How blessed and grateful I am. I truly have had a remarkable life.
This is not a perspective I had during the darkest and most difficult moments. But as I reflect on my life and my struggles, I can say confidently that because of God’s grace, the life I have is remarkable.
Chronic headaches began when I was a teenager, and depression wasn’t too far behind, although it is only in hindsight that I know I was living with depression. It’s clear to me now too, that how I felt was not normal. I remember thinking, “This is how everyone must feel about life. They’re just stronger than me.”
I didn’t have an official diagnosis until many years later, and when it happened, depression would grab onto me like quicksand in the desert, and seemed to pull me down no matter how much I fought and resisted. It always gave me same the feeling of despair and doom: There is no way out.
It didn’t help that I have always had high expectations for myself, and tend to be a perfectionist. Not accomplishing what I set out to do would cause me to say the F-word a lot: Failure. I got caught up in my own world of self-destructive thinking and behavior, believing that how I saw myself must be what everyone else saw too. I’ve never been in actual quicksand, but that’s what my negative self-talk, thinking, and depression felt like. Quicksand.
The only way out was to ask someone to help me. But that was like using the F-word again. How could I be such a failure? I couldn’t get out of this on my own? What’s wrong with me?
How ironic then, it seemed, to be in television news for 20 years, and an anchor for most of those years. I had a job to do, in front of a camera. To deliver the news—many times depressing news. And I had to put on a fresh face and be professional, regardless of how down or gloomy I was feeling. Despite my inward struggles, I was able, with God’s grace and through strength in Him, to put on a smile and greet viewers during those most difficult times.
But even being in TV news was all quite by accident. Or was it? It’s hindsight again that I see how this journey has unfolded just as God planned for me. I was pursuing a career in radio, not TV. I had the self-image you so often hear people jokingly refer to: “a face for radio.” I still marvel at how I ended up being in this profession—without intention, but still, with immense gratitude. God gave me the gifts for speaking and creative writing. He put people in my life who encourage and uplift me, and has nurtured my spirit and mind through the people and stories I have witnessed daily in my career.
My life really is remarkable. I don’t wish anyone to experience depression, but I believe I am stronger, wiser, kinder and more confident because of my adversities. When I find myself in the quicksand of depression now—I still feel that fear and despair. But here is what I have learned: Quicksand doesn’t actually suck you in. You sink into it, and the more you struggle, the quicker you sink. The good news—it is rarely more than a few feet deep. Getting out of it, though, requires help. You just have to ask, or be willing to accept it when someone offers. And God is always willing and strong. I have learned to listen for his voice in my friends and family.
I have also learned what the “quicksand” in my life looks like—and how to avoid it. And I have stopped saying the F-word. Instead, I choose to believe I am worthy, capable and created for a purpose. I continue to learn and grow from my experiences, good and bad, and I choose to live with a smile on my face and love in my heart for others because I am a child of God and the life he’s given me is remarkable.
Let’s admit it; we all have them. Those gadgets or trinkets that we think make our lives more substantial. What is really important? Is it the car we drive, home we own, or purse we carry? Guess what? These doodads don’t truly bring us JOY. We can spend our entire lifetime seeking joy in all the wrong places. Kim Wagner will share her personal experience with breast cancer and how her views changed on what brings substance and meaning to life. #WHCBismarck
Kim Wagner has been speaking professionally for over 15 years. She challenges and motivates women to look at their imperfections and see themselves as simply fabulous. She has inspired thousands of people to look at life as a series of celebrations, encouraging with spontaneity and humor. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in June of 2011, and believes, as a survivor, that the message she is to share is that of hope and joy in each new day given. She delivers life-changing messages to parent and women’s groups, church gatherings, community events, conferences and assemblies. Kim is well known for her entertaining, energetic and dynamic delivery, often sharing real life stories sprinkled with a song or two.
Modeling Health Scheels Style Show - sharing inspiring stories of everyday women winning every day battles. It’s a showcase of fashion, health and champions of the community at the Women’s Health Conference on 9/30 in #WHCBismarck.
Everyone has a story to tell.
Grace for the Journey: Letting Joy, Peace and Self-Control Bloom in Your Life
Through others’ stories, we can reflect on our own lives. Bev Martinson shares how her diagnosis with a chronic health condition hurled her into a life-changing journey, both physically and spiritually. After 20+ years working in health promotion, her focus on wellness became personal. Bev reveals lessons she is learning to self-manage her health, and live with more joy and peace.
Bev Martinson grew up on a small farm in northern Minnesota 15 miles from Grygla, population 211. She moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area where she attended college, got married and raised two children, Sarah and Michael. Bev has a master’s degree in communications and worked for 20-plus years in health promotion and community organization. Most of her work was funded by grants for research, education and direct services through public health and universities. In 1997, she started a small business named Reach Partners to provide these services by contract rather than as an employee, and to provide services to multiple agencies. Bev’s changing health prompted her to reduce her workload substantially in 2005. In 2007, she quit working to support her mom-in-law through hospice care. By 2010, she and husband, Jay, had moved to their lake home in the township of Barnes in the northwoods of Wisconsin, population 610. Bev’s time is now filled with family, friends, faith, travel, volunteer work, and living as healthfully, as possible.
Thank you to the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences for their support to bring you the @Women’s Health Conference. #WHCBismarck
Women with health coverage are more likely to obtain needed preventive, primary, and specialty care services. Changes in how we access health insurance coverage go into effect October 1, 2013. Luther Stueland of BCBSND, a Marketplace insurance carrier, will speak to the new products for health coverage, benefits and costs, and who is eligible for subsidies to make health insurance more affordable. Access to health coverage for you and your family directly leads to better health outcomes.
Luther Stueland is the Director of Health Policy Impact and Exchange Operations for BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota. His responsibilities include evaluating federal and state policy on products and operations and coordinating company efforts to offer products on the Health Insurance Marketplace, or exchange. He has spoken to diverse audiences regarding impacts from the Affordable Care Act including legislative committees, employers, providers and trade organizations. He previously held positions at MeritCare Health Systems and Tharaldson Property Management. Luther will speak to the products for coverage, benefits and costs, and who is eligible for subsidies to make health insurance more affordable.
On 9/30 take an opportunity to meet with a variety of community resources who have a wealth of wellness expertise and passion for your health. Shop for jewelry and health products, participate in a health screening and explore professional services and public health programs.
Click here for a full listing!