Anna’s Faith Story

My name is Anna Farrell. I grew up in Antioch, IL, north of Chicago; surrounded by family, doing sports, theater, and music. At 7 years old my mother went through round 2 of cancer (Hotchkiss Lymphoma). I lost both of my grandpas by the age of 15. Between the ages of 11 and 17 I had been on 4 choir tours around the world. By the time I was 18 years old, I had sung in over 15 languages singing with peers my own age from Norway, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and many more. I got into Bethel University, “up north” in the Twin Cities and received the highest vocal scholarship. By the time I graduated high school in 2008, my ego was the size of this room, my faith rock solid. The next chapter of my life begins in November of 2008 my freshman year at Bethel.

In November 2008 I found out I had permanent vocal nodes which are bumps on your vocal chords. I had been singing chorally since the age of 7, music was how I defined myself. At 18 years old, after 11 years of blood, sweat, and tears I had to start from scratch, I was devastated. Fast-forward 2 months, January 2009 I received a call from my mother letting me know she was diagnosed with Leukemia. This would be my mother’s 3rd and final battle with cancer. Not only did I feel inept to be music major, I was now hours away from family and my mom. Over the summer I helped take care of mom, we cried, laughed, and watched a lot of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Skip to Friday, 5 days before classes my sophomore year; I spoke to my mom on the phone. We talked about her excitement of coming up for a visit in a few weeks. Little did we realize this would be our last conversation. Early Sunday morning my dad rushed my mom to the hospital. Over the next 24 hours my mom would end up on a breathing tube. Monday night back in MN, with my roommates and other friends I received a phone call from my dad. He called to tell me my mom wouldn’t make it through the night. The next morning my dad called me at 8am to inform me that mom had passed away at 7am September 1st, 2009.

This phone call drastically altered my world. The intimate relationship I had with God fell to pieces. As I began to shout and cry at God I found myself in front of Jesus, I remember grabbing the front of His clothes with my fists and shouting and cursing in his face. I remember asking Him again and again why, why? I remember looking at His face and seeing tears. Eventually I ended up on the floor in His arms sobbing. As I sobbed in His arms, He held me and cried, and I heard over and over again, Oh my Beloved, Oh my Beloved. I was vulnerable and emotionally naked before God and all He did was hold me, weep with me, and love me even after the things I had said to Him.

My journey since losing my mom along with many other losses over the past 9/10 years have been filled with deep sorrow, years of therapy, and learning who God truly is. I am learning to live and be made new in the love, hope, and grace of Christ. There are a lot of reasons I could give you to justify me giving up but God has so much more for me, He is making me new with every new obstacle and victory. I will see my mom again in Heaven; we will make music again both of us with renewed bodies in Christ.