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September Pain Awareness Month – Day 10 of 30. I’m Still Fighting For A Presidential Proclamation

September is Pain Awareness Month--The month of September is Pain Awareness month and as many of you may already know since we are in the 10th day of September, it is a time where many across the nation will help raise awareness of issues surrounding the need for effective treatment for millions of Americans around the world who suffer with pain.

As a semi-silent pain advocate and one who is truly passionate about the cause of pain awareness, I try my best to do what I can when I can to make a difference. Before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and a host of other conditions that cause me to suffer daily with chronic pain, I could not imagine what it would be like to be in pain indefinitely. Or knew of anyone who experienced what I find myself experiencing every day for over the past 10 years. Even so, I cannot imagine one individual that does not know someone who suffers with pain.

What I have learned throughout this pain journey, it does not discriminate. It can affect anyone at any given time without any warning. You never know when it can happen to you. And sadly, I find it is not until someone experiences pain at a level beyond comprehension that will last past infinity, they may never understand the significance of the need for effective treatment and care. It is my hope one day, new treatment and new research develops that will help other American pain sufferers find some form of normalcy and have a better quality of life as a result of their findings.

There are a number of organizations that offer information and resources to consider during the month of September. Please take a moment to see how you can get involved. It can be something as simple as calling a friend or love one you know who suffers with pain and letting them know they can count on you for support just by checking on them from time to time. Love and compassion can go a long way.

Lastly, you can visit websites of various pain organizations like U.S. Pain Foundation, National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA), or Power of Pain to get involved with planned events and activities. And by all means don’t just get involved during the month of September but show your support throughout the year. You don’t know how much your support, no matter how big or small, can change a life.

As for me, I have been fighting for a first-ever Presidential proclamation naming September National Pain Awareness month for the past four years. I am still hopeful one day God will send a divine connection in answer to my prayer and the proclamation will be signed. I won’t give up. I will continue to fight until a proclamation is received.

As such, I created a video with the help of my family in 2011 titled, If There Was Less Pain, I Could…. in response to a campaign held by the former American Pain Foundation (APF) organization. The video, which can be found on YouTube, represents my message to President Obama detailing, in a poem, what my world would be like and what I would do, if I could, if there was less pain.

The door in the video symbolizes people like myself who hide behind the mask of pain. It speaks volumes of what we have come to know as the “hidden epidemic of pain” or the “invisible disability” no one knows about or wants to get to know about. Although you can see the door, you can’t see the person behind the door, longing waiting to be free; free to be ME. Please feel free to check out my video when you get a chance.

In the meantime and in between time, if you haven’t done so already, I urge you to become a part of and show your support for the cause and help millions like myself raise awareness. Join me and help spread awareness and support my efforts to secure a first-ever Presidential proclamation by sharing my YouTube link as well as my blog link on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and any other social media outlet. Thanks for your support.

Let’s make this one of the best Pain Awareness months ever. Show your support. Wear PURPLE!

Be blessed! – JD

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Life Is A Mystery

Scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, triptych...

Scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, triptych. Constantinople, late 10th c., crimson ivory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There will come a time in our life where we will sit and wonder had we done things differently? Would our life have turned out differently?

We will ponder on mistakes we made. That left us distraught and dismayed. We will think about decisions that changed our life. Where we may have made things worse, given we had not thought about God once or twice. Or we will dwell on things that turned out as well as can be expected. And thanked God regardless, for the blessing.

We will reflect on things that were done for better or for worse. Good and bad things that occurred we think were either a blessing or a curse. Events that may have lifted our spirits or gotten us down, successful or failed businesses or jobs lost or found. There may have been marriages that are still going strong or may have ended in divorce but as a result helped us grow only to be stronger.

What can be said about the life we lived? Will it be a life remembered filled with sadness and tears. To ponder decisions made without wisdom that led to foolish actions. Or decisions that helped us learn from our actions? When faced with adversity, trouble, or strife, is it then we wonder what we did with our life? And ask questions that easily can be answered, had we given God time to send the right answer.

If you were given the opportunity to live life over again, would you do it only to change some things? Would you jump at the chance to correct the things you’ve done? Or would you thank God for the life he has given you and for what he has done.

Oftentimes life doesn’t go as we planned. However, it may be because it was our plan. For at any given moment, for reasons we may never understand, everything happens according to God’s plan. We may not feel there is absolute provision. When looking at our circumstances and indecision. There may be a fear of failure or the ability to maintain. But ultimately things will work for the greater good according to God’s plan.

God has predetermined the plan for our lives. He designed the blueprint that we may have everlasting life. He specifically designed a future for us. He created us to walk in the plan he set before us.

If I were given the opportunity to live my life over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because it is by God’s grace I lived to witness how he brought me through. The storm and the rain and gave me life anew.

How can I re-live something I never knew would be? How could I possibly re-live the life I never knew that was set before me? Had I not gone through trials and tribulations, I would not be able to rejoice in the revelation. Of God’s wondrous love and how he carried me this far.

I wouldn’t change a thing. I live life with no resentment or regrets. There may be some things I may never forget. But I can’t be upset. I am thankful for every part of what I endured in my life. It was a blessing no matter the strife. I take the bitter with the sweet, the good with the bad. I rejoice knowing my future is not predicated by my past. It is God’s plan to give me hope and a future. Plans by the Creator to prune and nurture. To develop into the person he predestined I would be. To be all that he created me to be.

God knew us before he formed us in our mother’s womb. He set us apart for his purpose. He will groom us. To be used as the vessel to fulfill His preplanned purpose. All things happen in life for a reason. It is for a purpose. God may reveal. It is his divine will. Do the work he has called you to do, live life abundantly in spite of what you’ve been through. He assigned it to you before you were born. Accept the call. Love, obey, and serve God.

Believe that the person you turned out to be, is the person God created you to be. Everything that concerns you will fulfill his purpose for you. Circumstances or situations are designed to perfect you. God will do that for you. Through every experience you face in life. Count it all joy. Be thankful for your life.

Life is a mystery. We will never know all the answers. But if you were to ask yourself this question, what would be your answer. If you were given the opportunity to live life over again, would you change anything? Or would you surrender your will to God and give Him reign? To do what he knows is best. Would you pass the test? Would you change some things to avoid what you experienced? Or would you accept the things you went through as a blessed experience?

To wish you had another life may not mean a thing had you lived it any other way. Embrace where you are today. God has given you the gift of life to freely live. Live and embellish it with trembling and fear. Don’t let it be your desire to change a thing. Instead, accept it as a blessing; cherish it, whatever it will bring. Glorify God. Do well with what you have. Your future is waiting, let go of your past. Had it not been for the plans God had for your life, you may not be here today to witness the life of Christ. Rejoice. Appreciate it. Tell the world what God has done for you while living it.

Jesus’ life was a living example. God didn’t change a thing. Had anything changed, we wouldn’t be here to speak of how we have been changed. We wouldn’t be able to share the gospel of Christ. Had Jesus been sent here to live a different life. Thank God. Don’t regret a thing in your life.

Be blessed! -JD

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

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When Life Is Not A Bed Of Roses

Today has been a peculiar day. My thoughts are all over the place. As I think of those who are struggling with the perils of life and may feel out of place.

The words I’ve chosen to share with you are a bit out of character for me. But I couldn’t help to share with you what I am thinking. I believe the things I speak of are someone’s reality. And an unreality for those who choose not to see but accept life as, “What will be, will be.”

When life changes in an instant and we have no control of it, it can be overwhelming and unclear. The very place we may find ourselves sometimes can be frightening and cause fear. Especially when we are not accustomed to the manner we are required to live. We start to lose sight of the purpose intended and question the reason why we may be there. We start looking at our circumstances that will cause our minds to wander in despair.

We begin to struggle mentally to maintain. We become overwhelmed and our thoughts begin to reflect pain. Pain we begin to feel in our hearts and head that may cause us to feel worthless and ashamed.

We begin to feel insecure and feel like we are victims when criticized. For everything, in the eyes of those who criticize and feel we are not doing anything right. We feel as though we are a burden and feel helpless. Even though, we would if we could, change the situation or correct it.

There are ones who may become depressed and begin to feel anxiety. And begin to say things like, “Why didn’t my life turn out the way it was supposed to be? I hate my life. Why am I here? What happened? Why can’t I maintain? Given the life I have lived, I shouldn’t be where I am. Why am I in such pain?”

Self-pity sets in and they begin to ask, “Why can’t anyone understand why I feel as I do? Why do they think they’re perfect but find fault in everything I do?” Or fail to understand there may be something they lack to make me feel accepted. When crushed on every side. It is perplexing.

If only they would take the time to look at the situation at hand. And try to have some empathy or simply understand. The adjustment that person had to make. And avoid making it a one-sided adjustment which may cause someone to mentally break.

Regardless who we are, change will come. It will require compromise. It will impact all parties involved and can be hard. There are sacrifices to be made on everyone’s part. But each person must be willing to make the sacrifice as they go through. And evaluate how they may positively contribute to the environment one will exist, because humility will be required from each of you

Not everyone is perfect, nor is life. At some point and time we all will experience change in our life. When this happens, we must not ignore the feelings of others. We may find ourselves in the same predicament and would expect the same from others.

We don’t know what people are going through. And to live with someone that lacks empathy can be challenging. Especially when one doesn’t like the predicament they now find themselves in.

What we think we become, and what we become we will live. We must not let the mind play tricks and cause us to believe we are worthless or have no reason to live. There is a reason and a purpose God still has us here. There is a reason for everything. Live. But don’t be overcome with anxiety or fear.

We must remember things happen in life at no fault of our own. But God will never forsake us or leave us alone. Everything happens for a reason. Seasons are temporary. They don’t last forever. Make the best of life until things get better.

We must learn to trust God in the midst of our storm. And have faith we will be delivered. No matter the storms, don’t cry yourself a river.

Don’t lose hope. God will not give you more than you can bear. He will supply all your needs even when it doesn’t look like it or you think life is not fair. We live in a fallen world and some things are to be expected. We have to be prepared for the unexpected.

Trust God in the midst of bad circumstances. Remember God is a god of second chances. Stay on course. Have faith. Trust God for everything. His love will overshadow clouds and peace he will bring.

When life is not a bed of roses, don’t overestimate it. Rather focus on what you make of it. To make a difference in the life you live and not what you think of it. Accept life for what it is and think on these things. No matter the hardships life may bring. When faced with uncertainty or change, believe it is for the best. Do the best you can with what you’ve got. Let God handle the rest.

Positive thinking is the key. The right mindset will help you face your fears. Don’t spend a lifetime wondering why or trying to figure life out, only to waste unnecessary years.

Let God be your guide in everything you do. Keep the faith. Remember, God will see you through. God is always with you.

Be blessed! -JD

James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test , that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

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