Today, we’re talking about health, happiness, and purpose. For many of us, living a long healthy happy life might look a very specific way in our head. But as we all know, life doesn’t always happen as we expect it. Sometimes we’re forced to take a detour that changes the course of our life forever. What’s important is how we rise to the challenge, and how we continue to show up for life. And of course, this podcast is all about celebrating people who have done just that. So today, I would like to introduce you to my friend Denise whose life took an unexpected dramatic turn 20 years ago.
“My name is Denise and I live in Woodinville which is a suburb of Seattle in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I’ve spent most of my life living here although I was born, raised, and attended college in Ohio until I was 24 years old. At that point I moved to South Florida for seven years because I loved the sunshine and warm weather. I’ve been married to my second husband, Rob, for almost 20 years and we have five children together ages 24-31. I am an elementary/special education teacher, mentor, and life transitions coach who loves people, enjoys spending time with family and friends, and is passionate about God’s creation and the outdoors. When I was 40 years old in 2003, my husband (who was then my fiancé) and our 5 children were in a horrific car accident which left me completely paralyzed from the upper chest down. It happened during our family vacation on our way to Yellowstone national park. I was airlifted to the hospital where I had a neck infusion and stabilized for five days until I was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle which is where I spent three months in rehabilitation before returning home.” – Denise
- Denise leveraged her traumatic injury to influence state laws
- Stay realistically positive
- “let go” of being in control
- take time to stay connected and maintain relationships.
- prayer and worship can help heal
- Events like this make us realize we’re not as in control as we might think
- In a culture that values independence, our purpose is to helps others
- It’s ok to try doing the things you love in different ways