Helping others has always been my passion. When diagnosed with a progressive eye disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa, I feared my passion would fade alongside my sight loss. Boy, was I ever wrong! Diagnosed early in college, plenty of challenges awaited me to overcome. I quickly learned facing challenges developed my creativity and problem-solving skills. Every semester my eyesight worsened, but my coping skills improved.
Mounting challenges eroded faster and faster As I began changing my focus from problem to problem-solving. Before I knew it, I no longer viewed them as problems. To me, they became adjustments. Tough situations became opportunities for me to grow.
This attitude helped me in my early thirties when I married a man whose two teens resided with him. Going to an instant family of four from being single was a huge adjustment. An even larger one was homeschooling them, along with learning what it was like to live with two ADHD people. Yes, my husband and his son. Our son also suffered from dyslexia.
More adjustments and opportunities came to apply my skills two years later. We had our own child whom I homeschooled her entire school years. As we began pastoring I realized I could help others with my limited vision. It was then my real vision kicked in allowing me to see people’s hurting hearts. Compassion flooded my soul for those with children with learning and behavior problems. Adults with addictions losing everything to such a demon, leaving so many scarred and hungry frustrated my being as well.
The more vision I lost, the more my compassion and need to help others grew. My husband, Steve, and I found a way to help in 2009 when we founded Word in Action Ministries to help the poor, lonely, homeless, and those with addictions. The more individuals I visited and counseled with, the more I noticed similarities between my vision loss and their situations. Sharing my faith meant a lot, but coping skills were needed as well. It appeared my life could be an example for a myriad of problems.
No matter what you’re going through, I’ve probably been through it in some form or fashion, or have known someone who has. More importantly, I hope to help people change their focus and see their problems differently than before through the use of stories, strategies, and skills.
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