My mission starts with a STORY:
Why do I write, speak, mentor and work with entrepreneurs, authors, coaches, leaders and survivors?
It all started on January 8, 2002—a day that began 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 our 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 my site, you have probably had a similar life-changing experience that has brought you here. You are most likely a survivor (let’s face it, we have all survived something!) 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 I had cancer. The cyst that no one was concerned about was, in fact, a very aggressive malignant tumor.
Later that day, my surgeon called me 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 the college education I had given up on after three years.
- Fulfill my life’s ambition, which was to become a writer and author.
- Share my faith and love for Jesus Christ.
- Show others how to BURST out of their bubbles and live their calling.
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST: I decided to clean less and PLAY MORE with those three little children that called me “MOM.”
That was over 17 years ago! I am a SURVIVOR and I followed through on all 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 LEADERS and 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 GIFTS, EXPERTISE and TALENTS to IMPACT and SERVE others, and most importantly to BURST out of our bubbles of comfort and ADVANCE their missions.
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 stories and experiences 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. (Proverbs 11:25)
As a writer, speaker, purposeful planning coach and mission advance partner, one of my greatest joys is watching those “aha” moments happen that trigger the women I work with to reach the world with their stories of triumph. They REFRESH me and move me forward to then REFRESH others.
Is it YOUR TURN 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? Find out who I am blessed to have worked with.
More to the story:
After I survived breast cancer, I wrote and published three books, became a newspaper columnist and founded a non-profit organization. None of this did I accomplish on my own, but I sought out others who had burst out of their bubbles and were bubbling over to impact others. They were my mentors, coaches who shared their skills and missions. I returned to college as an adult and graduated from Eastern University where I was the recipient of the Servant Leadership and Outstanding Thesis awards. From the point of surviving cancer, I made it a priority to celebrate my positive outcome and seize my second chance, which is why I started writing and speaking and offering communication and life and business coaching services because God had placed it on my heart to be BOLD for HIM.
My books: One Day: The Difference a Day Can Make and Psalms and Prayers for People Affected by Cancer focus on the gift of each day. Take 21: BURSTs of Quiet With God is a compilation of 6 adventures through the Bible.
Besides being a wife, mother and child of God, my greatest joy is to hear the stories of others and then SPOTLIGHT the POTENTIAL in every individual with whom I work. Yes–I do have the BEST job in the world and I am truly blessed. As I close out this LONG WHY, I want to give you a quote from one of my favorite authors, Og Mandino:
Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage and confidence. ~Og Mandino
Thank you for visiting–I HOPE that you are inspired to BURST FORWARD, TAKE ACTION, LIVE YOUR CALLING and SHINE your light so others see our awesome and great God through you!
Get ready to SHINE!