Girlfriends in God - November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011
A Courageous Beauty Queen
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God … (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV).

Friend to Friend
Katie was born in Wichita, Kansas, a petite blond-headed pride and joy to the Signaigo family. In the following years, two more baby girls were born, and the Signaigo quiver was full. Katie grew up enjoying all the frills and thrills of childhood. She loved school and church activities, swimming and running, and most of all, she loved her friends.

Katie was only nine years old when she noticed a lump by her left ankle that wouldn’t go away. The soreness would come and go, but the lump remained. For more than a year she and her mom were in and out of doctors’ offices trying to figure out what this mysterious lump was all about. Two years later, eleven-year-old Katie was diagnosed with cancer, and her leg was removed just below the knee. She felt as though her life was over.

“No one will ever love me or want to marry me!” young Katie cried to her mom. “My life will never be the same. What am I going to do? People will laugh at me and make fun of me. I’ll never be able to walk or run again. I’m going to have to live the rest of my life in a wheelchair!”

“Oh, precious,” her mother spoke in assuring tones. “You will get married one day. You are a beautiful girl. You will run and swim and do all the things you’ve always loved doing. You are not going to be in a wheelchair, but have a prosthetic leg that will allow you to do all the things you did before. No, your life will not be the same, but it will be great. You’ll see. We’ll get through this together.”

As a precaution, Katie went through chemotherapy for one year. Besides losing her leg, Katie also lost all of her beautiful blond hair. “When is this ever going to end?” she cried.

Eventually, Katie’s hair grew back, she learned to walk with a prosthesis, and life returned to a new kind of normal. However, no one—absolutely no one but her immediate family—saw Katie’s leg. She kept her prosthesis hidden from the world.

But then God began nudging Katie to return to the hospital where she had her surgery to talk to other children facing similar ordeals. She put her fears aside and visited the cancer ward and showed her leg to a girl named Amanda.

“Here, go ahead and touch it,” Katie said. “It’s okay.” And Katie saw something flicker in Amada’s eyes. It was hope.

Since that time Katie and her mom have made many visits to the hospital, telling children and their parents about what to expect and sharing hope. Together they are taking their scars, both physical and emotional, and investing in others.

Katie graduated from high school and attended the University of Central Arkansas. While there, she watched an Oprah program that featured Aimee Mullins, a double amputee who had become an athlete and a model. This amputee even showed various prostheses she used for different occasions.

So Katie decided it was time to stop hiding her leg from the world, and she did it in a big way. She entered the Miss University of Central Arkansas pageant! She participated in the talent, evening gown, and interview competitions. But Katie won the hearts of the crowd when she proudly walked down the catwalk in the bathing suit competition. There have been many tearful moments as pageant sponsors have placed the crowns on a winner’s head, but I dare say there was never a more precious moment than when Katie Signaigo was crowned Miss UCA.

 “We are all cracked pots in some way or other,” Katie told a group of ladies at a women’s gathering. “We all have our unique flaws. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Look for the positive things in life. Don’t let yourself dwell in the bad things. This has been the greatest blessing in my life.”

Like with Katie, often God uses our biggest struggles as a springboard for ministry. Listen closely. Is God calling you to use what you’ve gone through to encourage others with the hope and healing of Jesus Christ?

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, sometimes I get stuck when life doesn’t turn out the way I thought it would. Help me to be a woman who refuses to say, “Why me?” but rejoices in saying “What now?” Show me how to turn my pain into purpose and my miseries into ministry.
 In Jesus' name,

Now It’s Your Turn
What does 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 tell you about how God wants you use what you have gone through to help other people.  Are you willing to do that? I hope so!

Today, pray that God will show you what He wants you to do with what you’ve learned in difficult times.  If you feel God calling you to minister to others, but aren’t sure how to begin, Your Scars are Beautiful to Godwill walk you through the steps to begin.

I’d love to hear how God has taken a painful situation in your life and turned it into a ministry to help others.  Let’s share at

More from the Girlfriends
Do you find yourself longing to hear God’s voice – not as a once-in-a-lifetime experience but on a daily basis?  If so, Sharon’s new 15-Minute Devotional book, Listening to God Day-by-Day,will help you do just that. It is an expanded version of the smaller book, Extraordinary Moments with God. In it you will find 100 devotions to help you become a woman who detects God’s still small voice in all of life. This is a warm, fun, tender look at recognizing some of the wonderful and unexpected ways God reaches out to us in the middle of busy days..

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Originally published Wednesday, 16 November 2011.