Sixteen is one of those ages that everyone dreams of.
Of course, it’s a time when most teens get their driver’s license, some will have a boyfriend or girlfriend, many will have jobs, and all of them will be knee deep in high school homework.
For this 16-year-old, that carefree and excitingly miserable time in a person’s life came to a speedy halt, shortly after her 16th birthday. It was the type of halt that you’d experience in the passenger seat with a new driver. Only, instead of joking about seeing your life flash before your eyes, this girl’s life really was slipping away from her.
In November of 2015, Amzie Smith started experiencing super intense pain in her abdomen. Over the course of a couple of days, the 16-year-old visited doctors and specialists, then spent a week and a half in the hospital.
Numerous tests and biopsies later, Amzie had an answer.
She was diagnosed with stage four adult liver cancer. The disease is extremely rare in adults, and pretty much unheard of in children. Doctors immediately suggested chemo, and in no time, the high schooler who was just celebrating Halloween days before, was undergoing intense cancer treatments.
Like most girls her age, Amzie absolutely loved her hair. And like most women of any age, she believed for a long time that her hair was what made her pretty.
One day while brushing her hair out after a shower, Amzie was left with a chunky bald spot on the side of her head. Many tears shed and a buzz-cut later, she was left feeling exposed and hideous. It was then that Amzie quickly learned the truth—her hair had nothing to do with her beauty, or how people loved her.
Around the same time she was losing her hair and coping with the reality of living with cancer, doctors told Amzie and her family that she most likely had less than a year to live. She had a ticking time bomb nestled inside of her, and the prognosis was grim.
In an attempt to wrap her head around how she could best live the rest of her awfully short life, Amzie did the only thing she knew she needed to do.
For many of us, if we were to receive the news that we had a year of life left, we’d likely jump into living every single second to the absolute fullest. I know I would probably make a list of all of the things I could possibly want to do or see in this life and go to every length to achieve as many of them as possible.
But not Amzie.
Instead of jumping into life, she jumped into the Bible. Amzie says she thought long and hard about whether or not she would go to heaven, and in realizing that she desperately needed to spend more time with God, her pursuit became much greater than her fear of the unknown.
She said that her goal was to make it to her 17th birthday, which she did last month.
“I honestly believe this disease is God’s purpose for me,” she said. “Some people spend their whole lives looking for their purpose. I have found mine. I’ll use what time I have left talking about Him.”
Hearing someone so young talk about her love for the Lord and her admiration for who He is in her life is genuinely inspiring. Amzie says that God is the love of her life, because most people have their entire lives to fall in love with things and people. She might not get the chance to grow up and find a husband, but no matter what, God loves her more than any person ever could.
Preach it girlfriend! We are so inspired by Amzie’s faith journey, and her empowering words of wisdom. Join us in praying for this beautiful soul.