My name is Lily Knuckles.
My life has been a roller coaster full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and the unexpected. It has never been easy, but it has been good and full of hope and joy even in the midst of the darkest times. When I was 9, my Papa passed away from brain cancer and my little sister went back to her biological mom all in one week. Later that year, my dad lost his job and my mom had cancer.
As a child, it is difficult to comprehend suffering and loss. It is unbearable watching your Papa fade and become a shadow of the amazing, loving, and kind man he used to be. It was impossible to understand why a beloved little sister was being ripped away and that nothing could be done to stop it.
Growing up, I have had to deal with anxiety, loneliness, and insecurity.
This past year I have watched my sweet Grandma suffer and lose hope due to cancer that has spread throughout her entire body.
So, no, my life has never been easy. But even in the darkest moments when it seemed like all hope was lost, I kept going. Not by my own strength, because I could never face anything alone, but because of the assurance I have in God and His promises. God has always kept His promises and He has never failed, so I can trust Him when everything seems like it is falling apart. He is still in control. I know I can trust in Him because he is still God and He is still good. He never said that His followers would have an easy life on earth, in fact, He said the exact opposite. What He did promise, is hope and joy because one day I get to see my Savior again. (All of the praise hands!!!)
My favorite verse, John 16:22, says “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
Through all the struggles in my life, I rely on God and the guarantee that in heaven there will be no sorrow, pain or suffering.
Don’t get me wrong, life is difficult and sometimes the pain of loss and struggles is unbearable.
The good news is, we do not have to bear it alone.
I know what my God promised me and what He did for me on the cross. I can trust in Him and His plan because He is in control. I can live with joy and hope knowing I will see my Savior again soon! I can remember my Papa fondly and reflect on the words of his favorite hymn, Victory in Jesus, and know that one day we will worship our God together in heaven. I can trust God and His plan for my little sister because He is good. I can find comfort with my Grandma and cherish the moments I have left with her because my Savior lives.
When life seems to be crashing down around you, remember:
- 1. the promise of the cross.
- 2. cling to the people you love and cherish every second you have with them.
- 3. surround yourself with people who love you and who love God even more.
- 4. never lose hope or joy, because our Savior lives!
Model and Story by Lily
Acknowledgement by Miss Beautymark
LILY!! Oh, sweet Lily…
First of all, I want you to know how crazy powerful and amazing your story is. The fact that you are so young and took the leap to share such a powerful, but difficult, story, is nothing short of strength sweet girl. I am so happy and proud to have been able to know you since (we were both little) and now you are a STUNNING, smart and strong young woman. Thank you for taking photos with me in the rain, and coming to the table with me. You are His bride and I am excited to see what He does with your story.