I See the Light!

tn3tn4Tennessee is a beautiful state, from Graceland to Gatlinburg, and I am very thankful for God’s blessings on this country girl, from Tennessee.

As a kid, I loved the music that played on the radio, and I’ll never forget the ones that we always sang; “I saw the light, no more darkness, no more night…..”

Did you know that the song, “I Saw the Light” was written by country singer Hank Williams? The song is listed in the category of “Country Gospel” and is a staple in the Gospel genre, even today. In 2005, CMT (Country Music Television) ranked it as the Number ONE, #1, song of the Top 20 Greatest Songs of Faith. But, there is an amazing, inspirational story behind this legendary song.

Since 1947, from Roy Acuff to Bob Dylan, “I Saw the Light” has been covered (re-released) by dozens of artists, with immeasurable success. The scope of this song is impossible to grasp; it is powerful. Who would have EVER thought this song, and its Writer, would be legends? GOD! Only God saw the “Light” because He is the Light. (John 8:12)

What started as a failure, God changed to abundant success. The #1 County-Gospel Song of ALL TIME was REJECTED by Nashville, the birthplace of Country music. But, God intervened. Its composer, Hank Williams, was a drunk, a nobody, who somehow found the grace of God and the favor of MGM Records. (It’s a great story on Wikipedia here.)“It was the prayer of the backslider, who lives in hope of redemption,” wrote biographer, Colin Escott.

So, what does this have to do with my Blog? Well, it’s a story, and if you know me, then you know that I like a good story. However, I would rather not have had to lived through this one. I can relate to this song in ways I never would have imagined, and I can sincerely say that I have seen the LIGHT.  “Praise the Lord, I saw the Light…”

If you have given up on your dreams; If you have little to no “hope”; If you think that TIME has passed you by; then, maybe you should take a moment and read this story…

God is amazing. I hope that my story encourages you, if you are feeling like the darkness has overtaken the “light” in your life. There is HOPE….you will SEE, feel, hear, sense, and know the “LIGHT” again. But, to understand the power of the Light, you will know the dread of the darkness. There is a journey, a path, a wilderness trek that many of us will take at some point in life, whether we planned it or not.

In May 2016, I began to feel really tired, all day, everyday. The days had started to get tiring and long, In February, I awoke one morning and every joint in my body ached, like never before, whether I moved or not. The bottom of my feet hurt to stand, as I limped to the bathroom. What is this?

I made an extra cup of coffee that morning and pushed onward. We had a big event coming up, as I remember; I had to keep going. With my extra coffee, I added a few extra Ibuprofen tablets, so I could keep going, and, going….and, going. By May, I was beyond the help of extra coffee or ibuprofen or sugar or any of my trusted “supplements.” Nothing seemed to help. I was praying and praying, but there was no answer. I felt cold, chilled to the bone. I felt the darkness creeping around me, waiting for my collapse. That day began a journey of searching for answers. Why the pain, at this level? Why now?What was missing?

I stopped working. I shut down Media 4 Women, the marketing company that Tonilee and I started in 2009. By October 2016, I was so sick, so beyond tired, that our ministry started to suffer. By December, our 11-year Radio program had to stop production. Our 12th Annual Women’s Conference in San Diego was not going to happen in 2017. I had no energy to “speak” at events, or “teach” our Bible studies, or update the Daily Devotions, or just get out of bed. Depression crept in and darkness settled itself upon me. Where was the LIGHT? Why was this happening?

Finally, by the end of 2016, I had a diagnosis. After a pint of blood and a catalogue of tests, the doctor (Endocrinologist) shook my hand and said, “Congratulations! You are REALLY SICK. You are not crazy. You are sick.” I wasn’t sure if I was relieved to finally have  answers, or if I was too tired to care.

After months of chronic illness, I did not have the strength, or the attitude, to “take up my mat” (John 5) and get going, to get better. The “darkness” is an entity in itself. IT is heavy and lifeless. IT has a way of overtaking, overwhelming the opportunity for any “light,” or hope, to breakthrough. The “IT” is the “ENEMY” to any Christian. I (We) know the right words, the right Bible verses, and yet, “IT” is not going away without a fight. And, I was just too tired…

To Be Continued….Part 2 is coming! (I’ll attach the Song next blog)

Bobbye

 

 

 

 

The Secret of Success

I’ve read countless numbers of books on “Success” and all of its descriptions. There are a myriad of opinions on “success” and how one achieves it. Personally, I believe success is defined and measured individually, as each person has a different and unique perspective. What is success? How do you measure your success? Do you consider yourself successful?

For some, money means success. For others, success is being independent, the business owner…the car, the house, the affluence. I think a big part of this identity stems from our society, Hollywood, Wall Street and the generation of entitlement. Does success mean happiness, freedom, peace…? Is there a “secret” to success?

In my 20’s, I worked hard to be my definition of successful: the young, upwardly mobile or “yuppie” was my example. I read the books, listened to the tapes and attended the seminars. In my 30’s, success meant reaching a place of status, having worked hard to earn the position. To be honest, internally I was miserable, unhappy and burned out. On the outside, I looked the part…on the inside, I was falling apart.

Today, I have an entirely different view of success. I still have the ambition, the motivation and yes, even the anxiety, but I have learned something that I consider to be very valuable on the path to “success”. I get up everyday and try to do my best. Most days I focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I have learned that it does me no good to try to put 10 feet in front of the one foot. It doesn’t work.  I have learned that success is not and should not be measured by status in comparison to others.

The secret of success for me is persevering…enduring…putting one foot in front of the other, day by day. In business, in relationships, in everything…one step at a time, day by day. Trials and tribulations come and sometimes the circumstances threaten to take us out. Even if we have to re-direct our steps, revise our goals or even take a break, those decisions are evidence of “success”. Just don’t give up, don’t quit and don’t let anyone or anything have the power to rob you of your dreams and visions.

The Secret of Success? Everyday, you get up and keep going. That’s success! Enjoy your successful day.

Bobbye Brooks

The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned

Today was a busy day for me, Valentine’s Day, of all days. I wished my husband “Happy Valentine’s Day” as I left for a 7:30am meeting. He, too, was leaving right after me. Some people say, “slow down”, ” you’re too busy”, “why work so hard”…and my favorite, “is it really worth it?” I am the first to admit that my “life” is not for everyone. Yes, I am busy. Yes, I know I need to slow down. Yes, I probably work too hard. And, YES, it really is worth it. One of the absolute BIGGEST lessons I have learned in my life is to NEVER QUIT. Keep going and keep moving forward. In the Bible, Paul says to run the race with endurance and to keep the faith until the end. Endurance is not easy and sometimes the days are long but it is so worth it when you look back see the ground that you have been tilling/planting/nurturing is now growing a bountiful crop. That’s awesome.

The other thing I have learned is that the world is full of negative “nay sayers” who challenge and question things that are usually none of their business. That’s okay with me and to be honest, I do try to listen and glean from any wisdom I can from those who are a lot smarter than me. But, at the end of the day, the turtle does win the race. Just keep going…step by step.. baby steps are okay.

About 8 years ago, I convinced Tonilee to put on a women’s conference with me. She hated the idea…I mean really hated it. After a “message from God” (literally), she finally agreed. It was difficult to say the least. If I knew then what I know now, I would have never done it. I was younger and naive. Somehow, some way, every year, we found the courage (lapses of memory) to do this event again and again. It was painful at times, for lots of reasons and every year, I swore it would be the last. But, another lapse of memory would come and here we would go again. Now, in 2013…we are doing #8, out 8th annual women’s conference. Somewhere around year 6, the crowds started coming. Wow…I thought…something has changed. And then I realized what changed, we had tilled the ground, planted the seeds (every year) and kept working the crop…year after year. This past month, we have contacted about 250 churches in San Diego who have requested our cards and information about the event. When we first started, they would ask, “Bobbye and Tonilee who?” It took time to introduce ourselves to them…some how, some way…we NEVER GAVE UP.

About 4 years, I convinced Tonilee to form a new company with me called Media 4 Women (starting to sound familiar). She wasn’t so keen on the idea, maybe didn’t hate it but didn’t like it. Who are we to start a media and marketing company? Boy, did we get the comments on that decision. Lots of opinions and many of them were not so positive. Some how, some way…through difficult challenges and long days…we have built an amazing “little” company. We have helped start dozens of new businesses and have worked with amazing businesses and individuals across the country. I cannot believe all that I have learned in the world of Internet marketing and online social media marketing, to the point that I love helping people learn how use the online tools for themselves. The power of life is in knowledge. The Bible says that My people perish for lack of knowledge. We need to keep learning, keep growing and keep going. NEVER QUIT.

One more example. About 10 years ago, Tonilee and I started writing Daily Devotionals. Guess what? People told us that we would never keep it up. Why bother? 10 years later, these devotionals all over the world. They go out daily via emails. We have a daily devotional app. We have a daily devotional book. And, the devotionals are on numerous websites including Crosswalk.com and Christianity.com. NEVER QUIT.

Please do not allow others to discourage you or hinder your dreams. You are the only one can quit. There is 100% failure rate if you quit. Keep going. My day today was amazing and as I prepare for our weekly Bible study, I truly thank God for His faithfulness and guidance in my life. He makes it worth while and He has plan for all of us. We just have to keep the faith and NEVER QUIT.

 

Bobbye Brooks