Monday, July 12, 2010

Steph Won.

I know the most common way to describe a situation where a person has cancer and dies is to say, "They lost their battle with cancer." True. Cancer claimed the life of our dear friend. Cancer took her away from her husband and two beautiful boys. But cancer did not win. In my humble opinion, cancer HAS to be of the devil. The devil wants us to be afraid of cancer. He wants us to crumble and give in. He wanted Steph to curl up in a ball and curse God for doing this to her. The devil wants us to sit and cry. He wants us to turn away from God. He wants us to be angry at God for allowing our friend to suffer like this. He wanted Steph to lose.

Newsflash Mr. Beelzebub. YOU lost. STEPH won.

She won because she NEVER cursed our Lord, but only praised Him for the blessings he bestowed upon her BEFORE she was diagnosed that made it so much easier to fight this disease. She won because THOUSANDS of people have followed this blog and taken the time to e-mail us with testimonies about how their faith has been strengthened through Steph's story. She won because she went out like a champion. Her last weeks were spent listening to Christian music 24/7 and her friends reading scripture to her and praying over her. Her last breaths were taken as a room full of GOD FEARING relatives and friends showered her in love and prayers. She won because she is now in Heaven cancer free, most likely showing the angels a thing or two about how to play defense.

No, Steph did not win in the way WE had hoped she would. But she won by keeping her faith. She NEVER gave up on God and he NEVER gave up on her. Until she took her very last breath, His fingerprints were all over her story. They still are.

Her story will live on in her two beautiful boys. I never told her I was going to do this, but I have a feeling it's what she would have wanted. On Thursday, we will close a chapter of this blog as we celebrate Steph's life here on earth. The blog will soon take on a new meaning. The blog will be a place where you can all come to keep up with the boys. A place for YOU to come and heal. I want to do that for the boys, for Scot and most importantly for Steph. She always loved that I blogged for my children and wanted to do the same...she was just busy fighting for hers. It is my honor to do this for Drew and Levi.


Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!!!!!! You and Steph have made God SMILE!. Bless your sweet heart!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Chrissy, you said exactly what I've been trying to find the words to say for the past 2 days. I've been reading article after article that starts with something like "Stephanie Phillips lost her battle with cancer" . I've tried to find the words to say, No, she didn't lose, she won. You've said it perfectly here. Steph didn't quit, she didn't stop fighting, and she didn't lose.
A side note: For every time you and your mom have said you are blessed to have had Steph and her family in your life, just know that they are equally as blessed to have you, your Mom & Kenneth and your entire family in their lives.

Rebecca G. said...

This blog says it all. When my Sweet Ava developed a tumor, I must admit that for a brief moment I asked "Why us?". A whirlwind of emotions flooded through me. After the labwork, the xrays, ct scans, surgery, and the news that there is a 50% likelihood she may have recurring tumors or other systemic problems, I felt as if a black cloud had been placed over us. Then I prayed. I stopped asking, "Why us?" and instead began looking for the meaning into it all. I focused on the blessing this scare brought into my life. I reprioritized my life. Work will always be there but it is family and love that truly matters. I now enjoy and take in every moment with my sweet girl. At the end of the day, my faith has strengthened. Your blog has helped me so much. I feel that God is present as you write each line. Steph's (and your family's) story has been my an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for sharing her story with us.

Anonymous said...

Chrissy thank you so much for creating this blog. I am 34 and was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in December. In fact I am getting my chemotherapy now. I seen Stephanie in the doctors office now and then.
I also have 2 children and I know how hard it is to keep a smile on your face for the ones you love. I pray everyday and have many people praying for me also that I will win my battle with cancer.

Please keep me in your prayers.

Anonymous said...

Amen!! Steph is the winner! She has and will continue to touch lives through this wonderful blog.

Coach Phillips was a wonderful P.E. teacher for both of my sons at KHS. They both said that she was a wonderful teacher, kind and fair to all even though they might not have been the most athletic people in the class. She cared about all students! For this I am grateful.

She is with Jesus, safe in his arms with no more pain!!

My prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time!

Anonymous said...

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)

D C said...

She did win but their is no I in team. She had a great team that will continue to win together as they help watch over those beautiful boys. I love that you are changing the blog and know Steph would love it too...xoxoxo Dana

Anonymous said...

Wow, all I can say Chrissy is that Steph and her family were blessed to have you and your family to be there for them. We would all be so blessed to have a friend like you. I have no doubt you made their lives more comfortable through all the rough times. My daughter and Steph played AAU volleyball in HS. Our two families would travel together to the out of town matches and share motel rooms. Those were the "good times". I know that you have many "good times" to remember. God bless your aching heart. Patt Stewart

J. Walker said...

Chrissy, you and your family are wonderful people! Your family and Steph's family are lucky and blessed to have each other!

J. Walker said...

Chrissy, you and your family are wonderful people! Your family and Steph's family are lucky and blessed to have each other!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I have only followed a short time but what a special voice you have been...I look forward to hearing about her little ones...What a we have a hard time understanding, but some day we will

Anonymous said...

I had the opportunity to play AAU ball with Stephanie many years ago and attended SBU while she was there. I remember even then, it was known when the time was running down, we wanted the ball in Steph's hands. She didn't know how to was not in her make-up. Even then, I knew that God had greater plans for her. Her make-up was special. In life, and in Steph's passing, she walked out in victory. Stephanie's legacy won't be the wins she had, the shots she drained, or the records she set. Her legacy is the young women, colleagues, friends, family that she poured her life into and demonstrated the light of her coach, Jesus Christ. Those individuals will be forever changed, and be better people, for having known her. The moment God placed Steph upon this earth, he knew this moment would come. He was preparing her for it. We don't understand on this side of heaven why, but someday we will clearly see when we stand at heaven's doors the people she impacted. Well, done faithful servant, well done........I can imagine God whispering that to her. She has won........the victory is the Lord's and Steph's. Thank you God that you are glorified even in hard circumstances.
I pray that God continues to watch over Scot and the boys. God has left a dear gift in Steph's legacy in her boys and those around her who can share with them how their momma impacted their lives as they grow. May God bless you and keep you. Thank you Jesus that we will all meet again someday.
Stacy Romaine

Dianna said...

Thank you for creating this blog and sharing this powerful story! She has Won! and Won something more wonderful than anything on earth could provide. I am glad that you will continue the story even if it is in a different form. I didn't know Stephanie well as she was diagnosed just as I came to the school but her spirit was everywhere in the halls of KHS. Her legacy will live on forever in many forms. She showed true strength and never gave up and left a powerful message behind! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to keep reading on in the lives of Scot, Drew and Levi. Thank you for your time spent blessing us with your sharing of Coach Phillips' journey. Your words mean so much to all of us!

Oh you are so right...SHE WON!! Amen!

Rebekah said...

When my mom passed away from breast cancer four years ago, this verse was such an encouragement to us and testament of my mom's life. I think it is very fitting for Steph as well.

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."


Jason and Simona Kelley said...

Dear Chrissy, Thank you! It has been our honor to read this blog, to walk aside you and God you to express Steph's and our feelings as we walked through this journey. I hated to see the first reports that came out in the news that Steph's lost her battle. She WON and now is with the King of King's and Lord of Lord's. Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.

Kimberly said...

having a mother with cancer...this was beautifully written. thank you.