I thought I’d share both personal update and give you some GREAT news about HealingStrong Groups Around the World! 🙂
Since 2013, Jeff and I have worked on “downsizing” our lives. We went from living in our dream home where we raised our two boys – to selling the house, moving into a little rental and continuing to reduce the “stuff” in our lives. It has allowed us to focus on what and who matters most.
Two years ago, I quit my full-time career job to focus on HealingStrong. It was a huge step of faith for our family, but one of the best decisions. My family and the HealingStrong Board and Advisory teams have been so supportive every step of the way.
This last week, we took another leap of faith in the direction of simplifying and prioritizing our lives. We have combined households with Jeff’s sweet parents. Eight years ago, My mother and father-in love traveled 800 miles across the United States to help us on the tale-end of my own healing journey. Today, as they are both in their 80’s and our children are grown, it is the right thing to do. While they can still run circles around all of us, through lots of prayer and seeking wisdom, we believe the time is now to make this move. Lots of changes all around, but we look forward to this next chapter.
I share this with you because I know that many of us are caught up in a cycle of “busy-ness”, juggling debt, feeling over-committed, and ultimately hesitant to step out in faith and do what it is our hearts desire. We are tired and frustrated., and we operate in a spirit of fear. Add cancer to the mix, or some other chronic condition, and this is a recipe for disaster. We miss the best part of our lives trying to “keep up with the Jones”. I love this quote from Henry David Thoreau: “That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.” When I have shared our story with others, many don’t understand how we could take such drastic steps, especially at this stage of our lives. It’s difficult to explain to people when we do something that is out of the ordinary and doesn’t make sense. Those of us who have chosen a more natural or integrative approach to healing know this all too well.
What I do know is that God doesn’t want us to be heavy burdened. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Healing is a journey, isn’t it! 🙂 It’s not just the physical manifestation of health, but the balance of our lives and how we live it. Sometimes it takes radical decisions on our part to make a change. How are you doing in this area?
I wanted to take a moment and share with you some of the exciting events and group news going on around the HealingStrong community. See all of the amazing stories below! Your support is making a huge impact. If you have a desire to share your story and knowledge with others, we’d love to help you start a group. If you are not already, get connected to your local HealingStrong group!
Finally, if you have been blessed by HealingStrong and would like to contribute to our mission, please consider making a contribution here. All donations are tax-exempt and support the mission of HealingStrong.
Thank you for your continued support!
So much love and gratitude,
HealingStrong Stories – Fanning the Flames
WHAT REALLY HAPPENS IN HEALINGSTRONG GROUPS?
We love hearing the wonderful testimonials of what God is doing in and through the local groups. Whether a group has 3 or 30 attending, community is happening all around the world, and these groups are helping people to heal strong!
Group Leader Spotlight: Trusting God
Talk about inspiring! Michelle Weiss, HealingStrong Group Leader in Highlands, TX. was diagnosed two years ago with triple negative breast cancer, stage 2. At the time, she was a regional sales manager in the midst of corporate changes that effected her own job. She said the stress level was off the charts, and consequently, she didn’t return to her corporate job. Instead, thorugh prayer, she sought God for direction and He opened a door to step into a new role at a local thermography office.
Her treatment protocol began with a regimen of chemotherapy and radiation, which was detoured after Michelle listened to Chris Wark’s Square One videos. After hearing his encouraging message of hope, she decided to undergo the double mastectomy but chose to stop chemo treatments. She completed 3 of the 16 recommended treatments. Her doctor removed her port and she hasn’t looked back since. She is mostly plant-based vegan, and lives a healthy lifestyle while teaching others through her HealingStrong groups. She also attends a local breast cancer support group, in addition to her own HealingStrong Group and says it gives her an opportunity to share hope and encouragement, along with practical how-to live healthy tips with other breast cancer thrivers.
The power of connections!
Michelle meets twice a month with her local group, having recently increased the frequency of meetings. She has also met with participants one-on-one, helping them navigate the local Whole Foods grocery store, and introducing them to healthy alternatives to the standard American diet. She sees her group as an opportunity to reach those, like herself, who were lost and confused and need practical support.
She incorporates hands-on activities and speakers into her HealingStrong group meetings. This last month, she presented an activity to her group of 12 attendees that focused on joy. For the activity, she offered a variation of items that she put together in advance to prompt discussion — such as a gardening display (seeds, watering cans, etc.); a reading display (favorite books); family time (a movie card, game board, etc.); relaxation display (Epsom salts, essential oils, bath sponge); etc.. She asked the participants to think about something that used to bring them joy that maybe they haven’t done in a while, or choose a display that brings them joy today. It was a powerful meeting and the discussion helped remind the participants to be intentional in their lives and choose joy.
Here are some pictures of Michelle with Chris Wark at the HealingStrong Live! event this last November, along with her HealingStrong Group attendees in Highlands, TX..
Thank you, Michelle, for all you are doing, and the heart at which you serve and give yourself, your time and talent to others. Keep on shining! 🙂
Soledad, Group Leader, mentioned they meet at the international Christian Community, Nicanor Aguilar con Av. Solano, Azuay Cuenca and had 11 attend their very first group meeting where they organized a sample of live foods in front of a sample of processed foods, in the center of the circle of chairs, so that they could see healthy alternatives. And we also present the concept of Microbiome.
What a great start and I LOVE THIS demonstration!
In a little community hall of the MeleMat Village (a remote island off the coast of Australia):
Brigitte, brand new Group Leader, is working hard to gain traction in her community. She sent an update this last week to share with everyone that while looking out for a local person to help her with the group meetings, she met a lady who worked in the Health Ministry. This lady wanted her to organise a meeting in another area of Port Vila. She reported details about her latest meeting to us: The meeting took place in a small community hall in the Mele Mat village. They sounded genuinely interested and want us to come back. They had many questions and would like us to discuss power of plants, fruits and vegetables that grow here and are very healthy.
Brook has been leading her group for 2 1/2 years. (She is also one of our newest Regional Group Leaders.) This last month, she and her participants experienced a loss of one of their members, Annie. These HealingStrong angels gathered around her for support and took this picture. She shared this with our group leader community: Good afternoon beautiful souls and wonderful leaders!!! It breaks my heart to have to post this but yesterday we lost a beautiful soul from our group in Virginia. Her Name is Annie and she was one of the spunkiest people you would have ever met! She love to laugh right up until the end. Please pray for our group. We are a small group but we are a mighty force! By His Stripes we ARE healed.
What an absolute blessing to see so much love and support.
Coeur d’Alene, ID
Dan meets at Real Life Ministries and reported that they had a great 2nd meeting with 3 brand new faces. Lots of participation with great conversations!
Way to go, Dan! So excited to hear the great news.
Nothing tells a story quite like pictures. Here are some recent pics of Dee’s group meeting. Thank you so much for sharing. Love seeing your beautiful faces and all of the resources you are providing to your community.
Ovie, a two-time breast cancer thriver joined HealingStrong as a group leader last year and has been blazing a trail ahead. When Ovie’s former HOPE support group at her church came to an end in September of 2018 she was left wondering what her next move would be. When she was watching Chris Wark’s Square One he mentioned HealingStrong and she was compelled to see if there was a group in her area. When it turned out there was no group in sight she approached her church with the HealingStrong manual and the directors at the church loved it. Just a couple of short months later she began her own group in the Word of Life church in Greensburg. Ovie said this when we were recently talking about her group: “I am humbled and feel like the group found me. We are passionate about prevention and sharing the love of Jesus, while building relationships with each other.” — Ovie
Round Rock, TX
Patricia, group leader shared about spontaneous prayer in her meeting after the discussion time revealed hurts and emotions. Patricia leads her group with an open heart.
“When doing the group activity, each one opened up to share, and before we knew it an hour had passed. Many spoke about their emotions, sadness, fear, loneliness in facing cancer, and most of all – how to know you are making the right decisions as you choose your healing protocol? I was so touched and was compelled to prayer, believing God to meet each person right where they are; and to expect the miraculous for each of them. God’s presence was so real! We proceeded with the lesson on Detox (#8) which does have a component about detoxing your mind. I had brought “Battlefield of the Mind” book by Joyce Meyers, which I highly recommended to help get your thoughts lined up with the Word and to get the confidence needed to make decisions. I shared my personal practice of 1) asking God for guidance, and 2) putting my faith into action by taking a step. If that step was right, to take another step. If it was wrong, go back and ask God for guidance, and again, take a step.”
Donna, who has been leading a group for two years also serves on our Advisory Team for HealingStrong and is in touch with the needs of her group. She recently incorporated a local speaker not once but twice to discuss an interesting topic …
We had a speaker share her personal experience about her war with parasites. She has been journaling the last 2 1/2 years…She shared so much great info, everyone wanted her back. She then came back in February. It’s a very neglected subject and people really want the information! She discussed, cleanses, supplements, diet, emotions, etc….Was very well received!
Here’s a report from George, our group leader in Oregon sharing about a particular attendee, how he found his group and how he is tackling his cancer diagnosis. Love that George’s group is there to support him!
“I read and participants discussed Lesson 8. We had no guest speaker. A new fellow came, one who is dealing with a recent stage 4 cancer diagnosis. He made contact with me after finding the group on the HealingStrong website map, which he found after watching Chris Wark Square One, and Ty and Charlene Bolinger’s Truth About Cancer. His oncologist story: having been terrified with his recent diagnosis, he went through chemo. He asked his oncologist how many patients she has had in her 30-year practice who did not get cancer again; her honest answer: ONE, AND I HOPE YOU ARE NUMBER 2.”
So thankful he has George and his group to learn all he can learn to keep healing and staying strong, body and soul.
We get information for “Fanning the Flame” from our group leaders. Each group is unique but follows along a set framework for HealingStrong. Some groups meet weekly, others monthly. Please take time and share! The more you share, the more others can get connected with a community of support, help and hope. Find or Start your group today!