Thursday, April 28, 2016

Her Story! #StartAsking

April 2012 changed my life! One day at work, my breathing started changing. Everyone told me I should go to the hospital because it seemed like I had Asthma. Considering the symptoms my doctor recommended I go get tested for MS, Arthritis, COPD…you name it I was tested for it and after a year of this one doctor said FIBROMYALGIA!

May 2013, I noticed my stomach started becoming rounder. I started to have abdominal pains. Going to my doctor, she found I had fibroids. As long as they weren’t bothering me, I shouldn’t bother them. WRONG!!! I became a regular at my doctor. I was there at least 3 times a week due to pain. I was rushed to the hospital several times and even taking myself because I needed help. Each time they would pump me full of pain medication with no real reason of why I was in soo much pain. After 8 months of crying, pain and feeling like I was being tortured I decided to open my mouth and speak to a peer about my issues. She suggested her doctor, Dr. Thaddeus Chapman of Emory Midtown. Promise Land Women’s Center is where my true journey began.

God put me in a position to where I was placed in the hands of a doctor who is God fearing and is a true believer! This was the best thing to EVER happen to me. Dr. Chapman took his time, listened to me and NEVER let me make a decision under distress. He and his staff became a support system for me and my family. June 16, 2014 he performed my first laparoscopic surgery. In one of my recent test it was discovered that one of my Fallopian tubes were damaged and that was causing the pain. However, once he was inside there was more damage than we ever imagined. BOTH Fallopian tubes were beyond compare, my abdomen was stuck to my uterus due to a severe case to endometriosis (a painful, chronic disease that occurs when tissue which lines the uterus is found outside the uterus), I had several large cyst on my ovaries and my fibroids were bigger than we could imagine. After waking up from recovery, I thought everything was great. After looking at everyone’s face, I knew there was some concern. Dr. Chapman broke the news about my tubes being damaged and the sighting of Endo. The recovery process was only 2 weeks. My stomach was sore from being ripped apart from my uterus.

Going home after the hospital I was very sad. The only thing I heard my doctor say was, “You will not be able to conceive.” I immediately went into the Why Me mode. Hearing the news became a very devastating part of my life. After all, what woman wants that right taken away from her? In this journey I found the true meaning of faith! I began to pray and have conversation with God. I asked to guidance and strength. HE gave me just that. He showed me that even if you never carry a baby you will always be a caregiver and a mother. Having full confidence I scheduled my surgery with my doctor.

On January 14, 2015 at 4:00 a.m. I sat on the edge of my bed and prayed for covering. Not for me during surgery but for my family who was petrified of me having this surgery. That day in the hospital I found a NEW ME! Before Dr. Chapman took me back to the operating room, his team gathered around my family and me and went immediately into prayer and worship. I had never seen anything like it before. I was amazed at how God knew what was needed and provided just that. I gave my parents a kiss and told them to dry their eyes that God has the battle. 4 hours later both Fallopian tubes had been removed, all of the scar tissue gone, all 16 of the fibroids removed and the cysts from my left ovary. The easy part was over! It was time for recovery…physically and mentally. My one night stay in the hospital turned into a 6 night stay. Everything happened that you could imagine. My body was not receptive to food, juice, movement…NOTHING! God was not ready for me to leave…I was still being taught. God wanted me to learn patience and strength. I have to say, I learned so much more. I learned perseverance and turning things over to God.

After I recovered, I thought my journey was over. I was wrong! 6 months later the pain came back. I was crying more, frustration rose and most importantly the disappointment I felt. I had given up my right to bear children and was still having the same issue. In efforts to not have another surgery, I was placed on a treatment that will send me directly into menopause. Can you imagine hot flashes at the age of 28?? 5 months into this treatment, I have gained lots of things that make you want to cry. I have gained weight, the medication has made my skin burn leaving scars in places you wouldn’t imagine and my hair has come out. All in all this is the best time of my life. God has a way of capturing your attention. You may not like it, it may be painful but I believe that God has given me a chance to find my true purpose in life. I believe he wants me to spread awareness in my community. Many women and even men suffer from reproductive challenges.

I don’t believe in calling anything a disease…I cannot give it power but I will acknowledge it. 1 in 8 women will have infertility troubles. Are you in the know? I encourage all of my beautiful sisters to get checked each year. Don’t let your symptoms go unchecked. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Mask

There are many masks that we wear to hide the things we don't want people to see. We wear masks to hide our identities, our beliefs and most challenging, our emotions. We're taught to keep our private lives private. Covering up, sweeping under the rug and burying away those embarrassing, heart breaking and dark things about ourselves that shame us. Why are we still wearing masks in 2016? Why do we live to please others and meet others expectations and not our own? 
Wearing a mask is not the same as code switching. Wearing a mask is not the same as blocking out negativity. Wearing a mask is covering up something about you that you don't want to be seen, don't want to deal with or aren't able to cope with in your life. Wearing a mask is making yourself change to fit the expectations of others in a job, family, faith based organization or society. Wearing mask is driven by shame and not freedom. The quest towards freedom requires us to ask ourselves why? What we cope with doesn't bind us, it propels us to grow if we shed light on it. Victory can't be obtained in darkness when you can't even see what you're fighting. We have to be the hope for others to find freedom by living in our truth. 
Life teaches us how to love ourselves and grow into who we are. It's important for people to live in their truth, embrace their truth and share their truth with others. When will it be time to take the mask off? When will it be the right time to heal from the past? 

We have to be willing to be free and live in the freedom of who we are destined to be. 

Don't be convined by the expectations of others who are connected to your destiny or your purpose. Don't change who you are because of a job/career that will never fully appreciate or respect you, family that may never embrace or accept you and people who will never understand why there's power on your name. Follow the voice of Love that is leading you every day to be free in your purpose. Don't be afraid to accept who you are and your purpose. If you don't collide with destiny, you will collide with destruction. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Case Closed! #factcheck

We were all designed for a common and unique purpose. It's time to face the F.A.C.T.S! What's hindering progression in your life? It's our calling in life to fulfill our purpose. 

We become frustrated when we don't see progression. This happens when we lose sight of our purpose. 

Ask yourself, where's purpose on my priority list? 
It's time to focus on the F A C T S! 

  • Focus - The #1 area of attack is our focus. When we become distracted by things, we lose sight of our promise. The reality is, the majority of our distractions don't even build our promise. We have to stop allowing distractions to keep us from procrastination, mediocrity and lackluster performance for our purpose. 
  • Action - We become burnt out when we feel like our actions are in vain, we're
    overwhelmed and not seeing enough results. Everything we do should connect to our purpose. There are various avenues you can take to fulfill your promise. Ensure that you actions are purposeful and always connect to building your promise. 
  • Consistency - Stop changing your vision. When the vision is given to you, stay focused and give meaningful action to fulfilling it. If one route to getting to your vision doesn't work, change the route, not the vision. Being consistent requires us to have a goal that we focus on and align our actions to get there. Change your actions, not your vision. Your vision must be consistent with your promise. 
  • Time - We all have felt as if we're racing against time. We can't control time but we can control  how we use it! I realized that I can empower the world if I haven't empowered myself. This requires taking time for you. Your first investment is yourself; spiritual, mental, physical maintenance is critical to your promise. 
  • Strategy - If there's no plan, there's no progress. Being strategic in your decisions and planning is a remedy for success. If you don't have a plan for your vision, it will remain a dream. If you aren't strategic with your plan, it won't meet it's full potential. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Odds Against You

Losing one battle doesn't mean the war is over. Every winner isn't exempt from loss, nor is every loser exempt from gains.  There will always be people in positions of power. However, all of us possess the power to influence our surroundings. The way we decide to use that power determines who's in control. 

Here's how to take control . . . 

Write the Vision! 

If you write the vision, that means you've seen something that goes beyond the eye that most people won't see until it happens. My Pastor said something that changed my perception of vision. Vision requires us to see things that aren't there. It causes us to see things beyond real time. As you are working your vision, remember:
  • Everything may not go according to the way you plan it
  • Small battles may be lost along the way 
  • Don't be distracted by defeat 

Be in Control!  
In order to be successful we have to look at how we're playing the game. Ask yourself, "am I playing to win, or just being played?" Excuses and distractions are the top things that take the control out of our hands. You can only be in control of you. You gain control of the game when you're able to control yourself; that takes the control from others. 

Staying the Course! 

"If you don't succeed at first, dust yourself off and try again" or "nothing beats a failure than a try" are all true statements. Become more than what's happened to you. Fear causes us to believe that failure defeats promise. We have to realize that timing has power over fear, failure and promise. I knew I was called to be a Teacher but the journey to entering the classroom was not easy. There were many failures, road blocks, detours but I stayed the course. I remained focused on the promise and learned from the failures. Staying the course requires us to shift our focus back to the promise so that our purpose is fulfilled and not lost in failure.