Life was good, busy and hectic but good. The holidays were behind them; her husband had just celebrated his 20th year of pastoring and the completion of his Dissertation for his Doctored degree. They were coasting into the new year. Despite the exhaustion from struggling with a cold, she was looking forward to January. The thought of catching up on sleep and completing some housework brought about a sense of peace. She never imagined her life would change overnight. Wilhemina laid down on a Tuesday Night feeling a little under the weather and woke up Wednesday morning thinking she had suffered a stroke.
My right hand was useless so to the hospital we go; it has to be a stroke.
I was scared; I have survived car wrecks with three broken appendages, tornados destroying my car with me inside, thyroid cancer, the death of my parents. I was not ready for another test, but God is faithful! The day became Night; I was deteriorating; my entire right side became useless. By Thursday night I couldn’t do anything. My voice was slurring; I could only raise my head. I was paralyzed. The following test on Friday determined I had Gillian Barré Syndrome. How did I get what is known as a middle-age white man’s disease? African Americans don’t get GBS, especially women. I was shocked.
As if this wasn’t enough, the plot continued to thicken. The initial test results were not conclusive, and if they were wrong, my insurance would not pay for the five high-dose immunoglobulin therapy I needed. But what else could we do? After prayer; we decided to start treatments. I was getting weaker, and they worried that if we waited for the final results, ICU and a ventilator were my future.
Treatments begin on Friday Night; we waited and prayed all night. Five days and treatments later we were hopeful. With God’s help and physical therapists, I walked out rehab with a walker, and almost two years later I only have a slight limp and some fatigue to remind me. GBS is not curable, a flare up is always possible, but I thank God every morning for today. The Negro spiritual “I can’t even raise my right hand without the Lord” is truly real to me.
To the woman that feels like giving up I want to say, hold on. Hold on to God. Life is full of twists and turns, and many adventures. Some that are not always pleasant, but if you keep your hand in the Master's hand he will give you the strength and the courage you need to keep moving forward. Hold on to your dreams. Keep dreaming, keeping hoping, keep reaching forward. Don't let failures and disappoints stop you. Hold on to yourself. Be determine not to let others define your destiny, your character, and who you are. You and God can take care of that.
Purpose through the eyes of Wilhemina
What does being a purpose driven woman mean to you?
Being a Purpose Driven Woman means knowing what God has for you to do for Him, serving Him with your complete heart, and doing all you can to walk right before those you serve as an example of what a child of God should be. "Purpose Driven" does not mean you are perfect, but that you are striving to be all that God has called you to be. First you are a woman of God. Secondly you know what God has call you to do, and finally you are doing what God has call you to do. To others your purpose may seem small or insignificant, but if you believe and trust God for it - that is all that truly matters.
How would you define purpose?
I would define purpose as my reason for being created by God. I honestly believe that every person has a purpose for their being defined only by God. We were all created for His GLORY and His PRAISE, but He also instilled in each of us an additional reason for being.
Purpose is your motivation for doing what you do. It’s what makes you keep doing what you do even those around you count you out. Purpose is an internal drive provided by the Holy Spirit.
How would you define your purpose?
My purpose is to help others, to encourage my sisters in Christ, and to use my gifts to share the Gospel of Christ. I make every experience another avenue of learning for me so that I might use my experiences as a teaching moment or testimony for others.