When I can't figure out the cause of a problem it's frustrating. Particularly when the cause needs to be identified in order to find a solution. My guest this week can relate. Meet Colleen Damon. She is an encourager whose mission has taken her from having a chronic illness to carrying the Gospel around the world. I'm delighted she is sharing with us during our Lenten focus on faithfulness. Thank you Colleen for encouraging us with your journey of finding faithful in a difficult diagnosis.
“Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous,
But the Lord rescues him from them all.” – Psalms 34:19 AMP
During my late twenties I had a life-changing illness. Seemingly, out of nowhere, I had persistent cold or allergy symptoms. As the symptoms wreaked havoc on my respiratory system, it took nearly six long years before I was properly diagnosed.
One of my many specialists finally arrived at the cause of my condition. It was later confirmed by one of the nation’s premier hospitals. I had a rare immune deficiency disease called “Sampters Triad.”
Many family members and friends referred to me as the “girl in a bubble.” It was a fairly accurate description of my existence due to the debilitating effects of this disease.
But I was determined to live!
To this day, I still believe it was by divine intervention as doctors struggled to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Having been at the brink of death three times, God healed me in miraculous ways. Doctors are still in awe.
I suffered with this illness for nearly fourteen years. My countless hospital stays often included time in the intensive care unit. Thankfully, I recovered from collapsed lungs, a bout with pneumonia and even breast cancer. The effects of the disease seemed endless; including a diabetic comma, temporary loss of vision, renal failure, and numerous asthmatic attacks.
1. How would you describe your faith walk or view of God before your pain appeared?
Before my illness, my view of God was based on my parents, grandparents and other adults I looked up to. However, after battling this disease, I learned who He is to me: He was ABLE to meet me at the point of my specific needs.
2. What surprised you the most about this season of your life?
The people I thought I could count on for encouragement and support, were often too busy or consumed with their own lives to respond. At times, I forgot about my needs and tried to respond to theirs. Unfortunately, support is not always reciprocal.
3. Who or what did God use to teach you about (or remind you of) His faithfulness and love?
I discovered God often sends unexpected people to support us in our time of need. Sometimes the people we expect to be there are simply not available or God has someone else and something else in mind.
I learned however He responds and whomever He sends, help arrives when we need it most. When you understand that someone is there for you because God sent them, it gives you a peace and comfort that is unmatched by anything else. During my illness, practicing His “Presence” was both life-saving and life changing.
4. How does God use your story to encourage others?
God uses my testimony regularly. As a missionary who travels internationally, I am always humbled at the opportunity to reach others with my story.
So often our stories are someone else’s story yet to be written. I strongly believe God not only brings us out for our personal deliverance but also to serve as a living witness to others. He wants them to believe He can move in their lives as well.
5. How do you desire to demonstrate faithfulness in your walk with God?
I desire to demonstrate faithfulness in my walk with God by being a servant leader to those in need. Sometimes God places people in our lives because of our story. Our testimony is what they need to push through to their deliverance.
I find great joy in being able to show the love of God to people who are experiencing hardship. Now I understand through my experience, God is a healer, provider and deliverer. It’s humbling to tell my story anywhere He allows me to serve.
Colleen has served in several community organizations to promote diversity, inclusion and servant leadership. She is also an Independent Contractor who serves as a corporate trainer and Human Resource generalist with over 29 years of experience specializing in management and Human Resources.
She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Philosophy with a focus on Missiology and Cultural Anthropology.
Colleen serves on the mission field both State side and internationally. She’s made several mission trips to Africa and Haiti, teaching, training and serving both adults and children.
The work of the missionary is continual and financial support is always ongoing. You can prayerfully consider supporting her mission work by contacting Colleen at: CND.DamonConsultingllc@Gmail.com