It’s with great pleasure that I introduce Amber Newman, the blogger at A Creative Newmie, to you. In her guest post below, Amber shares her heartfelt story about finding hope for new beginnings. I have no doubt that you will admire her strength as much as I do.
First of all, I’m overjoyed to be a guest blogger for When Women Inspire. I find great satisfaction in reading motivational stories that make me strive to be a better individual than I was the day before. Thank you Christy for this opportunity to share my journey.
I recently turned 26 years old. Celebrating my birthdays each year are major accomplishments for me. Why? When I was only seven months old, I was diagnosed with a life threatening, progressive, lung disease called cystic fibrosis. By the time I reached my early teen years, I had become extremely ill, dependent on oxygen, and in desperate need of a life-saving double lung transplant.
Living with a chronic illness isn’t easy, but somehow, I mange to do it every single day of my life. This small excerpt of my life is all about faith, hope for new beginnings, and love.
I did not live the life of a normal 13-year-old girl. No longer could I attend school because of my lack of energy, the several medications I had to take just to stay alive, and my oxygen tank would run out before classes ended for the day. I missed out on sleepovers, shopping trips to the mall, and making new friends.
Moreover, the activities I used to be able to perform without any effort now took all my strength. I couldn’t enjoy the simplest things, such as a moment of laughter, without physically getting sick from laughing too hard. I even needed help to wash my hair. And I couldn’t walk across a small room without gasping for air; I could only go as far as my oxygen tubing would let me.
I had always been passionate about dancing and music. So I danced until I couldn’t dance. I listened to music too until I could no longer hear the sound because of hearing loss. Due to a side effect of ototoxic medication, I was living in the hospital a few times a year, for weeks at a time. I not only couldn’t breathe, but I also suffered from diabetes, weight loss, and eventually being deaf. It felt like a lifetime of suffering. Would it end soon? Were there new beginnings? I prayed.
So, what kept me going? I had the love and support of my family and friends, as well as my faith and a positive attitude. I wrote in a journal to help me process my emotions and connected with others online who were living with the same deadly disease.
Also, I used my creative talents to forget about the pain, at least for a little while. Not once, did I stop and think, why me?
Well, why not me? God chooses His strongest soldiers for the biggest battles and there was a big one coming.
My prayers were answered on March 13, 2007, when I was just 15 years old. I received the ultimate gift of life from a very generous family, of a girl around the same age as me. Because of the most difficult decision-making choice made by my donor, I’ve been thriving through life ever since.
For example, I finally danced at my junior and senior proms. I can hear again too, thanks to cochlear implants. Other accomplishments include:
And, the greatest blessing of all, I found my one true love. That’s amazing for new beginnings.
We married during a dreamy, bright, orange sunset on Honeymoon Island beach in Dunedin, Florida. My husband has all the qualities I desired in a lifelong partner. He’s kind, patient, humorous, laid-back, and makes me strive to be a better woman and wife. He’s my knight in shining armor.
It seemed like a happy ending, or so I thought.
Unfortunately, I fell into a deep depression over the past couple of years. I cried a few times a week. And slept. I used excuse after excuse for my failures and often fought with my husband.
What happened was my overwhelming feeling of pressure to be perfect. I didn’t survive the past decade only to live without purpose for new beginnings. I had to prove I deserve to be here, and I thought my time was limited, simply because the average survival rate for a double lung transplant recipient is five years. Not only had I passed the average mortality rate, but I doubled it this year when I celebrated 10 years breathing free!
So, I stepped out of my unhappy life after attending church for the first time last November. I had an abundance of renewed hope for new beginnings. I discovered myself. My dreams had never changed, I realized. I am an artist and a writer. With the encouragement from my ladies bible study group, I began arts and crafts projects and set up a blog. I’m focused and more determined than ever. I have a reason to smile again. The one who falls and gets back up is much stronger than the one who never fell.
Of course, there isn’t sunshine everyday of my life. But when I feel the darkness peeking through, I pray and believe in the better days ahead.
Whatever daily struggles you may be currently facing, do it with a smile. You deserve more credit than you give yourself. Remember, a negative mind will never give you a positive life. Be the girl who decided to go for it.
Much love and blessings,
Amber Newman currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. She enjoys reading with a cup a tea, shopping, blogging, and watching her favorite TV shows. You can read more of her story on her website, A Creative Newmie. She features craft projects, as well as monthly book reviews, and inspirational posts.
September 25, 2017
Hello, Amber. A pleasure to meet you. I commend you for sharing your story, inspirational overall.
I look forward to reading more about you. I believe in the positive vs. negative way of living, so I certainly applaud you.
A wonderful post to begin my week! Thank you, Amber and Christy!
A truly inspiring post! Thank you, Amber and Christy, both for sharing Amber´s story!
Hi Christy ,
thank you for this great guest post by Amber :) She is truly enlightened …”a negative mind will never give you a positive life”…I love this truth :)
Thank you girls
Wow. Inspiring post. You’ve overcome a lot. Way to go!
Thank you Lisa! I’m glad you are inspired. I really appreciate your comment.
Hello Amber, an absolute pleasure to read your post.
This post was special to me to read because my older girl had a friend at school who had cystic fibrosis. She fought to live every step of the way but sadly that wasn’t what happened. I’m glad you’ve come out of that unhappy place you were in. Christy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for this post
Hello dear Amber.. What a truly inspiring story.. And I am so delighted to learn that through someone else’s tragic heartbreak, their choice to give, Allowed you a chance to Change your live..
I read a blog recently which had a quote upon it which said
“The three C’s of Life.
CHOICES, CHANCES, CHANGES,
You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.. ”
The parents of your donor made that choice, giving you that chance.. That now has enabled you to change your life to do that which you dreamed of doing..
Wonderful I am so happy for you …
Thank you Christy for sharing such an inspiring story with us ..
Love to you both xxx <3
Thank you Sue for your kind words! Love the 3 C’s! What a great mind set.
Wonderfully inspiring post lovely to meet you Amber. :)
Thank you, Amber, for sharing your story! You are wonderful and your insights are inspiring. Thank you, Christy, for posting this beautiful piece! <3
Thanks, Christy, for allowing Amber to share her most inspirational story. Amber, I commend you for not giving up, for somehow holding that positive attitude in its place, and for inspiring others in similar circumstances to do the same.
Six years ago, my daughter (20 then) was diagnosed with a liver disease (auto immune). She doesn’t drink or do drugs or anything. It came out-of-the-blue, and after 3 years of tests. Anyway, long story short, the only cure is a liver transplant, which is predicted within 10 years of diagnosis. She can function though, graduated college, works full-time, etc. But what she has in common with you is her stellar optimism and positive attitude. To say this news wasn’t daunting then would be a lie.
However, she has taught us how to live in the “here and now” and how not to worry about the future. If we “go there” as her parents, we will undoubtedly “lose it.” So, we stay in the present, and we live life just as she is living hers.
I wanted to share this because I really do agree with you in how a positive mind-set can make all the difference. I wish you all the best in health and in love for your future.
Blessings, Lauren (and I apologize for the long-winded comment)
She iz a great lady.
I am so proud to know Amber! She’s an amazing young woman and one who shows us all what strength and courage are and why we need someone to remind us of our many blessings. Congratulations Amber and may God’s love guide you in all your endeavors and in your marriage.
Thank you, Christy, for sharing Amber’s inspirational story of overcoming adversity and grabbing the sweet moments of happiness. I wish Amber the very best!
Hi Amber! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. You are really an inspiration. May you always stay blessed and happy. Thanks Christy for featuring Amber.
Thank you for sharing this very motivating and uplifting post Amber and Christy! I agree God chooses His strongest soldiers for the biggest battles and your positivity and facing struggles with smiles is inspirational. Loved the two beautiful quotes!!
Amber you are so inspiring. God bless you! ❤ Christy I love all your articles. They are so useful and interesting! ❤
I’m inspired! Thank you Amber for sharing everything, the good & the bad. I wish all fab things for you and your loved ones.
Christy, thank you for sharing Amber with all of us!
What a very inspiring post! ❤️✨
Thank you Amber for sharing your most inspirational story. You are blessed. :) x
Thank you for reading! I appreciate your comments :)
Thank you for sharing. :)
hi, amber! thanks for sharing & it gives me great hope to read about your 10 year lungaversary. <3 from a fellow CF cyster & double lung transplant recipient
Thanks Jackie! I hope you’re doing well. I wish you a happy and healthy future.
I love your inspiring story, Amber!
Inspiring! :) Sharing… xo
What a wonderful Story. You are a strong courageous woman!
Thank you so much Chillmom! I try to be the best I can be.
Thank you for reading Bette! Love and blessings to you.
Do you still do guest posts? I would love to write for you!
What a great post!
Amber -Thank you for sharing your story. May God continue to bless you and you husband!
Christy – May God bless you for allowing Amber to be such an inspiration to all who reads her post. Thank you both!
Wow what an inspirational story. You are such a strong woman Amber!
Thank you so much!
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