thank you for being open and honest and in the end it doesn't matter what people think or how they respond...it's how you stand up for what you believe.
    Kasey

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  84. An inspirational post, thankyou for sharing Ramons story & your feeling. So glad we have Jesus in these times.

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  85. This is such an incredible inspiration, and a refreshing reminder of the power of Christ. Through life, and death, and the precious breaths in between, He continually reminds us of His power and grace. Thank you for your courage to share your faith. Keep being a light.

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  86. It always amazes and inspires me when people like you have the courage to share something so personal so openly. It is from that sharing that others learn, or gain comfort, or are just assured they are not the only ones to feel a certain way, or go through a certain experience. What saddens me is that there are some people out thier who don't recognise how lucky they are to be invited to share something that personal. I am not particularily religious, nor do i go to church or read the bible . I am religious in my own very private and very quiet way. Yet i am not at all offended by your beliefs. Whether i agree or not, it makes me happy that your belief can help you through such a difficult time. I am not sure why people feel the need to post ANYTHING NEGATIVE, no matter how politely written , in the comments. IF YOU DONT HAVE ANYTHING GOOD TO SAY< PLEASE DONT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL! For someone To hear that you are going through such a hard time, and then feel the need to publicly announce that they can't read this blog anymore...really? If you can't, then don't. Just don't make a song and dance about it... It's selfish, and inconsiderate and pointless. For goodness sake people, have some respect for what she is going through and keep your negative and hurtful comments to yourself! No one forces you to read this blog afterall.
    Sorry danni, i hope i'm not out of line with this comment. My heart goes out to you. And a believer or not, i will still be reading your blog. You are very brave to share. xx

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  87. Wow. Thank you for posting this, Danni. I am always inspired and encouraged by you and your posts. God's truly given you a gift of exhortation - thank you for sharing it with all of us!!! :) Blessings on you!

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  88. And to address Anon69 and others who seek to turn this into an opportunity to rant, I would agree with Emily there...God is good and faithful and holy. We are the ones who make hurtful, wrong choices in order to appease our flesh/hearts...He is waiting with wide, open arms...even for those who harbor such anger and bitterness.

    Just my 2 cents...praying each of you experience His love!

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  89. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  90. I appreciate your sharing your story and Ramon's. God is so good, even (or especially) at the most difficult times of our lives. It is the faith in His love, caring and gift of eternal life with Him that makes life's difficulties a part of our journey and growth rather than horribly fearful experiences. I always know that No Matter What I will be okay. What a gift of faith that is. Ramon certainly had that, true in his soul. Reading or hearing things like you have shared remind me how grateful I am, and how important it is to share our experiences with others. As you can see, you have positively touched many lives. Even those who may respond negatively have had the opportunity to hear what God has done for so many others.
    Peace to your heart

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  91. These are strong words of encouragement, peace and love.

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  92. This is so powerful and heartbreaking, but beautiful in a bittersweet way. Thank you for sharing, truly!

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  93. Danni, you took a risk in writing this and allowing others to see who you really are and what is important in your life. Thanks for doing that! Your bravery makes me feel brave and encourages me-- " iron sharpens iron". Ramon's beautiful story needed to be told. In the end was God glorified through this-- of course! Math has never been my forte but don't the positive comments way out number the negative? Keep doing what you're doing!

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  94. I will not lie, I have been super busy that I have just filed the Rss feed emails in a folder for later reading. But, today was different. It reminded me that we are not promised tomorrow. I am so glad that you share my faith and that I have someone to connect with on a spiritual level and a design level. I appreciate you posting this. Not only does it give hope, it restores life.

    Ramon,

    I plead the blood of Jesus over your life. My family will keep you and your wife in my prayers.

    Again, Thank you...for Loving Jesus and others.

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  95. Praying you continue to feel comfort, sweet Danni. Your faith is an inspiration. xo.

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  96. Hi Danni- I often read your blog, but I haven't said hello yet. I'm so sorry for your loss, and so uplifted by your knowledge of God's faithfulness. I wish it were as simple for me as "just accepting" Jesus. I have tried, but my logic gets in the way time and time again. In the moments that I have sensed God's love, though, I have fully known that there is redemption and eternal life for each of us, and I know even now that Ramon is with God, and is joyful. I will pray for his family and friends. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. You have done so out of genuine compassion and kindness. From someone who does not believe the way that you do, I promise you that there is nothing offensive in your words. Just love :) xoxo

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  97. just found your blog via pinterest...
    to God be the glory for the great things He has done. I am so sad for Ramon and his family but am thrilled that he has the saving knowledge of grace. He will get to hear "Well done good and faithful servant!"
    danni, i will be praying for Ramon's family and you as you mourn him but rejoicing with you because you will see him again!

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  98. You are brave to speak so boldly and passionately about Jesus Christ. Thank you. I am so inspired by your blog, especially your packaging and DIY posts. (I plan to host a packaging workshop at my church this fall!) There are lots of blogs and creative people that inspire me but I feel a spiritual connection with you. God bless you.

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  99. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and had no idea that you were a christian - so reading this post just surprised me. But it was such a good surprise! There has always been such an uplifting under current to your blog and now I know why! Thank you for sharing this, it was beautifully written and a great reminder that life can be short and hard, but there is always something good in it. Anyway, love love your blog and hope I can see your stuff at a craft fair sometime!

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  100. Hi Danni, I often come by - you're one of my favorite blogs, but I haven't commented before. I just wanted to thank you for sharing Ramon's story. I am very sorry for the loss of your friend, but like you expressed, the thought of seeing him free of pain, happy, smiling, and being in the presence of the Lord is sufficient. I pray that God heals your heart and gives you strength through this time, finding comfort in His presence. Thanks for sharing, and keep pressing on!

    Tamara

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  101. Glory to God in the highest. It is so wonderful to read about Ramon and his love for Jesus. Of course he will be missed in the flesh but we have something to celebrate in knowing he will walk with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am so glad you got to witness him and his love.
    Stand tall for The One who leads your path. I absolutely love that you are being you, your true you, the girl who loves Jesus and can acknowledge it. It wouldn't make sense nor be glorifying to God if you didn't acknowledge that He is in you. There will always be non believers who may turn away or take offense because they do not want to hear The Truth and that's ok.

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  102. my heart bursts with pride for you as a fellow blogger.

    we just have to believe.

    what a testimony your friend has been to you & now all of us.

    thank you so much for sharing, what i am sure was such a hard post to write.

    many blessings.

    kellie

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  103. Thank you for your post, it was great to read about how much faith your friend had while he had cancer. I've been reading the comments and it's so great to know that there are so many other Christian bloggers out there.
    I'd like to respond to what Anonymous said (10 March, 2012 09:51) about God allowing children and people to die of poverty and disease. I feel that this is a simplified version of a very complex problem, God is not the only factor in the equation. We are another, and our free will, which God has given us, has an effect on what happens in the world. I believe that we are in a constant battle with the evil things in the world and God wants us to win. As Christians, God has called us to help those people in need, so I feel like we should be looking at ourselves, why are we allowing these things to happen? What are we doing to prevent it?
    Trying to understand God is like trying to know our entire universe. As humans we will never fully understand why God does what he does but because I am a Christian I have faith that his plans for my life are better than anything I could come up with.
    I am so glad that we are able to have an open conversation about our beliefs without attacking and offending each other and I'm glad that this question was asked, it's important to think about. I don't want to force my beliefs on anyone but we all have the right to voice our opinions. I hope the people that were offended by this post will be able to know God the way we do, someday.

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  104. Hit your blog by accident....no I think the Lord at work...I really appreciated your thoughtful and loving words about your friend Ramon. You were brave to share your heart,humbly, as Jesus did. Your genuine love and caring came through in your words. Keep writing, as the Lord leads, the world needs to hear more of the reality of this place earth...that is not to be desired as our eternal home.May your friend soon be dancing and praising in the throne room at the feet of the almighty, while he awaits his friends.

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  105. http://www.ligonier.org/blog/accepting-no-gods-will/


    remind me of Ramon's testimony!
    To God be the glory!

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  106. I am truly encouraged! Thanks for sharing!
    xo

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  107. hi you don't have to apologize for sharing this wonderful story of your friend. this is merely telling us that we need each other as believers of Christ to edify each other especially in times of a trial. we need not to condemn people who are experiencing it. it is also showing that GOD is always in control--we might not know what tomorrow brings us but we know WHO holds our tomorrows and that is our LORD JESUS CHRIST! as Elisabeth Elliott always say "You are loved with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting arms." thanks for this post sis

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  108. Beautiful, brave post.

    I can't imagine that readers would reject the positivity and love that gushes from your blog. At least not enough to publicly tell you that they are parting ways.

    My condolences to you and your husband as you lose your friend.

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  109. Praying for your friends and giving thanks to our great God who is at work even in this. Thank you for sharing Ramon's story. I pray that God would alleviate some of R & A's burden, even allowing me to carry some of it for them.

    This is by far the most beautiful thing you have ever posted--and I love your blog.

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  110. Amy - Thank You Cards Shop15 March, 2012 12:02

    Danni - just catching up today with your blog. God has given you many gifts, but one of them is surely as someone who writes authentically and beautifully, in a way that is very gracious and brave. Thank you for the encouragement in this post today. I have not shared my faith online before, but reading this helps give me a path about how I may be led to do so some day. I will certainly pray for Ramon's family today.

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  111. Thanks much for sharing such a lovely and touching story! Much needed words of hope and peace.

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  112. Danni, What a lovely blog post reminding us that all we need is Jesus. Jesus + Nothing = Everything!

    And I have no idea why someone would think that you should keep your beliefs separate from your blog. It's YOUR blog (well, it and everything is the LORD's), so you can put anything on it that you want. I always enjoy your posts. Keep it up!

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  113. Hi Danni.
    I'm Ramon's sister-in-law, Abbey.
    Thank you for writing this. You wrote it beautifully and and brought me back to tears in a wonderful way. He was an amazing person.
    As I was reading I was listening to a song that sang, "I need a reason to sing". Reading your post reminded me of the body of Christ and the strength in it. It gave me a reason for this moment.
    Thank you, my dear.

    Ps. I've been coming to your blog for months. I had no idea you knew my family. How lovely.

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  114. What a heart-wrenchinglynbeautiful post. Your unabashed love for Jesus is inspiring Danni!

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  115. I just happened to be browsing through when I came across this post. It brought tears to my eyes and hope into my heart. I have been centering my faith this year having been hurt by a religious institution as a child. I'm building and just believing. God is showing me the way! It's been an incredible journey since January. Something you said make me stand tall in my faith "There aren't any strings attached...he just asks you to make a choice and believe and accept him. There isn't anything more you need to do. You don't need to do any good works or perform rituals at church. Just believe!" Thank you for that and had it not been for Ramon you wouldn't have written this post and reached so many hearts. So thank you Ramon and Godspeed.

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  116. Thankyou for your bravery Danni.
    It is so refreshing to see how style, creativity and blogging does not have to be separated from faith in Jesus.
    Continue standing firm in your faith.
    Prayers for you and Ramon's family x

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Friends, Thank you so much for reading + supporting my blog, and for taking the time to leave me a comment. Your comment support truly means so much to me. Have a lovely day! xo, danni