Thursday, May 5, 2011

A season of pain, a season of hope

I know there is a reason God as allowed the past 8 months of my life to be filled with so much pain. I don’t know what that reason is--or if I ever will know--but I trust that God’s got a plan in all of this. My prayer is that I don’t waste the pain. Instead, use the lowest times of my life as a way to encourage others to get back up as well.

Yes, there will be days of pain and sadness.

But we will get through it. We will find days of relief, joy, and comfort.

The following note was written by my friend Jane. I hope her words of inspiration give you strength in whatever storm you are now going through. And if you have survived the storm to find a season of calm (as I have right now), I pray that her words give you the courage to reach out to others who are hurting.

Since I was 15 years old...I ran a race every mothers day in memory of my Mom!  
I believe who we are in this world is defined by our actions and how we can use the obstacles and experiences of life to help, heal, and encourage the world around us in a positive way!
When I was a little girl my mother battled breast cancer and I remember her telling me instead of asking “Why Me?” She simply said “Why not me!” On August 13th 1995, my mother passed away though her spirit to encourage others and help complete strangers was never broken, even when she was going through pain. I have the same attitude about life, I believe nothing just happens and we all can make a difference no matter how others may view the situation.
When I was 16 years old I believed that I could run a marathon to give hope to others through the American Cancer Society and wanted to start a support group for children whose parents were battling diseases and chronic pain. At that moment, I realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my life…give others hope, courage, encouragement, compassion, and faith to push forward through the pain.
I have been a personal trainer, wellness director, recreation director, and motivational speaker for the last 10 years now and love giving the gift of health and happiness to others everyday!
I truly believe we are called to a purpose and passion to reach others through the gifts God has equipped us with and give him glory! My mission in life is to help and inspire as many people and give the gift of health through time and energy dedicated everyday to the community and people that surround me. Because of this passion instilled at such a young age I have moved around the world now 5 times blindly with a simple focus “Helping others to the best of my ability and giving the gift of health and hope!”
For the past decade I have run marathons with clients who thought such a distance was impossible, worked with cancer patients who needed a friend and trainer to help them stay healthy through chemotherapy, trained a legally blind women to believe in what others considered impossible and finish a triathlon, counseled young girls battling eating disorders and body image issues, reached out to college students who needed an outlet through recreation and sports, and now soldiers and families who need to feel healthy while serving our country overseas. No matter what type of population or place I have kept the purpose the same reaching others and kept believing.
I have always been an ordinary girl trying to push the limits and believe in a vision beyond what most believe is impossible to run, bike, or swim. Over the past years as an athlete I have trained and raced in order to give hope to those battling disease and disorders and continue to support those who need to have social support.
On October 3rd 2008 after racing my 18th marathon and ultra triathlon (Triple Ironman Triathlon) I suffered an unknown bone disorder in which doctors told me at 25 years old to completely give up running and cycling and my purpose to race for a cure. At the time I was a professional athlete and broke records regional and world record and raised thousands of dollars which went to American Cancer Society and Avon Breast Cancer Awareness.
For the next two years, I experienced the world around me come crashing down and lower extremity, feet, and legs stricken with pain and swelling every day. Doctors could not explain why or what was causing the swelling, pain, and edema filled pockets to take over my body and drain me from the true potential to help those around me. Days went by were the pain got so bad I barely had the energy to walk across the street, after awhile you become used to the pain and learn how to smile through it. I believe the hardest part of the whole thing was knowing your energy level being sucked out of you daily and you had no understanding why it was occuring...
The world which created so much happiness and health for others was slowly fading away and I had moments which I thought that even my professional career was coming to an end. Until the day, I realized you must Never lose Hope and Never stop Believing…I stood firm on God’s promises in my life and continued to help the community and people around me even though the pain did not go away. Many times I asked myself “How are you able to give the gift of health to others when your own is wading in the balance?” Well, the answer is through Faith! Doctors told me to give up though I refused to listen and realized “Why Not Me!"
Through every storm of life there are moments when you believe quitting would be a lot easier then going on, in this situation quitting would of meant walking away from every person that was part of my past and present, and most importantly the future! We all go through our own seasons of life and some seasons are longer than others, but with every season there is reason.
We grow, learn, adapt, change, and hopefully in the end come out stronger then when we began. My season is over and doctors are still trying to figure out why my legs and bones have no sign of damage or pain? I share my story with you all because we are made to never give up and when the season is over we should not waste time in trying to understand, we should instead look around at the opportunity which we have and ask “How can I help those through their season!” -by Jane Elizabeth Kupkowski 

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