By: Heidi Jo Fulk
We’re big on traditions in the Fulk home, but one stands out from most other families—Brain Day. It’s one of the biggest remembrance stones in the 14 year marriage and family of Dan and Heidi Jo Fulk—and it’s today.
Thirteen years ago today, I was in an eight hour surgery to have a 2.5 centimeter benign tumor removed from the center of my brain. I was 23, had been married for just 18 months, a first grade teacher for 3 months, and had no idea that was the way I would start either. I also had no idea of the impact and far-reaching effects the privilege of having that tumor would have on my marriage, my family, indeed, my whole life.
To be thankful. To be wholly thankful that God, in His mercy, allowed my life on Earth to continue. To be filled with gratitude that He used that life to bring forth new life in the form of my children. To thank Him for every moment—good or bad, easy or difficult, purposeful or mundane—since that day.
To be humble. To know so many others have not received the same “life” answer as me. Not every sick young wife survives to be the wife she always dreamt of. Not every sweet young momma lives long enough to watch her children grow. Not every tumor is benign. Not every brain is healed. So I must continually remember…
To be purposed. To realize God did not preserve my life solely for my benefit or blessing, but so that I might bring Him glory and honor through my life. I didn’t walk out of that hospital 13 years ago so that I could be an example of the wonder of modern medicine. I walked out of that hospital called to be an example of Christ—of His work, His mercy, and His truth.
So that’s what I’m doing today. I’m thanking God for life. I’m telling the story again to my kids. I’m remembering those who received different answers and praying for the families they’ve left behind. I’m using this day to recharge my focus for living life—the preserved, protected, and purposed life God has given me.
HEIDI JO FULK is passionate about encouraging woman and girls to love and live God’s word. She is wife to her high school sweetheart, Dan, and mom to their four young children — Emma Jo, Gretchen, Tucker and Brock. Heidi leads a women’s Bible study and an elementary girls’ ministry at her church.