‘Little House on The Prairie’ Star Reveals How She Overcame Brain Tumor
As a toddler, Wendi Lou Lee starred in one of the most unforgettable Christian and family-friendly television shows: “Little House on the Prairie.”
Now, 45 years later, her recently-released book, A Prairie Devotional, is a mixture of a one-of-a-kind inside glimpse as well as a devotional that draws on Scripture and God to look back on the iconic show’s biggest themes.
“I want [readers] to be inspired to live like Charles and Caroline Ingalls,” Lee said during a recent The Pure Flix Podcast interview. “To be devoted to their faith and dedicated to their families — their love for their families. And then also, really be determined to spread kindness to the people around them.”
The Ingalls’ Hope
She continued, “That is what Charles and Caroline Ingalls did.” Their hope, Lee said, was “to live this life, to the best of their ability, honoring their faith in God. But also just being good to the people around them.”
Listen to Lee’s powerful, personal story:
Her new book weaves together anecdotes and her memories from the show with scripture and biblical themes in a way that fans of the show will start to think deeper on events in the episodes.
Lee explained that if it wasn’t for a brain tumor diagnosis, surgery and recovery, she might have never written the book.
“I think that our most difficult circumstances are usually the moments when we discover who we truly are and why God put us on this earth,” she said, reflecting on her 2015 diagnosis.
The Grim News
After weeks of symptoms and side effects, she recalled a profound peace and calm when doctors told her the grim news.
“It was very hopeless. But once I found out about the tumor it was almost a relief, because I knew there was an answer,” she said. “I went into surgery just with this peace and this calm in knowing that God had a plan — and, possibly, that He was trying to reveal something to me.”
Despite her peace, others struggled with her diagnosis.
“Everyone around me was so fearful. And I just kept saying, ‘It’s ok, God’s got me,'” Lee said. “It was this peace that doesn’t make sense. You know they say, “the peace that passes all understanding”? Well, I can’t believe how true that that peace was for me.”
It was after the surgery and her recovery that she told her twin sister (who also played the role of “Grace” on “Little House”) that she wanted to write a book.
Planned From the Beginning
“She kind of looked at me like I was crazy. But I thought the book that I was gonna write was a memoir, or just a book about my surgery and what I’d learned. And, slowly, that kind of changed. And I’m so glad that it did,” Lee said. “My faith in God is everything to me. And when I found out that this tumor was inside of me, I just thought, ‘Is this what You planned from the very beginning?’”
Lee said she never felt she had a strong faith story, and felt it was pretty typical. But her experience did, indeed, offer up lessons for others to learn.
Billy Hallowell has worked as a journalist and commentator for more than a decade. He is the director of communications and content for PureFlix.com, the former senior editor at Faithwire.com and the former faith and culture editor at TheBlaze.
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