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Laura Sobiech: Fly a Little Higher

Laura’s son Zach touched millions with his song, “Clouds,” while he battled cancer. She has written a book about her experience, “Fly a Little Higher." Read Transcript


WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

ZACH WAS JUST 17 YEARS OLD

WHEN HE FOUND FAME.

HIS SONG, "CLOUDS," BECOME

THE NUMBER ONE DOWNLOAD

ON iTUNES.

AND A SHORT DOCUMENTARY ON

HIS LIFE WAS VIEWED OVER

12 MILLION TIMES ON JUB.

YouTube.

BUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

ZACH AND OTHERS IS THAT ALL

OF THIS FAME CAME WHEN HE

WAS DYING OF CANCER.

Reporter: ZACH WAS 14

YEARS OLD WHEN HE WAS

DIAGNOSED WITH A RARE FORM

OF BONE CANCER.

IN 2012, AFTER NUMEROUS

SURGERIES AND TREATMENTS,

ZACH WAS TOLD HE ONLY HAD

MONTHS TO LIVE.

BEFORE ZACH LOST HIS BATTLE

IN 2013, HE WROTE A FAREWELL

SONG FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

CALLED "CLOUDS."

IT RECEIVED MORE THAN

11 MILLION HITS ON

YouTube, AND MADE HIM AN

INTERNET SENSATION.

BUT THERE IS MORE TO HIS

STORY.

IN HER BOOK, "FLY A LITTLE

HIGHER," ZACH'S MOM TELLS

HOW ZACH USED GOD TO INSPIRE

OTHERS.

AND SHE SHARES ZACH'S

MESSAGE THAT WE DON'T HAVE

TO FIND OUT WE'RE DYING TO

START LIVING.

Gordon: JOINING US NOW

IS ZACH'S MOM, LAURA SOBIAC,

AND WELCOME TO "700 CLUB

INTERACTIVE."

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

Gordon: YOU HAD TO PRAY

A VERY UNUSUAL PRAYER, AND

IT IS LIKE THE PRAYER OF

JESUS IN THE GARDEN OF

GETHSEMANE.

YES.

Gordon: WHERE YOU

LITERALLY SAID, LORD, I ASK

THIS CUP BE TAKEN AWAY, BUT

IF YOU DON'T, THEN YOU'RE

WILL BE DONE.

RIGHT.

Gordon: WHAT WAS IT

LIKE TO GO THROUGH THAT?

IT WAS AGONY.

IT REALLY WAS.

THERE WAS SO MUCH TURMOIL IN

MY SOUL AS I WAS TRYING TO

FIGURE OUT HOW TO PRAY.

BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, TRUSTING

GOD AND HIS WILL, YET HAVING

MY OWN PETITION, HOW THOSE

TWO WORK TOGETHER WAS A REAL

STRUGGLE FOR ME.

SO IN THE END, IT WAS

CHRIST'S PRAYER IN THAT

GARDEN THAT I FOUND TO BE

THE PERFECT PRAYER, BUT I

DID AMEND IT.

I PUT AN AMENDMENT ON IT.

Gordon: YOU STRUCK A

BARGAIN?

I DID.

I SAID, YOU KNOW, BUT, LORD,

IF YOU HAVE TO TAKE ZACH, IF

THAT IS PART OF THE PLAN,

THEN I JUST WANT IT TO BE

FOR SOMETHING BIG.

AND TRULY IN MY MIND

SOMETHING BIG WAS ONE SOUL

CHANGED FOREVER.

AND I DIDN'T HAVE TO SEE

THAT PERSON.

I JUST WANTED IT TO HAPPEN.

I WANTED IT TO BE FOR

SOMETHING.

AND THEN "CLOUDS" CAME INTO

OUR LIFE.

Gordon: LET'S TALK

ABOUT, I GUESS, THE JOURNEY

THAT YOU WENT THROUGH.

I SEE YOU AND ZACH INTERACT

IN THE VIDEO, AND THERE IS

THE OBVIOUS ALMOST TEL TEL

EPATHY GOING ON BETWEEN YOU

TWO, AND YOU'VE GOT YOUR

INNER SMILE, AND SO IT MUST

HAVE BEEN JUST DELIGHTFUL

RAISING ZACH.

IT WAS.

IT WAS A TRUE JOY.

Gordon: AND THEN YOU

FIND OUT THIS HORRIBLE

NEWS.

HE GOES FOR A RUN AND COMES

BACK AND SAYS HE HAS THIS

PAIN, AND THEN YOU FIND OUT

WHAT THAT WAS.

DURING THIS JOURNEY, I

ASSUME YOU ARE PRAYING ALL

THE WAY THROUGH?

THAT WAS A STRUGGLE FOR

ME, TOO.

BECAUSE, AS HIS MOTHER, I,

OF COURSE, WANTED HIM TO BE

HEALED, BUT I KIND OF DIDN'T

WANT TO SET MYSELF UP TO BE

DISAPPOINTED.

Gordon: WHAT, THAT GOD

WOULDN'T COMFORT YOU?

RIGHT, OR IF I PRAYED FOR

SOMETHING SPECIFIC, LIKE I

WANT THIS TUMOR TO

DISAPPEAR, IF IT DIDN'T

HAPPEN, WHERE WOULD IT LEAVE

ME IN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH

GOD?

BECAUSE THIS WAS A BIG THING

TO ASK FOR.

SO THE FIRST COUPLE OF

YEARS, ACTUALLY, I JUST

PRAYED FOR GOD'S GRACE TO

GET THROUGH THE TREATMENTS

AND FOR STRENGTH FOR OUR

FAMILY AND STRENGTH FOR

ZACH.

AND SO I GUESS THAT WAS SORT

OF THAT PRAYER THAT WE

TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, WHICH

WAS SORT OF THE CLIMAX OF

THAT STRUGGLE EN MY SOUL, OF

HOW TO I TRUST GOD AND WHAT

DO I PUT MY HOPE IN?

SO, ULTIMATELY, YES, IT

ENDED UP BEING A PRAYER FOR

HEALING, AND ALSO OF

SUBMITTING, AND THE GRACE TO

DO THAT.

Gordon: AND THEN YOUR

BARGAIN?

AND THEN MY BARGAIN,

YES.

Gordon: LORD, IF YOU

WANT HIM, IF THIS IS HIS

TIME, THEN I WANT IT TO MEAN

SOMETHING.

AND I THINK THROUGHOUT

OUR WHOLE STRUGGLE, OUR

WHOLE WALK WITH CANCER, JUST

SORT OF THE UNDERSTANDING

THAT SUFFERING WAS WORTH

SOMETHING, THAT WE WERE

WITNESSING OUR FAITH AND

GOD'S GRACE THROUGH OUR

SUFFERING.

YOU KNOW, AND I THINK THAT'S

KIND OF HOW I HANDLED IT

UNTIL THAT ONE MOMENT.

Gordon: IT MUST HAVE

BEEN EXTRAORDINARILY PAINFUL

FOR ZACH.

THERE IS A LONG LATIN NAME

FOR HIS CONDITION, BUT IT

COMES DOWN TO BONE CANCER.

RIGHT.

Gordon: WHICH MEANS YOU

CAN'T BEAR WEIGHT.

EVERY STEP WERE BE PAIN.

UH-HUH.

Gordon: I WOULD IMAGINE

TO THE END, JUST LYING THERE

IS PAIN.

YEAH.

IT WAS -- HE WENT THROUGH

INTENSE SUFFERING.

HE TRULY DID.

AND AS HIS MOTHER, WATCHING

HIM GO THROUGH THAT, THERE

WAS A PART OF ME THAT

NATURALLY NEEDED TO TAKE

CARE OF HIM.

AND SO THAT'S WHERE A LOT OF

MY ENERGY WENT.

AS I WAS WRITING THE BOOK

THAT I'VE WRITTEN, AND JUST

REFLECTING ON THAT

AFTERWARDS, THAT'S WHEN I

GOT THE REAL SENSE OF OH, HE

SUFFERED SO MUCH AND SO

WELL.

HE DIDN'T COMPLAIN.

AND THAT'S AMAZING TO ME.

Gordon: IT'S OBVIOUS,

WHEN YOU SEE THE VIDEO,

THERE IS STILL JOY ON HIS

FACE.

THERE IS A LIGHT ON HIS

FACE.

AND I LOVE HIS, QUOTE,"YOU

DON'T HAVE TO FIND OUT

YOU'RE DYING TO START

LIVING."

YEAH.

Gordon: DO YOU TAKE

COMMUNION DIFFERENTLY NOW?

YEAH, BECAUSE ZACH IS

PART OF THIS ETERNAL WORLD

NOW.

SO THERE IS A CONNECTION

THERE.

AND A BIGGER PICTURE.

I THINK THERE ARE SO MANY

PARTS OF OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH

THAT WE ARE TRAINED IN AND

WE PRACTICE, BUT THE REAL

MEANING AND THE HEART OF THE

MEANING COMES THROUGH

SUFFERING.

AND A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF

IT, A NEW LEVEL OF

UNDERSTANDING, SO, YES, I

HAVE A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF

IT.

Gordon: DO YOU HAVE A

NEW UNDERSTANDING OF MARY

STANDING AT THE CROSS,

WITNESSING ALL OF IT?

I CLUNG TO MARY

THROUGHOUT OUR JOURNEY.

MY BACKGROUND IS ROMAN

CATHOLIC, SO WE HAVE THE

ROSERY, AND AS A MOTHER,

WATCHING HER SON SUFFER, I

GAINED SO MUCH STRENGTH

THROUGH STANDING BY HER SIDE

AND WITNESSING MY SON.

Gordon: I SAW A VIDEO

WHERE SOMEONE CAME INTO YOUR

HOME AND HE SAID, I WAS

EXPECTING TO MEET ZACH.

BUT I WASN'T EXPECTING TO

HAVE MY LIFE CHANGED

COMPLETELY.

YEAH.

Gordon: AND SO YOUR

PRAYER GOT ANSWERED EVEN

BEFORE ZACH DIED.

OH, YEAH.

I THINK MY PRAYER WAS

ANSWERED THE MOMENT I SAID

ISAID IT WAS ME.

THAT'S WHERE I TIMELY GOT TO

HAVE THAT UNDERSTANDING AND

THAT PEACE AND JUST LETTING

GO AND LETTING GOD DO WHAT

HE WAS GOING TO DO AND BE

OKAY WITH THAT.

Gordon: WHY IS THAT SO

HARD FOR US TO DO?

WE ALWAYS THINK WE CAN RUN

THE UNIVERSE BETTER THAN

GOD.

YEAH.

AND I THINK I'VE DONE A LOT

OF CONTEMPLATING ON THAT,

TOO, AND TRYING TO

UNDERSTAND GOD'S WILL

BECAUSE IT IS TRICKY

SOMETIMES.

THE BEST PICTURE I CAN COME

UP WITH IS A PICTURE, A

PAINTING.

WE'RE EACH BRUSH STROKES,

AND WE GET SO FOCUSED

SOMETIMES ON THAT ONE BRUSH

STROKE, THAT WE FAIL TO

UNDERSTAND HOW WE AFFECT THE

WHOLE PICTURE.

AND THAT'S THAT ETERNAL

PICTURE THAT ONLY GOD CAN

SEE.

AND WE'RE LIMITED IN BEING

ABLE TO STEP BACK AND GRASP

IT.

THAT'S WHERE OUR FAITH COMES

IN, THAT WE ARE PART OF

SOMETHING BIGGER THAN JUST

OURSELVES.

AND WHATEVER IS GOING ON IN

OUR LIVES CAN STILL BE A

BEAUTIFUL PART OF THAT

PAINTING IF WE ALLOW IT.

IF WE ALLOW GOD'S GRACE TO

GUIDE OUR LIVES.

Gordon: WHAT WOULD YOU

SAY TO PARENTS WHO HAVE LOST

CHILDREN?

AND I KNOW IT HAS TO BE ONE

OF THE MOST HORRIBLE THINGS

A PARENT CAN GO THROUGH.

WE ALL EXPECT OUR CHILDREN

TO OUTLIVE US, AND WHEN THAT

DOESN'T HAPPEN, THAT DOESN'T

HAPPEN, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL

THEM?

THAT IS A REALLY HARD

QUESTION.

BECAUSE WE ALL GRIEVE SO

DIFFERENTLY.

AND SO I'M VERY SORT OF

CONSCIOUS OF THAT.

IF A FRIEND IS GOING TO

INTRODUCE ME TO SOMEBODY WHO

HAS LOST A CHILD, WE'RE ALL

IN DIFFERENT PLACES.

AND SOMETIMES IT IS HARD TO

KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO BRING

COMFORT.

BUT I THINK THE MOST

COMFORTING THING THAT WE CAN

BE AWARE OF IS THAT WHEN WE

ARE SUFFERING MOST

INTENSELY, AND OFTENTIMES

THAT'S IN A STATE OF GRIEF,

CHRIST IS THERE.

I REMEMBER READING A

MEDITATION WHEN I WAS JUST

IN TURMOIL AND FEELING SO IN

DARKNESS, AND THE IMAGE OF

GOD'S HAND IS OVER SHADOWING

YOU.

THAT THAT DARKNESS IS OKAY

BECAUSE CHRIST IS CLOSE.

AND JUST KNOWING THAT CAN

SOMETIMES HELP.

BECAUSE SOMETIMES WE FEEL

LIKE WHEN WE'RE FEELING DARK

OR WE'RE CLOSE TO DISPAIR,

THAT WE'RE SOMEHOW FURTHER

AWAY FROM GOD.

AND THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THE

CASE.

WE JUST FORGET HOW CLOSE HE

IS.

Gordon: WE'RE ACTUALLY

CLOSER, IF WE SHARE IN HIS

SUFFERING.

ABSOLUTELY, YES.

Gordon: I LIKE TO TELL

FOLKS WHO ARE GOING THROUGH

THIS THAT GOD KNOWS WHAT IT

IS LIKE TO LOSE A CHILD.

AND HE INTIMATELY FEELS

THAT.

RIGHT.

Gordon: AND YOU CAN

SHARE THAT WITH HIM.

YEAH.

Gordon: IT'S A POINT OF

DEEP FELLOWSHIP.

IN MY EXPERIENCE, THERE IS

NOTHING DEEPER.

WHEN YOU COME TO THAT

GETHSEMANE POINT, NOT MY

WILL, BUT YOUR WILL BE DONE,

AND BE STAFFED WITH IT,

SATISFIED WITH IT, AND NOT

BEING RESENTFUL.

AND KNOWING THAT JESUS

CHRIST WAS THERE.

THE MOST PERFECT HUMAN

BEING, GOD, JESUS, FELT THAT

WAY.

AND GET COMFORT IN UNITING

WITH THAT.

Gordon: WE CAN TALK A

LONG TIME, BUT I'VE BEEN

GIVEN A CUE THAT WE'VE GOT

TO STOP.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE

ABOUT ZACH'S WONDERFUL

LIFE -- AND IT WILL CHANGE

YOU.

WHEN YOU GET INTO THE DETAIL

OF HOW HE LIVED HIS FINAL

YEARS, AND WHAT HE WANTED

YOU TO TAKE AWAY, IT WILL

CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

SO LAURA'S BOOK, "FLY A

LITTLE HIGHER," IS AVAILABLE

NATIONWIDE.

LAURA, THANK YOU FOR BEING

WITH US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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