Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vision...Part 1.

Be warned: This is a 2 Part blog, because it comes with a plethora of thoughts behind it.

  This word has been on my heart and mind a lot lately, and has prompted this 2 part blog. And just like God, when something is on my mind, He tends to bring along ways of showing me He is listening and He is right there with my thoughts on the whole process. Today's sermon at church happened to be on vision. So, this will be a long blog. Today, I want to share with you the vision for the 5K that takes place in memory of my mom. It's been on my heart to share this lately, partly because I have been asked about it by others, and partly because I just want you to know.

So, taken from the words of my pastor today, here's what he said about vision that fit into my thoughts perfectly.

Vision = A picture of what could (and perhaps should) be.

Vision gives significance to the otherwise meaningless details of our lives.

The Linda A. Ferguson Memorial 5K is bred out of a vision. Our vision is to reach more people who are facing cancer, people I could never personally touch or reach, because we are spurring on students studying in that field, to care for those patients, by providing funds for their schooling.

Our vision includes providing more than one scholarship each year, to help more than one student. Our event is growing, and so our goal is to grow the scholarship in the process and to give more to each student, and more than one student. 

I began this event in the midst of a yucky, grief filled time. It started small, but the vision has grown, and it has given me great significance to the otherwise meaningless details...That doesn't mean my own family goes by the wayside or they aren't important or I didn't have purpose before that. It simply means that I have found some greater purpose in the midst of losing my mom to an ugly battle. 
  My mom lived her life with vision every day. Her vision was simple, but wow, did she ever touch hundreds of lives through her simple vision. Yet, God doesn't see any vision designed by Him as simple. And when we follow His visions for us, those visions are blessed. That is our prayer for this event.

Why is this my vision??

  Well, many reasons. Yes, to remember my mom and to honor her is one of the greater reasons I have this vision. However, it is a far greater reason than just being about my mom. This vision includes impacting the world, one nurse at a time, by their being equipped to learn about how to carry God's love to cancer patients. I can't even begin to touch as many patients as these nurses can. And thus, we want to help their educational needs and grow the scholarship fund so we can equip them more.

  Cancer was always around me growing up, in some way. It just didn't impact me so directly until mom was diagnosed. My grandfather had cancer before my mom, and that was hard, but it was different. Older people in the church while I was growing up had cancer, but again, it didn't impact me as it did with mom, seeing it first hand. That's when I began to understand the depth of cancer and the devastating effects it has on not only the patient, but the family walking through it, too.

 In my job, I have the rare priviledge of people sharing about their lives with me. I get crazy stories and sad stories; funny stories and interesting life stories. But lately, I've been struck by the many customers who have opened up to me that they have cancer. In the last couple of months alone, I have had 5 different customers cross my path with cancer-2 with breast cancer, one with prostate cancer, one with brain cancer, and one with thyroid cancer. Hearing these in depth stories of each individual, and watching them fight this battle, has only increased my vision for wanting to grow our scholarship to equip nurses who will help cancer patients. And also, gives deeper passion, purpose and motivation behind what we do. If I hadn't had the experience of walking through my mom fighting cancer, I couldn't have as much relation to what my customer friends who have cancer are going through. Ironically, 2 of them even have the same dr. my mom had. Their stories and their newfound battle and determination breed a deeper motivation in what we do with this 5K.I can't be the one to do it. And I can't do this scholarship alone. God is backing this vision and He is backing the growth of it. He is simply allowing me to use my passion for running and passion for fighting cancer to carry out His vision.

Vision breeds:

Passion. Wake up excited!


Direction. Practical advantage. Road maps for our lives. Helps with decisions and prioritized values.

Purpose. I matter! I am an important link! A reason to get up in the morning. 

As time goes along, my vision grows. As the vision grows, so does the event. As the event grows, so does the scholarship. And as the scholarship grows, so does the impact that God loving men and women are having in a world full of cancer. And that is a vision worth seeing and growing, one day at a time.
 Stay tuned for a deeper look into vision in my part 2 blog tomorrow. And if you care to hear more in depth thoughts on vision, feel free to listen to or check out Pastor Casey's message at
   for more information on our 5K and scholarship fund, check out our website at
 or email me, Rachael McKinney, at

One day at a time, as the vision grows, I desire to be a vessel of God in the process of growing this scholarship in memory of my beautiful mom.

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