Wednesday, 31 October, 2007 12:30 PM
Thriving in the Face of Adversity:
Miracles in Action
What is the mystical
force that allows some people to prevail in the face of seemingly
insurmountable odds, such as surviving a death-defying accident
or to even overcome cancer? Some argue that miracles are responsible.
According to a Harris Poll, 73% of American adults believe in miracles,
with women more likely than men to be believers.
Dictionary defines a miracle as an extraordinary event manifesting
divine intervention in human affairs. Aurea McGarry, author of the
new book “I Won’t Survive...I’ll Thrive,”
believes that miracles truly do happen - and she is living proof.
McGarry believes divine
intervention helped her overcome great heartbreak, tremendous personal
loss and a terminal illness. When she was a teenager, her father
was brutally murdered forcing her and her mother to move from their
upscale Manhattan address to a cramped apartment. Even though she
was young, she worked hard and with great focus saved enough money
to help them return to Manhattan.
After moving to Florida
during college, she married a pastor’s son. He turned out
to be physically and verbally abusive. After gathering her courage
and leaving him, even more tragedy loomed on the horizon. Her mother
died of cancer and shortly afterwards, her brother was also diagnosed
and treated for cancer. Then the unthinkable happened; McGarry herself
was diagnosed with cancer.
Doctors told her she’d
never be able to speak above a whisper after surgery. This operation
removed her Thymus and half of her left lung, part of her right
lung, the lining around her heart and her left thoracic nerve to
her vocal chord. But did she give up hope? No! Standing strong she
kept hope alive while her second husband called everyone he knew
to pray for her.
“It is amazing
that you can really feel the power of people’s prayers,”
says McGarry. “It is a warm peace and joy inside your spirit
that is unexplainable and wonderful—I felt the prayers so
strongly that I began to feel a peace and energy.”
McGarry is not alone
in her unshakeable faith in the healing power of miracles. According
to a Newsweek poll, a whopping 72% of Americans surveyed believe
that God can cure people who’ve been given no chance of survival
by medical doctors. While many scientists are not convinced about
the benefits of prayer or miracles, those who’ve been in McGarry’s
situation cling to their beliefs.
“I recovered from
a killer disease,” says McGarry. “So if you face a terminal
illness, a debilitating injury, a divorce or any other emotionally
wrenching problem, why not believe in a miracle? Honestly, why not
a miracle for you? Whether we receive one or not, we live each day
better for keeping hope alive.”
Aurea believes she endured
those traumatic challenges for a greater purpose; to share her survival
mechanisms with others who are struggling. She encourages people
who are facing enormous obstacles and challenges to avoid slipping
into denial and to adopt a positive attitude. As she so aptly states,
a positive attitude can build you up. Negativity will tear you down.
Perhaps the ability to even believe in the positive when facing
grief and adversity is actually the miracle so many of us hope to
ABOUT AUREA MCGARRY
Aurea McGarry was born
in New York City in 1961. She enjoyed an upscale lifestyle in Manhattan
until her father was brutally murdered when she was fifteen years
old. Forced to give up her upscale life, she entered the work force
at a young age.
McGarry attended college
and also studied at the New York Academy of Theatrical Arts. She’s
had great entrepreneurial success with a leading cosmetics company.
She believes her focus on business is what helped her leave an abusive
She lost her mother to
cancer only to be diagnosed with cancer herself years later. After
surgery, and grueling chemo, doctors told her she’d never
be able to speak again above a whisper. She has been cancer free
for years now and can talk despite the grim diagnosis. McGarry went
on to become Mrs. U.S. Beauty of Georgia in 2003. She lives in the
Atlanta area with her husband, Brian and their daughter and grand-daughter.