By KANDY MASON
Trusting God through the ups and downs
I know God has a plan for me. I just don’t know what it is. While I wait for His plan to unfold, many events in my life remind me of His faithful grace.
At age 15, I witnessed my father die from a massive heart attack. I adored my father. Even though I begged God to save him, He didn’t. In my grief, I cried out to God that I hated Him, and vowed to punish Him for taking my dad. I spent the next 12 years drinking heavily and praying for God to help me. Unbeknownst to me, others were praying for me as well.
In 1984, I began attending First Baptist Church Jackson (FBCJ), where I met Cathy Jeffcoats. Cathy was an angel that God sent to help save my life. She recommended a counselor to me named Nicki Chisholm, who advised me to pick a “life verse” — a Bible verse to live by that will keep me focused on Him.
I chose Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
This life verse helped me remember that it’s God’s plan, I’m not alone, and that prayer brings me to the fullness of His grace.
I have always wanted to have a family. I met the most wonderful man, Clay, while working as the manager at The Courthouse Racquet and Fitness Club. We married in 1990. Within two years I had three miscarriages. The doctors said we would never carry a pregnancy. During this time, I often stopped at the cemetery and, sitting by my father’s grave, asked for God’s forgiveness and the strength to handle this as a Christian. He answered. I started an infertility group that met for three years. I met some amazing couples.
God also blessed me with children in other ways. Cathy asked me to teach fifth-grade Sunday school, which I couldn’t believe after my past. I taught and was blessed for 14 years by the children. In 2016, a friend asked for help opening a new childcare in Ridgeland at Christ Life Church of the Highlands called Lifekids, and I left FBCJ. Within six months, Lifekids went from eight children to 150. I felt so blessed and loved working with the children.
An amazing turn of events occurred in 2005. We were given custody of a 10-year-old boy, Timothy, and became parents. Timothy is now 25 and still a huge part of our lives.
My life, so full of God’s grace, took a dramatic turn in 2013 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A year later, my mother died. My siblings and I were there praying by her side as she went to be with Jesus. Recalling how awful it felt to witness my father’s death many years earlier, I now consider myself blessed that God allowed me to be with both my parents as they went home.
In January this year, after being told my cancer should never return, I was told it had spread to my bones. As always, my precious family and friends supported me. I was forced to take a medical retirement so I would not be exposed to sick children or risk bone injuries. This was devastating. I had been working since the age of 12 and loved going to work every day. God reminds us in Psalm 127:3 that children are a gift. My work was a joy!
I have an amazing family. My husband of almost 30 years is my best friend. God has been so good to me. We now attend Brandon Baptist Church and adore Dr. Cooper and our Sunday school class. I pray one day I can get involved again with children’s ministry. But for now, that’s not God’s plan. The ups and downs are hard, but with prayer, I will be patient and trust in God’s time.
Kandy and Clay Mason live in the country in Brandon. They take care of nine abandoned dogs, three horses, a pig, three ducks, 15 to 20 chickens, a parrot, a turtle, come-and-go cats and seven goldfish. In Kandy’s retirement, she has enjoyed spending time with Clay, Timothy and her large extended family.