It all started on January 8, 2002—a day that started like any other day, but would end quite differently. Let me set the stage for you: my husband, three young children and I had moved into a new house just two-and-a-half weeks before this date. Yes—if you are calculating, it was just days before Christmas, and it was our third move in 18 months, which also happened to be the age of our youngest son. As you can imagine, those couple of weeks were filled with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, unpacking boxes and settling into our new home. What we could never have known was that our lives were to be turned upside down after one phone call.
I suspect that if you are reading this and visiting this site, you have probably had a similar life-changing experience that has brought you here. You may possibly be a SURVIVOR who is looking for a way to shout your story or experience from the rooftops. Your STORY has now become your MISSION and you now have a CALLING on your life to encourage others facing similar struggles.
Back to the phone call—it was from a surgeon’s office. This surgeon had removed a lump that I had miraculously found in my breast after Thanksgiving in 2001. It was a lump that two doctors and a surgeon had assured me was nothing more than a cyst. As the office assistant at my surgeon’s office confirmed that I was in fact, Esther Hughes, and that the surgeon had tried to contact me on my cell phone the day before, she informed me that they had taken the initiative to schedule an appointment with another doctor. The office assistant hung up without answering any of my questions; however, she had given me the name of the doctor that I was scheduled to see. I reached for the phone book and looked up his name and found his advertisement that read:
“Excellence in Cancer Care”
He was an oncologist. That was how I found out that the cyst that no one was concerned about was, in fact, a very aggressive malignant tumor. Later that day, my surgeon called to confirm what I had already figured out. As she rattled off terms like: mastectomy, double mastectomy, aggressive, lymphatic involvement, metastasis, chemotherapy, and radiation. I realized she was referring to my body. You could say that my bubble was burst wide open that day. All the thoughts that ran through my head in the moments, days, weeks and months that followed were if I survived this battle, I would:
- Complete my college degree.
- Fulfill my life’s ambition, which was to become a writer.
- Share my faith and love for God.
- Show others how to BURST out of their bubbles and live their calling.
That was 13 years ago this month! I am a SURVIVOR and I followed through on the four goals established at the onset of my battle. What I know from meeting many types of Survivors is that we have now become ‘CALLED’ to give back. We have a profound responsibility to help others, which is why Survivors are the TEACHERS, NON-PROFIT OR MINISTRY LEADERS, ENTREPRENUERS, MOVERS and SHAKERS that guide us through the pain of obstacles because they have the wisdom and experience to do so.
That’s my WHY—my EXPERIENCE became a STORY of survival that had a MISSION and my CALLING is to share with others how they can use their 2nd chance to IMPACT and SERVE others.
It is a HUGE blessing to be a survivor and have a second chance because so many others have not had that positive outcome; however, their legacy lives on in the hearts of their loved ones. Sometimes it is those left behind who recognize their need to get out there in a BIG way to share their story of comfort for the purpose of encouraging others. They are also survivors. I honor the courageous people who have survived and are seizing their second chance by celebrating their positive outcomes and sharing their story with the world. Our united mission reminds me of a favorite quote by King Solomon:
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
As a writer and communications coach, one of my greatest joys is watching those “aha” moments happen that trigger my clients to reach the world with their stories of triumph. They REFRESH me and move me forward to then REFRESH others. This FIRST month of the new year is a GREAT time to AWAKEN those stories and experiences that can ENRICH, ENCOURAGE and IMPACT others in a BIG way. YOUR story may just be the BRIGHT LIGHT that someone else needs. Are you ready to SHARE it in a BOLD way in 2015?
Why not SEIZE the opportunities surrounding you today. At BURST Communicators, we are ready to be your ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER to help you WRITE your story, SPEAK your message, SHARE your mission and SHINE BRIGHTER in 2015. If you are interested in getting started on seizing YOUR second chance and SHARING your life’s calling, request a copy of my FREE E-Book: BURSTing With Messages: 5 Ways to Share Yours. This book gives 5 POWERFUL ways to share your MESSAGE and MISSION through SPEAKING or WRITING. You have nothing to lose and only MUCH to GAIN by reading it; hopefully it will IGNITE A SPARK in you to SHARE of your calling.
What I hope that this particular blog of being UP CLOSE and PERSONAL accomplishes is that together we will build a GENUINE community that ENCOURAGES, INSPIRES and SHARES with our individual spheres of influence the VALUE of authenticity. I encourage YOU to SEIZE your second chance and BEGIN TODAY!