Your not alone.
Some days it feels impossible.
You think you have a hold on the grief. You refocus your thoughts. You have stocked responses for every situation. You push the feelings down to keep on with your day, to keep it together.
And then you are knocked off your feet by a smell....
a fleeting thought...
And in an instant it feels just as hard as the day they died. It all just feels impossible again.
You are not alone.
You will have days and moments like this for the rest of your life and that is ok. The grief is a part of you now, but it is not all of you.
Let it out. Be as mad or sad as you need to be. Yell at God if that is what you need to do. He can take it.
Find a safe way to release all the hurt out so it quits following you around every moment. Ask God the big questions. Talk to others who have walked down this path. Journal for yourself. Listen to music. Refocus your thoughts on gratitude. Pray for grace and understanding. FIGHT for your peace.
Despite all that has happened, God is still showing you the way. He has not abandoned you. Talk to Him. Look for the God Things He is placing in your life. God granted his ultimate promise of Heaven to your loved ones and ours. Don’t let the devil steal your peace.
Live in spite of the grief. Live your life with Faith Over Fear.
This Faith Over Fear design was created by Angie about a month or so before she passed away.
During a conversation with our mom one day she took out a pink post it and scratched out this design intending to get it as a tattoo.
When she asked her oncologist, he agreed she could get the tattoo as soon as her numbers improved after chemo that month. He encouraged her to do whatever she wanted to do, to go out and live life.
Unfortunately Ang never got the chance to get the tattoo she wanted. A few weeks later she entered hospice care for her final days.
Within the first couple days after her death, close to a dozen family and friends got this design or a variation of it tattooed in her honor. We knew that in order to keep moving without her, we too needed to hold onto the message of Faith Over Fear she clung to.
As we wrote and published our book, Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home we realized that this design, scratched out on a post it was so much more. It was a visual reminder of Angie’s message to the world. It was in Angie’s own handwriting reminding us to choose Faith Over Fear.
Today you see this design on everything from necklaces, to apparel, to vehicle decals and signs. It is a reminder to you to be bold in your faith, to deliberately choose joy, and to fight for your peace. Our Faith Over Fear Gear is another way to share Angie’s story with the world.
Welcome to our first blog post at The Norway Center Store!
Whether you have heard our story from the beginning or are just joining us, you will quickly see that Faith Over Fear is the mantra poured throughout our store, and our lives.
You see in March of 2017, my little sister, Angie Hazel, was abruptly diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer of Unknown Primary at the age of 25. As she fought through the weight of that diagnosis, Angie quickly clung to the phrase, Faith Over Fear. During her battle against cancer, she showed us exactly what that mantra meant to her and lived the remainder of her days choosing Faith Over Fear.
Faith Over Fear is not just a cute, catchy little phrase about God. Truly choosing a life of Faith Over Fear means you are handing over your worries and fears. It means you are deciding to focus on the positive. It is placing your trust into God even when it seems impossible. It is making a conscious decision each and every day to fight for your peace and believe that the best is yet to come.
For my little sister, she showed this action through her kindness to everyone even through her final days. She showed this through her focus on Jesus through the pain and unanswered questions. She lived her days choosing happiness, to make the most of the time she had, despite the fears of the unknown.
After she passed, our family tried to absorb what happened. We tried to grasp the why and the how and figure out what to do after such a tremendous heartbreak. And as we reflected, we saw the way God held us up through the battle. We saw how He placed people and events in our path as God Things lighting our way through the impossible. And through that reflection and the stories that came out about her life after she was gone, we saw how Angie was a light to so many others, a God Thing herself.
As we worked through the grief that first year, we started writing down our thoughts and feelings. What developed was our book, “Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home,” a book that brings the reader through Angie’s battle with her own words from her CaringBridge journal and our perspectives as her sisters, mother and fiancé, watching her fight. Our initial hope for the book was to share Angie’s message of Faith Over Fear and to help others know they are not alone in their grief.
Since the release of the book, we have been overwhelmed with the response. So many people are hearing our message and are opening up about their own story of grief and heartbreak. We pray the healing that has been sparked by this story will continue to spread like wildfire.
We are continuing Angie’s legacy by consciously choosing Faith Over Fear in our own lives. For my sister, Cassy and I, that included jumping into our own dreams. We always hoped to one day open a store where we could sell our handmade and repurposed creations and that of other small makers. After Angie passed, we were slapped with the reality that life is short and decided to end the excuses. With the support of our mom, Anita, we opened this little store, The Norway Center Store in August of 2018. Taking that big leap to put ourselves and our creations out into the world was Faith Over Fear in action.
Likewise, for the vendors that have joined us. Each month, we are blessed to feature the handmade creations of several talented makers. Some are retired or working moms, doing this as a side-gig, others have taken the plunge to do this work full-time, each has a hope and a dream and has chosen to be brave and put themselves out there. They have chosen Faith Over Fear and are working to bring their dreams to life.
As we grow The Norway Center Store we intend to keep Angie’s message of Faith Over Fear as the forefront of our business and our lives. This message is not just for the toughest moment in our lives, it is for every moment.
Hi! I'm Jessy, one of the co-owners of The Norway Center Store and co-authors of the book Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home. My husband Kyle and I live in an old general store, converted to residence, with our three kids, Ally, Charley and Rad and our German Shephard dog. You will usually find me with paint on my clothes creating my next repurposed piece.