The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

by Mrs. Marilyn Hodge

Everybody has a story to tell. Is it not amazing? Behind everyone’s life is a huge storybook that holds chapters upon chapters of a person’s life. What is your life story? How has it impacted you? What lessons would you like to teach others? Franny Crosby also had a story, and her story has impacted and continues to impact millions. Do you know who she was? Do you know her story?

Well, the story of Fanny Crosby was one of sorrow, yet of the deepest love. At the age of six weeks old, Fanny developed an eye infection. When the doctor was called to help six-week-old Fanny with this minor eye inflammation, his visit had a reverse effect. Instead of making her eyes better, Fanny became blind. And while it might have been the end of her sight, it was only the beginning of God’s great work in her life.

Her grandmother, Eunice Crosby, was very influential in her life. She impacted Fanny’s life tremendously. She was determined to have Fanny not see her life as a disadvantage because of her blindness, but to use it instead to maximise her potential. As a young girl, Fanny proved herself an excellent student and a warm, exuberant young lady who made friends and wrote poetry. Fanny’s name and her talents became well known, dubbing her as ‘The Blind Poetess’. Fanny composed many hymns and gave many inspirational speeches over her lifetime. Her life‘s work offered many people hope and led them to the decision to follow Christ.Fanny was also extremely passionate about supporting and helping the poor, even going so far as to live in their slums where she worked with them. Blindness did not stop her from writing. She wrote until her death at the age of ninety-four. During Fanny’s lifetime, she penned many hymns, many of which are still sung today. Here is one of them: Tell me the story of Jesus,Tell me the story of Jesus.Write on my heart every word.Tell me the story most precious,Sweetest that ever was heard.Tell how the angels in chorus,Sang as they welcomed His birth,“Glory to God in the highest!Peace and good tidings to earth.”Another person who had a powerful story was Horatio Spafford. He was a successful attorney, and real estate investor, who lost a fortune in the great Chicago fire of 1871. Around the same time, his beloved four-year-old son died of scarlet fever. Life had dealt him a blow. He knew something about life’s unexpected challenges.

After those experiences, thinking a vacation would do his family some good, he sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to England, planning to join them after he finished some pressing business at home. However, while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship was involved in a terrible collision and sunk. More than 200 people lost their lives, including all four of Horatio Spafford’s precious daughters. His wife, Anna, survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to her husband that began: “Saved alone. What shall I do?”Horatio immediately set sail for England. At one point during his voyage, the captain of the ship, aware of the tragedy that had struck the Spafford family, summoned Horatio to tell him that they were now passing over the spot where the shipwreck had occurred. As Horatio thought about his daughters, words of comfort and hope filled his heart and mind. He wrote them down, and they have since become a well-beloved hymn that is sung over and over again by millions of people:When peace like a river, attendeth my way,When sorrows like sea billows roll —Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to knowIt is well, it is well with my soul.Is that not a beautiful hymn? Do you not enjoy it? Perhaps we cannot always say that everything is well in all aspects of our lives. There will always be storms to face, and sometimes there will be tragedies. But with faith in a loving God, and with trust in His divine help, we can confidently say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”

My friends, life can be unpredictable and challenging, but faith and trust in God can help us overcome hardship and tragedy. Fanny and Horatio did not allow their misfortunes to stop or limit them – and neither should we. We must use our lives and our stories to draw others to Jesus Christ. You see we only have one life and it soon will pass – and only what is done for Christ will last.Remember: Our Story Is our Own. One bad chapter does not mean our story is over. If you are struggling today, remember this: you have survived everything you have gone through up to this point. The best days of your life are yet to come. So, to be happy you must let go of what is gone, be grateful for what remains and look forward to what is to come next. Our story has the power to break down barriers and set us free.

About the Author: Mrs. Marilyn Hodge owns and operates the Wellness Centre in The Farrington, Anguilla. The Centre offers Counselling Services by Appointment Only and has now published Positive Living Volume 3. Contact information: 476-3517 or email: [email protected] www.facebook.com/axawellnesscentre