Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:1-2)
When we face difficulties, fears rise and try to rule our lives. These fears can cause us to doubt our beliefs, turning us away from God.
But God reaches out and offers a different way. God says, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine” (Isaiah 43:1). Sara Prigge finds her courage in these promises from God.
Sara and her husband, Pastor Chad Prigge, minister to many university students and families at Fellowship Baptist Church in Watertown, WI. God gave them six children, and you can count on receiving a friendly smile and kind word when you interact with anyone in this special family. Life in the Prigge home took an unexpected turn during May 2016 when Sara was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
“There were times when our home seemed to run in slow motion,” recalls Sara. “But when I first recognized the test results, I knew God had chosen this path for us.”
So began the “refining process,” as Sara calls this time in her own life and the lives of her family.
“A refining process implies a limited duration, attentive oversight, an eternal purpose, and a valuable product,” says Sara. “We do not have to be afraid.”
Family of Believers
Through this process God has walked with Sara each step of the way, using His family of believers and promises from His Word to meet needs.
“God showed us how He was going to help us even before we shared the diagnosis with others,” says Sara. “For example, one day shortly after we received the test results, God brought one man who tilled our garden, another individual who dropped off fresh fruit, and a third person who offered a special favor over the phone, all within three minutes. At that point, I knew we were surrounded and infiltrated by the family of believers, and the Lord was going to fortify us with His people.”
“Some helps have been tangible such as meals, financial gifts, cards, or fresh vegetables,” says Sara.
For example, individuals from all over the world sent thoughtful cards in the mail, MBU students cleared the garden beds and raked the leaves, and the administrator and teachers at Calvary Baptist Christian School welcomed the four youngest Prigge children.
In addition to these tangible gifts that have met various physical needs, many individuals have shared intangible gifts that God has used to meet emotional and spiritual needs.
“When we needed to make a decision on the treatment path to follow, two friends texted me the same verse within an hour’s time frame,” says Sara. “God used this verse to remind us that He would show us the path to take.”
These friends represent only two of many individuals who have shared songs, stories, poems, and verses that have encouraged Sara and her family at just the right times.
“On one particular day, I was lying in the emergency room and could not form the words to a prayer because I did not know what to ask of God. It was at this moment that a friend from Connecticut, completely unaware of my current situation, sent a text with the exact words to her own prayer for me. God used these words to refresh me, and I then used my friend’s prayer as my own. God provided a prayer for me when I did not know what to say.”
At times, Sara is most encouraged by opportunities she finds to serve other people.
“Even in times of weakness, others have not disqualified me but have allowed me to serve them. The Lord gives great healing when we are able to minister to other people.”
Promises of God
“When people are struggling physically, absorbing new truths can be difficult,” says Sara. “I find myself relying on old familiar verses, and they have been an oasis during these desert times.”
Sara rests in the words of Isaiah 43:1-4 as one such oasis.
“In these verses, God describes His credentials and His character, and I am reminded that I should not fear my Refiner. He promises that when I pass through the waters, He will be with me. I will be enhanced, not consumed, so I can rest with complete confidence in His process and outcome.”
God’s people, promises, and presence help Sara confidently say, “I’m not afraid.”
Please continue to pray for the Prigge family and visit their fundraising page for the latest updates: GoFundMe