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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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Don’t Settle for “Good Enough”… Settle for God’s Best

Social media has become the catalyst upon which some have made the crucial decision to build a foundation in search of fame, fortune, and success. While there are some who use the same platform to honor God in the process.

I often hear about people who have become so addicted to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and even WordPress, to name a few, that they will start the morning off by reaching for their phones looking to see activity before they even get out of bed. And I must be honest, for the most part, this was me. With the exception I would pray, give thanks, and talk to God before getting out of bed and/or reaching for my phone.

I found myself becoming so consumed with the networks that I felt I couldn’t live without knowing who liked, favorited, responded, retweeted, reblogged, or followed me wherever I existed. It had become a habit that led to a morning ritual. I had to take a step back long before yesterday and examine my motives as to why I’m here, coming to the realization that this is not what God intended nor was it what I intended when first seeking out the platforms I chose to engage in. With the help of God, I decided to change some things.

All was going well until yesterday that struck home, where briefly I was having “a moment” after looking at my visitor views on WordPress and noticed in the past few days how much my numbers had decreased. My first thought was “What’s going on?” I began to question myself asking whether I had done something wrong. Wondering why did it suddenly cease. I even began to question whether I was fulfilling my initial obligation to God, while reasoning why I’m here in the first place; to serve God. I took it even further and called my sister friend seeking advice, to validate my illicit behavior and thought. That ended with an inquiry to the WP forum to see if there was a problem with the stats.

It was not until I woke this morning I felt dimwitted. After prayer and meditation I was convicted in my spirit. I felt I needed to confess to God my guilt. After reading the WP response to my inquiry, to be honest, I felt silly. I had to take a step back. In that moment I had to re-evaluate my behavior and asked God to forgive me in areas where I began to slack. I lost focus on the right things and began to focus on the wrong things.

I said, “God, I know that it is by your doing that I am here wherever I am. I must not allow social media or any other thing take precedence. I’ve been called to serve God’s purpose and share encouraging messages as I work to inspire and motivate. I mustn’t take my eyes off the prize while I wait. It was never my intention to become proud and rely on the response of man to deny glory to you and not fulfill your intended purpose in all I do.”

I talked to Him and said, “I am becoming reckless in certain areas of my life Lord and I need your help.” I told him, even though he already knew, “The last few weeks I was doing well. I had established balance and minimized my activity on all platforms to make sure it did not become a priority over you. Nor did I allow them to take precedence over you. I admit, I need to get in the right standing. I need to refocus my attention and priority. I accept responsibility. I will do my best. I will be consistent. I won’t settle for less.” Thank you, God for listening.

God is truly blessing me. He has given me a new vision for a design project started long ago that marks my new beginning. God has opened doors leading to new possibilities. He’s blessing me with new opportunities. God is guiding me every step of the way. I am thankful to God for imparting wisdom. This is my declaration today. May it inspire, should you find yourself in the same place.

With social media, there will be some people you know. And there will be some you personally don’t know. Don’t let social media become your first priority. Let your words and motives be a reflection of who you are in Christ Jesus. Sow good seeds into the life of others. As a believer, use the platform to rightfully spread God’s message. Give sound, spiritual advice. Don’t get caught up or become addicted to social media as a means to an end, only to live an unfulfilled life. Don’t change your original perspective or intent. If you lose focus, reflect, redirect and come back to it. If necessary, change the climate.

Honor God. Make him your one and only priority. Spend waking moments in meditation, prayer, and worship. Glorify Him. Don’t become consumed with likes, favorites, followers, shares, or views just because. In the end it won’t matter if you’re doing it for yourself and not God.

God desires our complete trust and worship. Surrender your all to Him. Don’t allow any man, woman, or thing to come before Him. Do what pleases him.

Don’t settle for “good enough.” Settle for God’s best. God is not through with you yet.

Be blessed! -JD

1 John 3:21-22 “Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.” (NLT)

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Filed under My Thoughts, Personal, Poem, Uncategorized