Welcome to our first blog post at The Norway Center Store!
Whether you have heard our story from the beginning or are just joining us, you will quickly see that Faith Over Fear is the mantra poured throughout our store, and our lives.
You see in March of 2017, my little sister, Angie Hazel, was abruptly diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer of Unknown Primary at the age of 25. As she fought through the weight of that diagnosis, Angie quickly clung to the phrase, Faith Over Fear. During her battle against cancer, she showed us exactly what that mantra meant to her and lived the remainder of her days choosing Faith Over Fear.
Faith Over Fear is not just a cute, catchy little phrase about God. Truly choosing a life of Faith Over Fear means you are handing over your worries and fears. It means you are deciding to focus on the positive. It is placing your trust into God even when it seems impossible. It is making a conscious decision each and every day to fight for your peace and believe that the best is yet to come.
For my little sister, she showed this action through her kindness to everyone even through her final days. She showed this through her focus on Jesus through the pain and unanswered questions. She lived her days choosing happiness, to make the most of the time she had, despite the fears of the unknown.
After she passed, our family tried to absorb what happened. We tried to grasp the why and the how and figure out what to do after such a tremendous heartbreak. And as we reflected, we saw the way God held us up through the battle. We saw how He placed people and events in our path as God Things lighting our way through the impossible. And through that reflection and the stories that came out about her life after she was gone, we saw how Angie was a light to so many others, a God Thing herself.
As we worked through the grief that first year, we started writing down our thoughts and feelings. What developed was our book, “Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home,” a book that brings the reader through Angie’s battle with her own words from her CaringBridge journal and our perspectives as her sisters, mother and fiancé, watching her fight. Our initial hope for the book was to share Angie’s message of Faith Over Fear and to help others know they are not alone in their grief.
Since the release of the book, we have been overwhelmed with the response. So many people are hearing our message and are opening up about their own story of grief and heartbreak. We pray the healing that has been sparked by this story will continue to spread like wildfire.
We are continuing Angie’s legacy by consciously choosing Faith Over Fear in our own lives. For my sister, Cassy and I, that included jumping into our own dreams. We always hoped to one day open a store where we could sell our handmade and repurposed creations and that of other small makers. After Angie passed, we were slapped with the reality that life is short and decided to end the excuses. With the support of our mom, Anita, we opened this little store, The Norway Center Store in August of 2018. Taking that big leap to put ourselves and our creations out into the world was Faith Over Fear in action.
Likewise, for the vendors that have joined us. Each month, we are blessed to feature the handmade creations of several talented makers. Some are retired or working moms, doing this as a side-gig, others have taken the plunge to do this work full-time, each has a hope and a dream and has chosen to be brave and put themselves out there. They have chosen Faith Over Fear and are working to bring their dreams to life.
As we grow The Norway Center Store we intend to keep Angie’s message of Faith Over Fear as the forefront of our business and our lives. This message is not just for the toughest moment in our lives, it is for every moment.
Hi! I'm Jessy, one of the co-owners of Purpose + Grit and co-authors of the book Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home. I share my life with my husband Kyle, our three kids, Ally, Charley and Rad and our German Shephard, Roxy. You will usually find me with coffee in my cup and paint on my clothes, tackling one of my many projects 15 minutes at at time.