It was a momentous time. Barack Obama was being inaugurated at the White House. My husband Richard and I attended the ceremony. But I was feeling awful. That feeling got progressively worse until I found myself on the floor in my hotel room. My body felt weak and frail, and I had a fever. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t stand up.
This is a once in a lifetime moment...I can’t miss any of this.
I pushed through that weekend and got home, but something was wrong.
I ended up in the hospital.
That Monday morning, doctors told me that I had hemolytic anemia. That meant that my red blood cells were dying. I didn’t have enough in my blood.
My body was failing me. Things were getting worse.
They told me that if I didn’t get a blood transfusion, my life would end.
I just couldn’t get on board with that idea. There was just something about having a stranger’s blood flowing through my body that didn’t sit right with me.
I said no.
The doctor’s weren’t happy about that. They told me that if my red blood cell count didn’t go back up by the next morning, I’d have to get a blood transfusion.
There I laid, in that hospital bed, weak and broken in body. My spirit was failing too.
My loved ones came to see me. Friends and family came in and out of my hospital room all day. People from church and my pastor visited me. My door was a revolving door of love, good wishes, prayers. And it came in the form of words.
You will make it through this.
You are strong.
You are a strong woman of faith.
You will receive double for your trouble.
You are the apple of God's eye.
God will come to your rescue. He will answer your prayers.
All of these words...they really touched my heart.
THE NEXT MORNING, the doctors checked my blood. Lo and behold, my cell count was up.
I wouldn’t need a blood transfusion.
And that’s when I realized the power of words. Words are one of the most powerful ways that human beings connect. Whether you say it or see it, words have meaning. Words have power. They can change people. They’re symbols, ideas, values. They can be simple or special. They can be moving. And they can really change lives.
The most impactful word for me when I was in that hospital bed was God. For some people, it doesn’t mean much. For others, it moves the spirit with how much emotion it has behind it. For me, I prayed to God about what I wanted, how I needed to be healed. That’s what got me through that life-threatening, spirit-breaking ordeal.
I want you to think about a time when you were in a tough spot. What got you through? What’s one word that would symbolize what it was that helped you make it to the other side?
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for future blog posts! You can also watch a video of our Founder telling her story. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/wLCxuNkG98o