A woman with an open heart surgical scar holds a cartoon singing heart in her hand admiring it

With Every Beat of My Heart

Welcome to the new year! 2019 was indeed a year to remember. There were many obstacles to overcome, irreplaceable losses, and situations in which I questioned my tenacity and endurance. As I enter this new decade, I am thankful because I made it. I persevered. I am here. My heart continues to beat. I am happy that you are here and we have the opportunity to embark upon this path together.

My story of survival

Sharing my story of survival often leaves me overwhelmed. At this very moment, my eyes are filled with tears. I was born with an aortic valve defect and a heart murmur. As I aged with sickness, I realized that heart disease would accompany me the rest of my life for however long that was. My parents had to accept the task of rearing an ill child, not knowing what the trajectory of life would be. They were told that I would live a life of limited activity and were unsure of what my teenage and young adult years would bring, or if I would see them at all. They loved me fiercely, always had faith, and rarely allowed their fears to become mine.

In the stillness of solitude

As an adult, I cannot imagine the sleepless nights, millions of prayers, and silent tears they must have cried. What I know for sure is the gratitude I feel to exist. I feel every beat of my heart. In the stillness of solitude, I hear it. My heart speaks a native language that only we understand. When my physical body is tired of fighting and my spirit is laden, my heart roars. My open-heart surgical scar and all “battle” wounds remind me of the wars we have fought together.

It chants my survivor's anthem

It recollects the journey of the deeply adorned, yet insecure child that could not comprehend the calling on her life to the perfectly imperfect, confidant woman who lives with intention. It chants my survivor’s anthem because I am indeed alive to tell my story. My life is a revelation of a meticulously, crafted chronicle. It is the crossroad where joy, pain, success, adversity, loss, and gain intersect. My heart has the privilege of recording every experience.

I wish to encourage you

I wish to encourage you. Life is full of adversity, yet you’ve been designed to persevere. Our encounters and ailments may differ yet still we share the same human journey. We live day by day and sometimes moment to moment. We sift through our lived experiences in search of acceptance, intention, and meaning. Your very existence substantiates your divine purpose. You are writing your story with every beat of your heart. During the times you need encouragement, reflect on the times you made it through the wilderness. In the moments of fear and uncertainty speak life into your spirit. On those days you feel depleted simply listen to your heart. Thanks for allowing me to share mine with you.

“She learned that in every obstacle
There was a hidden lesson,
Adversity has made her that much stronger
She’s learned to count her blessings.”
“Revelations” by Teresa Wright-Johnson

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