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    song creator, inspirational writer/speaker, good food cooker, lipstick wearer… a girl from the projects who decided NOT to settle. I'm a believer- in God, in dreams, in love, and in hustle with heart. find out more about me here.

     


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    Monday
    Jul132015

    Don't You Dare Settle: Interview With Anna King

     

    I am so excited to start this interview series with someone who has quickly become an inspiration to me. Anna King is the CEO and Founder of People Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to being a place of authentic hope for those battling chronic illness, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed.

     

    Nakeia: I was excited to introduce you, today. But, who do you say you are?

    Anna:  I’m Anna King, and I’m a 25-year-old Minnesotan who loves Jesus and coffee!  What more could you want to know?!  Okay for a little context, I’ve been battling a mysteriously undiagnosed chronic illness for over 4 years now, and, out of that experience, I’ve founded a nonprofit organization called People Hope.  What I do is by no means definitive of my identity, nor am I defined by my illness, but I’m blessed that I get to do work that reflects of my heart and passion.  I daily and intentionally choose hope every day, in the midst of this storm I’m going through, and now I get to help others who are affected by chronic illness as well.  So I guess you could say that I’m just a simple girl who’s learning and hoping through her sickness, all while standing firm on the love and grace of my God.

    Nakeia: Who were you before knowing all of that?

    Anna:  I had been living a very full, very wonderful life…and then I got sick.  The first 2 years of my illness were filled with hopeless despair and overwhelming bitterness while trying to understand an unnamed chronic illness.  I was trapped in a body that seemed to have turned on me.  Beyond my daily physical pain and symptoms, my heart became angry at God for “wasting” my purpose, and bitter towards cruel “church people” for telling me that my sickness was somehow my fault for not having enough faith.  I was sidelined, and I sat on the bench of life with profound wounds in my soul that I allowed to turn into bitterness.  I was broken, physically, emotionally, spiritually.  Just broken.

    Nakeia: Was there a moment in your life when you made a conscious decision NOT to settle?

    Anna:  Truthfully, not really.  My story is less about a singular moment, and more about a continual, daily choice.  Like so many people who make these life-altering decisions not to settle, my circumstances haven’t changed.  Here I am over four years later, and I’m still daily battling illness and pain.  But I’m also four plus years deep in God’s profound, ever-pursuing love and generously bold strength, and somewhere slowly over time, I realized that God could use my story, my pain, and even my sickness to bring healing to others.  That was life-changing.  And now, the decision, and really, the privilege of choosing not to settle for a life saturated in hopelessness is mine to daily make. 

    Nakeia: Wow. I love that answer. Where would you be had you NOT made that decision?

    Anna:  I’m grateful to not have to find out.  I imagine that life would be one consumed with bitter, anguishing sorrow, loss upon loss, and total despair.  And make no mistake, my life still contains loss and grief and pain.  I still experience loneliness and sadness about my circumstances.  That choice to not settle is a daily battle, but it’s a decision that I’m resolved to make time and time again because I firmly believe that hope is for me, and there are great plans, even now, for my life.

    Nakeia: I have my hands raised saying, Hope is for me too! Good stuff! What advice would you give to someone who is tired of settling or on the verge of settling?

    Anna:  As we like to say at People Hope, “Define your darkest day as your finest hour. ™” That’s a powerful statement for anyone who’s going through a storm in their life.  Hope tells us that there’s something greater on the other side than what we’re seeing or experiencing right now.  It tells us to push harder, to go deeper, and to not settle.  Where did we get the idea that hope is only for people whose lives are going well, filled with neatly appointed sunsets and positive outcomes?  Hope is FOR broken people just like me, especially when you’re still in the middle of your storm and settling seems to be the natural thing to do.  You can resolve to live even your darkest time as your finest moment by choosing hope in Christ.  Hope is for you, friend.  

    Nakeia: Thank you so much Anna!

     

    I honored to be an active member of the community Anna and her organization have created.  If you are battling illness like (Anna and I,) join the community today. Just follow along with the hashtag #PeopleHopeTribe, on all of social media @PeopleHopeOrg, and find so many reasons to choose hope, daily.

    Maybe you are not ill, but know someone who is... You can get involved by making a donation to help Anna and her team reach the heart of those who are in desperate need of something to be hopeful about. Just click here to donate. They've created a video to tell you all about what they do to inspire hope.

     

     

     

    Until next time, Love...

     

    "Pursue something you freaking love!

    And the process that it will take you to get it, will be worth it."

     

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