Note: I wrote this post a few days ago & was waiting to put a picture with it. Since then, the person that this post is written about is no longer suffering, but is with the Lord. Please keep her family in your prayers. If you had known her, you would know what a void there is right now in their lives. But Heaven no doubt welcomed her with open arms & what a joy to know that she is whole & at peace.
I have a dear friend from college - her name is Jennifer Steckler. She has always been a little famous in her own rite. There is just something about her that people have always been drawn to - a genuine joy, a true concern for others & a desire to have a good time. I remember just sitting around one evening in college & the idea to go & tie cans to the back of a friend's car just came to her mind then the words came out of her mouth & because she is Steckler - I followed. We did it, then we asked the friend to run an errand - we sat on the side of the road in Starkville, MS & watched that car drive by. It really is one of my favorite memories from college. Kool Aid in the shower heads of the Kappa Sig house was also her brilliant idea.....and I followed. I wonder how many stories there are that start with, "& then Steckler suggested we....."
Steckler is fun & kind & generous & caring & beautiful & all the things you would ever want to be.
And she is sick. Steckler has lukemia. I was at church a few weeks ago & Louie Giglio preached a sermon on HOPE in the midst of trouble. He ended the message by telling us that when trouble comes, & it will come, you are handed a megaphone. Your message, whatever it is, will be broadcast when trouble comes your way. This is true for all of us & it is true for Jennifer. Trouble has come her way & she has praised God & prayed for us through all of it. She has had her moments of "why"? But, her life has built my faith stronger. The light of Christ shining through her makes me stronger. And as a result......my kids get a glimpse of that light. You see, it's just not hard to stand tall when life is going well & people aren't too impressed with the standing tall in the midst of all-is-going-great. But when someone stands firm when things are falling apart......that's a faith I pay attention to. That's a life I want to live. LuLu prays for Steckler, & the "life" that Steckler lives will live on in my daughter's life & will live on in my son's life. A legacy that Jennifer never expected, I would guess. Jennifer Steckler's life has been broadcast across the WORLD! It's true - her caringbridge site (type jennifersteckler) proves that & God is speaking loud & clear through her. I'm not sure that right now, in this life, that I can say that it has been "worth it" for her to be sick for this to happen. But I believe with my whole heart, that so many more hearts have met the Lord by knowing her. And many of those only know her because she got sick.
I know this - she has set an example that I could never totally get through to my kids with just words. Lessons about the importance of giving, and being grateful, and being honest & true - even in the midst of a major struggle. I whine about not getting my way - from time to time :) - but the silliness of that is brought into the light because I know this girl. This special amazing girl who has been dealt a hand that totally stinks & even in the questions & the "shaking her fists" in wonder, she stands firm. I want to be like her. Which makes me want to be like Him, like Jesus. I want to be more like Christ because of Jennifer Steckler & the light that shines through her. And so we wear these shirts as a reminder that we are a part of "Team Steckler." A special team, that has learned from the example of a girl who fought the good fight & followed the Lord all the way home. The world would be a better place if we all were a little more like Steckler.