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He is My Strength

This piece was originally published in November 2011 by Inheritance of Hope Co-Founder Kristen Milligan. Kristen passed away from a rare liver cancer in 2012, but her legacy remains through her vision of serving other families like her own.

 

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 28:7

 

In January, I began training for the 2011 Marine Corp Marathon.  I had exactly ten months to prepare myself to finish 26.2 miles in less than seven hours.  I worried from day one.  I had spent the previous months recovering from a brutal surgery where doctors removed cancerous tumors from my chest cavity, the lining of my heart, my lungs, my diaphragm, and my esophagus. 

 

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A Letter to be Read at My Memorial Service

October 26th, 2019, marks the seventh anniversary of Kristen's death. She revised the letter below in February 2012.
 
Dear loved ones,
 
Watch Kristen's story in 4 minutesAs I write this I admit feeling a little sad. Sad because my greatest earthly desire was to grow old with Deric … 17 years of marriage was not nearly long enough. Sad because it is a mother’s job to be there to comfort her child when that child experiences her first broken heart, or when he sits on the bench during a much-anticipated game. Sad because my heart hurts to think I will not be there to share in my children’s joys and inevitable accomplishments, their weddings, or for the births of their own children. Sad to leave my mom and my sister with yet another loss after the premature death of my dad. Despite the sadness this illness has brought, when I consider my life I quickly realize that God has blessed me abundantly … how can I feel anything except overwhelming thankfulness?
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My Reasons for Starting Inheritance of Hope

My Reasons for Starting Inheritance of Hope
Inheritance of Hope was founded in 2007 by Kristen and Deric Milligan, and although Kristen passed away in 2012, her legacy is timeless.  I am a woman fighting a terminal diagnosis of stage 4 liver cancer.  But this does not define me.  I am also a w...
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Divine Visitor - November 2016

This post was originally shared by Inheritance of Hope co-founder Kristen Milligan in November of 2010.  As we prepare for our largest New York City Legacy Retreat® yet (21 families), we look back at her reflections from the first Legacy Retreat® there.

 

"They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.”  -- Daniel 3:27

 

As I write this devotional, Inheritance of Hope is hosting its first Legacy Retreat® in New York City.  My prayer is that the seven families gathered there are being blessed with memories, community, and support, just as my life has been changed by these blessings at previous Legacy Retreats®.  This is the first Legacy Retreat® which I have not attended, and my heart hurts to miss meeting the families God has brought together this weekend.  Instead I am home recovering from a difficult surgery, feeling broken and useless despite wonderful family support and an ever-patient and encouraging husband.  I know those of you who have battled illness and the inevitable treatments know what I am feeling.

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Quiet Prayer - January 2013

Inheritance of Hope co-founder Kristen Milligan died on October 26, 2012. The following is part of a Bible study series she wrote. If your church, Bible study, team, or group has interest in experiencing together this study from Kristen's unique perspective as a nine-year cancer survivor, simply contact aaron@InheritanceOfHope.org.

My plan for each week is for you to have four days of study and one day set aside for prayer or to catch up on a day missed. Perhaps this could be the day of a longer run. With three young children, our home is rarely quiet. I have recently

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"Lazarus, Come Out" - December 2012

Inheritance of Hope co-founder Kristen Milligan died on October 26. The following is part of a Bible study series she wrote. If your church, Bible study, team, or group has interest in experiencing together this study from Kristen's unique perspective as a nine-year cancer survivor, simply contact aaron@InheritanceOfHope.org.

It is said that if Jesus had not used Lazarus’ name when he called him from the grave,

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A Great Man of Weakness - November 2012

Inheritance of Hope co-founder Kristen Milligan died on October 26. The following is part of a Bible study series she wrote. If your church, Bible study, team, or group has interest in experiencing together this study from Kristen's unique perspective as a nine-year cancer survivor, simply contact aaron@InheritanceOfHope.org.

We will continue our study of strength in weakness by focusing on the character Gideon, the fifth judge chosen by God to defeat the enemies of Israel in the Book of Judges. Gideon was a man of undisputed weakness. He was the youngest, or weakest, member of the weakest family in the weakest tribe of Israel. It could be argued that he was indeed the weakest man in all of Israel. But it is this man that God chose to

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A Personal Story of Weakness - October 2012

Inheritance of Hope co-founder Kristen Milligan died on October 26. The following is part of a Bible study series she wrote. If your church, Bible study, team, or group has interest in experiencing together this study from Kristen's unique perspective as a nine-year cancer survivor, simply contact aaron@InheritanceOfHope.org.

As I felt led to run a marathon, I looked into the training program that was suggested by our wise Team IoH leader, Lisa, and I quickly realized that the training itself was far from my reach.  The first week began with a five mile trek, and I was having difficulty walking down the driveway.

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Liveweak - September 2012

The following is part of Inheritance of Hope co-founder Kristen Milligan's Bible study series. If your church, Bible study, team, or group has interest in experiencing together this study from Kristen's unique perspective as a nine-year cancer survivor, simply contact Aaron@InheritanceOfHope.org.

I have come across many people in the past several years who talk excitedly about a very exclusive club -- the Cancer Club. There is no ID card or dues expected when you are a member of this club. There are no official meetings, no speakers, no banquets.  The only requirement to join is an unexpected and dreaded diagnosis. It is, in essence, an imaginary club with very real members. Members who are hurting and afraid.

I have always found talk about this club a bit odd. I was resistant to joining, but apparently once you qualify you have no choice.

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Celebrating 5 Years of Hope - May 2012

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