Here is an email I got last week from Donna Summers from Gables Residential. It is shared with her permission. “I wanted to thank you again for coming to speak to our group. I was very excited for you to come back for two reasons. One, I wanted to be hear you again and I wanted my team to hear your message about overcoming challenges as I thought it was a powerful one that would impact them greatly. Two, I knew that this time I would break the board. You see, for me, not breaking the board that day many years ago was life changing. As I mentioned I had fibromyalgia for many years and my journey of healing was a long one.
I have never really been able to put in words what I went through until you explained it today with the Stockdale Paradox. Not that I went through what he had to endure as a prisoner of war , but as you said today, for me it was my own personal hell. The way I got through it was simply put in the three things you said he conveyed.
- I had to retain absolute faith. You see, in the beginning I believed I would be healed through my faith in God, but every day that passed and I was not healed I was becoming more depressed.
Through prayer I came to the revelation that I wanted something more than healing, I wanted to be closer to Him. I realized that if I was never healed, God would not forsake me and I would survive. That allowed me to stop focusing on me and MY healing alone, but focus on faith in Him.
- I had to face the brutal facts about my condition and those were that many of my life choices were making me worse. I had done a lot of this to myself. When I heard you the first time, I had begun the process of changing those conditions and physically, I had actually gotten better, but I still had some limitations on my mind and you helped me see those limitations and begin to move beyond them.
- I knew that in the end, going through this would only make me stronger. After hearing you the first time and not breaking the board, I realized that breaking that board was only limited by my own mind. I was not seeing fully beyond my illness or through the board (even though I was doing a lot of what I mentioned before I still needed this board to show me what I was holding back). It was the last piece that God used to take me all the way to full healing! I have been healed fully for over 10 years!
This time I had no doubt I would break it. Well, a little doubt crept in this morning before I heard you speak, I thought “how stupid of you Donna to have him come and do this board activity and risk embarrassment in front of these people you lead if you are the only one who can’t break it in the room!” But I shoved that aside, as I knew it was going to be life changing for everyone in the room including me! Besides, I learned to lay my pride down a long time ago, so I just laid it down again this morning and broke the board. Another challenge overcome!
I will share my enthusiasm with others to give you referrals with my peers looking for speakers as I firmly believe in your message. Here is the picture of our team at Gables Residential after the experience.”