“It’s Not About Me”
By, Nancy Alexander
Sing Until The Whole World Hears…
My heart is overflowing this morning. We just got home from church a little while ago. Our pastor talked about… “It’s Not About Me.” And, it is not. It is about you – everyone who has been sent into my path. And something else was mentioned this morning during the sermon: “Sing Until the Whole World Hears…” That’s what I want and need to do! Well, not necessarily sing, because in spite of all the gifts I have been blessed with, singing is not one of them! But, I want to use my voice, which is my God-given talent, to encourage you by introducing you to color, design, and the opportunity to learn to make something beautiful with your own hands. So, I will sing, so to speak, as I encourage many of you (who are burdened with chronic diseases, depression, and a lack of direction and joy in your lives) by singing as loudly as I know how. This way I can get my message across to those of you who are in pain and need encouragement! NOW, THAT IS WHERE I CAN SING!
Lately, my husband and I have felt like God is definitely leading us on His path. It is a very curvy path so we can’t see too far ahead. It is dark in places, and all we can see is God’s hand reaching out to us motioning us to follow Him. We are following with ‘blind’ faith, but we are DEFINITELY following. And, we will follow wherever and whenever God leads us. We thought by now that we would know exactly where this path leads. We have some idea, because of the brokenness we have both experienced in these last few years. God has reached down into “our pit” and has pulled us out of pain and suffering. He has held us and has opened our eyes to such beauty, joy, and splendor – more than we could have ever imagined. I feel it is now my/our responsibility to help those who contact me daily wanting to know how to do what I do while dealing with a chronic illness.
God has Richly Blessed us in So Many Ways!
Our own experiences with ‘brokenness’ are what we fall back on when we tell others: “We understand, we have been there, we can help you.” Our ‘beautifully broken’ lives were put back together by His own hands. In so doing, He has equipped us to be able to help and encourage others whose lives are broken right now. But, sometimes, this means we need talk about our past problems and our secrets. We need to share the circumstances of our brokenness – you know, the things you really never want to talk about with anyone else. He is definitely leading us in a specific direction on this path of His! He will give us strength, He will give us courage, He will reach out to us and hold on tightly as we put our ‘trust’ in Him. We read His word, pray, and listen with open hearts searching for his voice – “His Leading”. But in spite of our searching, we have still not been able to discern exactly what His will is for us.
And…We are SO Richly Blessed With Family!
At 61 years old, we now feel like so many years of our lives were taken up battling the insidious diseases of Fibromyalgia and Celiac. These diseases struck early in my life, which means I have fought them for over 30 years. They not only attacked my physical body, they were also attacking our marriage and our family at the same time. I researched and I was the first to diagnose what was wrong, after being sick for 15 years, but it was not until around 5 years ago that God led us to a marvelous, Christian specialist. If I had not received help when I did, I probably would not be on this earth today — or, if I was, I would most certainly be in a wheel chair. That is what my doctor has told me. She literally said to me that 90 to 95% of people suffering what I have would be dead by now. Hearing that has definitely made a difference in the way we both feel about life, and our purpose here upon this earth!
A desperate woman in tears called me at home yesterday. This was like so many other calls and emails I receive — sometimes every single day. She has MS, as well as another serious health problem. Her grown daughter lives at home with her because she needs a kidney and is also in very serious shape. This woman is married, her husband has a full time job, but he still will do all he can to help his wife and daughter enjoy happy, productive lives. She says she and her daughter are just “waiting to die”. They have no hope, they have no joy, they have no happiness, they have nothing to look forward to. She cannot work. She thinks every day; “What can I do?” What can I do to bring some joy into my life? What would my body be able to do? Anything, Lord, anything???
Oh… this touches my heart deep within my soul! I was there! I know how she feels! I remember having hope for the first few years as I prayed day after day for healing. But, year after year, as time went on, my hope and my determination were gradually disappearing. I couldn’t take care of my children. I felt like such a failure as a mother and a wife. I prayed every day. I pleaded with God; “Please God, please…show me what I need to do! Please lead me to a doctor who understands that I am really sick and is willing to try to find out what is wrong with me. Please give me a heart that is filled with joy and happiness as I look around at my beautiful family wanting to enjoy a ‘normal’ life with them. Please give me some way to make extra money to help pay our mounting bills. Please help me to use my artistic talents to do something, or to make something beautiful. When each day is over, I want to feel like I have been the BEST mother I could be. I want to feel like I have been the BEST wife I could be. And, I want to have been able to do something creative with my hands — something that brings a smile to my face as well as to other faces that is proof – proof that Nancy was here today, that she lived her life today as best as she possibly could, and that she created something beautiful that proves she was here!”
As I was talking to this lady on the phone yesterday, she told me she wanted every product that I offered. She had just joined our coaching club (www.BestOfNancy.com), and she wanted all of my DVDs, my “Secret Vendor List”, and my wreath-making easel. She and her daughter were SO VERY excited that they had finally found something they thought they could do that would really bring joy to each day. Her husband was willing to figure out a way they could each work standing and sitting as needed.
I say over and over in just about everything I write that my goal is to make a difference in the lives of others as I teach them a hobby that has made such a difference in my life. I want to give to ‘you’ a reason to get out of bed in the morning…to wake up with such a start of anticipation that you just cannot lie in bed, no matter how bad you feel. Your brain starts thinking. This makes your body be energized as it is filled with thoughts of something special you can do that day! YOU CAN DO THIS! Even in my weakest, darkest times, I could find a few minutes, then a few hours, and then even days when I could got my mind on something fun and exciting, I then the energy followed! YES, YES, YES… YOU Certainly Can do this too!
This morning as I sat in church, my husband and I both felt touched by God at the same time. We then got a glimpse of the path we are supposed to be on. That doesn’t mean it will be easy — but we were never promised that life would be easy. We were only promised that God would always be with us – beside us. He has been beside me/us all along as we have been on this painful journey. We now know that we have traveled this journey so that we could help, encourage, and sympathize with others who are now on this journey.
Technically, I still have Fibromyalgia, and will always have Celiac Disease. I eat exactly what I need to eat on my Celiac diet. I take the supplements my Dr. says will help and even cure my body. We are SO BLESSED! Please let me encourage you and teach you to do something in your life which will bring a smile along with a sense of accomplishment! And, together… “We Will Sing Until The Whole World Hears…”