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Finding Faith When She Needed It Most

With her husband battling cancer, she struggled to find her faith–until an angelic cashier pointed the way.

By Paula Dyer, Stillwater, New Jersey

As appeared in

"Faith Will See Us Through." The words were engraved on a plaque on the wall of the hospital chemotherapy center where my husband, John, got his treatment. Good advice, but faith wasn’t always so easy to hold onto.

Shopping for last-minute Christmas gifts I felt my worries begin to take over. It was hard to watch my husband go through this. I stopped right there in the aisle of the gift store and looked down at my empty palm.

It was a little trick I’d devised for moments like these. When I felt overwhelmed I imagined the word faith written on my palm. But when I tried it today, the word seemed hazy and dim.

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Disappointed, I went back to my shopping. I found a Victorian ornament for my mother-in-law and an angel for my friend Valerie. I headed to the register. There on the counter was a big bowl full of “spirit stones,” polished rocks with words like courage or gratitude engraved on the smooth surface.

I dug through the bowl. I knew the word I needed to find. “I guess you don’t have what I’m looking for,” I said to the clerk.

“Oh!” she said. “Here’s one more.” She reached around and picked up a stone that had fallen on the counter where I couldn’t see. She dropped it in the palm of my hand. It fit as if made just for me. The word engraved on it? Faith.


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