Sometimes, things happen in life that knock the wind right out of our sails, leaving us beyond breathless. And, if we’ve been coasting along and virtually sitting on top of the world, it could feel like hitting a brick wall, unsure how we’ll ever get back up again.
At this time of year when so many are feeling lost, lonely, or depressed – for whatever reason — this truly unforgettable and uplifting story will leave you feeling instantly optimistic and inspired. Especially in such politically, socially, and culturally disparate times, a dose of some “feel good” inspiration is just what the doctor ordered. We can all use a message of hope and healing from a woman who learned to ultimately forgive – and find faith – after the unimaginable.
When Bree Rowand and her husband Luke found out their baby daughter Kylie was diagnosed with an aggressive form of neuroblastoma in 2013, their entire world as they knew it came crashing down. And, understandably so. The next few years saw their lives turning into an unstoppable collision course as they both lost their jobs trying to care for their ailing daughter, and after her imminent death, they couldn’t seem to catch a break – or their breaths. Between their endless financial battles and heart-wrenching grieving after watching their child suffer and eventually succumb to cancer in February 2015, they eventually learned God has His own plans, and those plans may not be what you’ve been planning. But, through the hell and heartache, there remained hope, Heaven, and even happiness. For there is a reason for everything God does, and there is good that comes out of everything bad – however unforgiving or unbearably painful an event may be. Where there is darkness, there is light.
When Kylie was diagnosed with cancer, Bree and her family started a foundation in her honor. To this day, the Foundation has exceeded their deepest expectations and wildest dreams. A “good” that has come from something so heartbreaking. Imagine that. “Sometimes these things come with heartache. Kylie dying was not good, but what He’s creating through it, is...God’s plan will fulfil your heart in ways you never thought were possible. I thought I had life figured out...His adventures, His love, His promises, things I could have never dreamt up in my wildest dreams.” – Bree Rowand, Letting Go and Letting God
At the Kylie Rowand Foundation sponsored golf tournament in May 2018, a generous donor from Scottsdale, Arizona came to San Diego to personally present a check in the amount of $100,000.00. Bree always remembered thinking that once the foundation received a donation for that very same amount, that’s when they will know they have “made it.” What Bree hadn’t realized at the time was all the “back work” God was creating to get Bree, her family, and the Foundation to that point. It’s about trusting the process and intuitively letting go of a situation, while putting your trust in Him and the “bigger” plan. The big picture is always hard to see when you’re up close to it. But, as time passes (as it always does), the picture moves further and further away so you’re able to see it in its entirety. And, all the pieces miraculously come together, lending an eye-opening epiphany of sorts.
As Bree and Luke became closer with the benevolent family who gifted the Foundation the $100,000, they began to feel God coming through yet again. This time, they felt He wanted them to be in Arizona. So, they took a leap of faith and picked up and left everything and everyone they knew and loved so much, including the resting place of their sweet baby girl. It definitely was not a move made overnight. “Every step in life, whether good or bad, brings you one step closer to the person God created you to be. The same goes for the people He brings into your life. This family, I believe was brought into our lives to save us. To encourage us. To love upon us. To pour hope upon us,” says Bree.
Since relocating to Arizona, the Rowand family has been busy educating and bringing cancer awareness to potential donors and supporters, while getting to know the families that reside at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. While, their presence still very much remains strong in San Diego, where they continue fundraising efforts and supporting their community, they’re excited to be taking on this next journey in their lives.
Never give up on your faith. Be patient. There is a reason for everything, no matter how horrific or paralyzing at the time. Stay the course because He has a plan. “A relationship with God is not easy. It’s not all butterfly and rainbows as my mom and I always say. Trusting God sometimes means giving up on something else you love.”
– Bree Rowand