A Passion to Give to Those Who Need It Most: by Jocelyn Swanberg

I met Jocelyn years ago and when she shared with me this story of her passion to help others, I was touched…you should read it too.- Willow

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Seven months ago I woke up to a text message from one of my best friends. It was 5:25 in the morning. What in the world couldn’t wait for the sun to at least rise? The answer happened to be in what she wrote.

My friend Justin’s brother, Landon had to get air lifted to Seattle Children’s Hospital because what they thought was appendicitis was actually intestinal malrotation that they never caught when he was a baby. He’s in a medically induced coma right now ): Prayers for his family would be neat-o.”

If I wasn’t awake when I slid my lock screen to view the message, I was surely awake when I finished reading. So many thoughts were racing through my mind. Prayer, someone needed prayer. A little boy, a little boy needed prayer. A family, a family needed prayer. Crista, Crista needed prayer. So I prayed. But where to start? Prayer for healing seemed important, so I prayed for that. Prayer for patience and peace, grace, a miracle… My thoughts were jumbled, but by God’s Almighty Omniscience, He knew just what I meant. I started looking up verses that could provide peace to Crista and Justin’s family, searching for words that could lift up their weary souls. I texted my close family and friends, asking them to join in prayer as well for this small little boy, fighting for his life. For the next few hours I struggled with what I could possibly do. Words didn’t seem enough. My friend kept me updated on Landon’s progress, which praise God, there was some! 

Landon was flown to the hospital with a 5-10% chance of surviving. He had surgery after surgery. But as the days progressed, so did his health. He spent the next two months living at Seattle Children’s as he recovered. A family who faced the prospect of losing their 5 year old little boy is now rejoicing with him at home! (To read more about the Jonson’s journey through this time of heartbreak, encouragement, and a miracle, visit their Facebook page): https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Jonson-Family-Journey/165207846970741

Walking alongside Landon’s journey of recovery allowed me a lot of time to think about what it means to be here. Life is so precious, who am I to take it for granted? I spent a lot of time searching my heart and God’s will, trying to find something I could do. I wanted desperately to do more than provide words of encouragement. For the last 3 months or so I have started putting the pieces together of what I feel God leading me to do.

There are some things I know about myself. I am a child of Godand as a child of God, I am called to serve. I have a heart for children. As an education major, I am excited to spend the rest of my life watching children grow as they learn and experience life. For what I know of myself, I know less about others. But one thing I do know is that people struggle. Life is filled with trials and tribulations. Like Landon and his family, when their life was filled with fear, questioning, and despair, I want to share with people God’s miraculous love, hope, joy, mercy and endless grace. I want to serve. I want to serve the God who gave me my life, who gave life back to a little boy I haven’t met, who breathes life into every baby born yesterday, today, and tomorrow. To serve the God who has blessed me with the opportunity to give back.

And here’s how! I’d like to provide hours I find in my days and weeks that aren’t taken up by school or my job, and I would like to volunteer childcare for those struggling with illness, be it cancer, terminal illness, or medical care.
Medical bills are expensive; they loom like black clouds over families. Finding a babysitter has also become an expensive commodity, as is finding the time. So I want to erase one of those burdens. I’d like to give parents the chance to take time, precious time, to relax, to breathe again, to not think, if just for a few hours, about the bills and stress of sickness. Jesus has pulled on my heartstrings for half a year now to do more, to serve more, to be more. And to follow Him, is to use the gifts He’s given me; a passion for spending time with kids, a passion to serve the God who
created me, and a passion to give time to those who need it most. If you or someone you know is experiencing the struggle with cancer or another terminal illness and you live near Bellingham, Washington, and you’d like to be a part of my journey to become more like Christ, please let me serve you.

(Jocelyn can be contacted by willow)

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