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Tried by Fire

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Publisher:  Xuon Press, Inc. ISBN-10:  1594679444 Type: 


Copyright:  January 20, 2005

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In early September, 1987, in the small southern town of Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, sixteen-year-old Christy Bowman was filled with life-long dreams of graduation, college, and a career. The day she was sized for her high-school ring her dreams were soon replaced with reality as she was diagnosed with auto-immune hemolytic anemia. Experience her story as you read how she endured great odds and treatments encountering both known and research. Her twenty-seven month struggle will mystify you, amaze you, enlighten you, engross you, bless you, and sadden you. You will find disappointment, encouragement, laughter, and tears as you come to know a girl who maintained a great faith in God, and an all-out 'true grit' against all odds. Her undying strength and insurmountable courage will amaze you. I hope you will be able to see how God revealed Himself many times and in many ways to show that she was in His care.

Barnes &

December 22, 1989

We all came to Embry Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia with a new expectancy in our hearts for this beautiful young girl, Christy Bowman. It was not the outward beauty that moved me towards this young lady, but her inward beauty and devotion to God in spite of her battle with sickness and death. For so long, we all had anticipated an intervention and healing from the Most High God. We still had hope on this Friday of December 22, 1989. Today was the day of the bone-marrow transplant. New life, a new beginning, for this young lady who wanted to live a life for God and do missionary work.

Daniel, her brother, had already completed the task of donor. The family had been notified of Christy's taking a turn for the worse. What next? How much more? The shock from it all seemingly left us numb. I realized that Martha Jo was missing from our midst and I was very much concerned for her. Jr., Martha's husband, had gone in search of her and she stated to him that she wanted to be alone. My heart was heavy to know that this mother who so lovingly cared for her daughter was now seeing her slip away and nothing could be done. As I walked from the waiting room near Christy's room, to another waiting room, I passed a hall where Jodi and Jr. stood. As Jr. tried to console Jo she refused his comfort, his outstretched arms, and his words of warmth and love. After repeated failed treatments and continued declining health, Jo had approached the state of reality that made her aware that Christy's hope was gone. She was hysterical as she cried and repeatedly asked Jr. to leave her alone. She buried her face into the corner of the wall and cried, "Leave me alone! Don't touch me!" Jr. hopelessly gave up and walked away. As I approached Jo, my heart ached, but I knew it was nothing compared to the ache she had come to know over the last twenty-seven months. I ached for her and to see her in this state. She ached for one she had given birth to and loved, but now had to possibly give up. It was almost as though the death pains were as the travail we go through while giving birth, only more severe. How do you let go of someone you have raised, nurtured, and loved for eighteen years? Words did not come easily for me that evening. I had never experienced such loss. I wanted to let her know I was there for her, but all I could do at the time was embrace her. At first, she refused my embrace. She cried and fought at the fact that her daughter's life could be coming to an end. "They are letting her die!" she cried. "Why didn't they listen to me? I told them, but they wouldn't listen. Now she is dying. It is their fault! They are letting her die!"

Dr. George walked down an adjoining corridor, and as he did, he briefly stopped as if wanting to speak. Instead, he continued on. Jo shook uncontrollably as we clung to one another in the corner of that deserted part of the hospital beside two big, double doors. Only God could bring healing for Jo's hurt now. Only God could feel what she was feeling. I was glad to see her empty some of the emotion she had kept inside for so long. Her feelings needed to be released, but I knew this was only a small part, and I felt so helpless. The questions of whether Christy should have been carried home or whether the right treatments and medications were given continued to plague her mind. Only God knew the answers to her questions. Only God knew the dark hours and days that lay ahead.



". . . what ever happens, it will be because of Your mercy. I've got to rest in that fact and trust in Your promise."

Professional Reviews

A Humble Child Of God
In Tried By Fire, Jodi Bowman Scully candidly narrates her journey through the heart-wrenching illness of her teenaged daughter. She takes us with her as, physically exhausted and emotionally spent, she travels the highways of rural South Carolina, Interstate 85 and onto the city streets of Atlanta where the hospital parking lots are crowded and the walks to Christy's treatments are long trails of frustration and uncertainty. As the illness progresses and the trips become more frequent, Jodi becomes isolated from her family and familiar surroundings, practically living in cold, impersonal hospitals. Besides Christy, her constant companions are the conflicting emotions that feed her weariness-fear and faith, grief and hope, anguish and peace.

Only a parent who has made this journey with a child can understand Jodi's struggle as she alternately prays, "I've released her to You, Lord", and "Please don't take her". When it seems evident that death is eminent, Jodi says, "I hated waiting for her to die. It made me feel as if I was for it, that I ok'd it."

The thing I appreciate most about Tried By Fire is Jodi's portrayal of herself. She presents herself not as a noble saint setting the bar for the rest of us, but as a humble child of God, fragile, whose only strength comes from Him. As Jodi watches her daughter's hopes and dreams devoured by autoimmune hemolytic anemia, we feel her pain, pray her prayers and experience her unshakable faith.

". . . what ever happens, it will be because of Your mercy. I've got to rest in that fact and trust in Your promise." (excerpt from pages of book)

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