In January 2016, my friend Cindee and I began the most extraordinary journey, gifted with a vision too large to believe, yet who would willingly doubt the Creator of the universe? Our hearts were broken for the millions, yes, millions of people with chronic illness, and also for the one utterly without hope. We cried. We prayed. And we took the first step.
But what can two broken women with significant chronic illness do to change the world?
Take the first step on the path set before us. Some days we crawled, but every day we moved with all the willingness we could muster, and doors opened – miracle after miracle – so many that it quickly grew less about the shock of the miraculous than about a deep, abiding trust in the One for whom all things are possible.
In April, we became an officially sanctioned 501(c)3 non-profit – no small accomplishment, but God was just getting warmed up, helping us to understand the scope and magnitude of our assignment.
Since then, we’ve posted daily encouragement across multiple social media platforms without missing a day. We have a website presence, guest bloggers, an occasional guest photographer, and a monthly subscriber newsletter, and we launched the Ambassador Initiative, which grew into our first fundraiser.
God has been at work in so many ways.
Perhaps the most significant, and the one that touches my heart most deeply, is community. For many of us with chronic illness, feeling alone or isolated is more profound than the health issues we face. Community is vital to learning to thrive in a life with chronic illness.
My dearest friend, Cindee, wrote a remarkable Bible study to help bridge the gap between the loneliness and isolation of chronic illness and the gift of doing life together in community. Discovering Hope is a labor of love, yet unless it reaches the hands of those who need it, it is simply one more book – beautiful words tied neatly together.
From the beginning, with our hearts utterly broken, we’ve understood that hope is the beginning – the first, necessary, life-changing step in a life with chronic illness. Hope and trust in the God who chooses to use two broken women in just eight months to found a ministry and publish a book releasing this week on Amazon.
We are two very ordinary women, equipped by an extraordinary God. His love for us and for each of you is so profound, so intense, and so utterly remarkable that He will go to any lengths to reach each one – one by one by one – who needs Discovering Hope.
Regardless of our abilities, skills, talents, ingenuity, time or energy, we are learning that what God wants done, He’ll get done. Every single time.
Gracious Heavenly Father, bless each one who journeys toward radical hope and compassionate change in the pages of Discovering Hope, drawing them closer to You, the source of all love, grace, mercy and hope. Amen.
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Executive Director and Co-Founder of Chronic Joy®
Pamela is a leader and a visionary following God's call to inspire those affected by chronic illness to discover hope, find purpose, embrace worth and encounter joy. She believes that every precious life affected by chronic illness is both vital and purposed.
Pamela is the mom of three married children, grandma of two sweet granddaughters and one baby grandson, and a wife of more than 30 years. She is diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos, chronic migraines and a host of other chronic conditions.
Pamela enjoys hot tea, reading -- almost always more than one book at a time -- and walking her teddy bear dog, Cocoa.