We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassie Rhoda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassie, what do you want your legacy to be?
For twelve years, my whole adult life, my legacy seemed to be lost in the blankets of my bed as I was homebound and mostly bed bound from a severe, progressive chronic illness. I kind of lost hope for leaving a lasting legacy. I was fighting a battle to just survive so leaving a legacy didn’t even seem possible to me. Honestly, I was really ready to die and get the pain over with. Thankfully, I kept fighting.
Three years ago, my miracle happened and that chronic illness that had me chained to a life of suffering, vanished after a stroke at the age of 32. The mysterious stroke had healed miraculously on its own, leaving no damage and revealed the spot of my brain that had created the chronic illness I had since I was a teen. When the spot on my brain healed miraculously, after the stroke, so did the chronic illness. A true miracle that no doctors could explain except that it could only be God.
Today, I have a new perspective on life and legacy. There was purpose in my pain. My painful story lead to a unique ministry helping others find hope in suffering through Gospel inspired art and writing. Everything I do from this point on is to bring others out of the dark places and restore to them hope, beauty in the broken, joy, and freedom in Jesus name. When people remember me I want them to say I fought for others when they had no fight left and inspired others to do the same. That I was a woman of faith, love, compassion, and tenacity. The woman willing to sacrifice and serve others, just like Jesus, in order to love and save those hurting. I hope to reveal beauty and joy, not dependent on our circumstances, to a broken world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I never even picked up a paint brush until a little over a year ago. I always knew I was artistic and loved the arts but had never had the confidence to go for my dreams. Last year I went for it. Something told me to pick up the paint brush and try. Next thing you know, here I am with a full blown ministry and a start up business out of it. Many times I almost gave up out of frustration with the process. My family and friends encouraged me to keep fighting for this God-given dream. Many paintings were ruined, or so I thought, but I kept working diligently on them until the beauty was revealed. So many of my most successful paintings were the product of a “happy little accident” that I kept working through, choosing not to give up. A lot of my inspiration behind my paintings come from beauty found in scripture, but also from beautifully, delicate things I find in my daily life.
“Some of the most delicate things in life are also the most beautiful.”-Cassie Rhoda
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When I’m not serving and hanging out with my friends at Life.Church Colorado Springs, I’m usually having breakfast with my best friend at Urban Egg on Friday mornings or going on “coffee walk and talks” with my teenage daughter as part of our homeschool routine. My husband, daughter, and I love to walk with our Goldendoodle, Lady, to Loyal Coffee on Saturdays, grab coffee and walk through The Farm neighborhood talking about our week and ordering in from Shri-Ganesh and playing the board game Clue.
One of our favorite recent memories was taking off on the week of Christmas 2020 to do a series of “Christmas Hikes.” We explored Ute Valley, Red Rocks, and lots more, but our favorite was a snowy hike up Spruce Mountain. The view was magical and you could see Colorado from so many angles.
We moved to Colorado Springs in April 2020 and still have so many fun things to explore in this beautiful city. I’m always looking for our next hiking place, new restaurant, and secret hangout in this amazing city full of beautiful people.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m so thankful for my friends and family at Life.Church Colorado Springs. We launched in August 2020 in the middle of a pandemic, and I can’t tell you how amazing it has been to have such a dedicated bunch of friends who are now family to do life with. I’m so thankful in the middle of this hard season that so many people have supported my family and I through this dream and ministry to keep sharing hope and light in the middle of suffering. I’m thankful for family who continues to support us on this journey even when it doesn’t make sense. Many times I wanted to throw in the towel and pursue something easier. That’s when my husband Phil and daughter Jalie reminded me of my why. To my best friend, LaShona, thank you for believing in me and fighting for me when I had no fight left. I wouldn’t be here today without the love of Jesus, and I’m so excited for what the future has in store.
LaShona Lay and Jalie Rhoda