“Faith is the bridge between where I am and the place God is taking me.”
In 2012, I created an event entitled The Global Shine Your Light For Epilepsy Awareness Movement. Encouraging the world to display purple lights in and around their homes and businesses during the month of November, Epilepsy Awareness Month, in support of all who are diagnosed with Epilepsy around the world! I was inspired by the passage in the Bible, Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“How encouraging and inspiring” I thought it would be to see the whole world rally behind one another in illumination of purple light as well as education and awareness during Epilepsy Awareness Month. And so, the seed had been planted. The Global Shine Your Light For Epilepsy Awareness Movement was born. The event was and continues to be showcased by The Epilepsy Network (TEN) each year, encouraging as many who are willing to join in to be involved.
A while back, my husband and I still being new to the city of Dayton decided we would have a look at the cities parks and sights to become more familiar with our new home. Along our drive, we took notice of a bridge! A beautifully structured bridge that allowed for cars to drive over, bicycles, and walking. One other thing stood out that could not be missed. It was illuminated with multiple colors.
The idea lightbulb popped up above my head and illuminated with enthusiasm almost immediately. Looking over at my husband Chris, I could tell that he had the exact same moment as I. Illuminate that very bridge in support of Epilepsy Awareness. The idea was grand! The idea was spectacular. Magnificent. However, could one person accomplish such a monumental task? I had no idea but it was a mountain that I was willing to climb no matter the height. First…. I needed a name of the bridge.
Unsure of what I could expect, I prayed to God to lead me as I took my next steps along the way. Holding my phone in hand, I smiled thinking upon the very idea of Stewart Street bridge illuminated in the name of epilepsy awareness. How incredible it would be for the entire city, for the country and the world to witness. With hope and faith elevating my heart, I placed the phone call with the city and made my plea.
Days felt like centuries crawling by as I waited for a response whether or not The City Of Dayton would support me and The Epilepsy Network in my mission to illuminate Stewart Street bridge purple on November 1st for Epilepsy Awareness. I knew in my heart no matter the response, I had given a valiant effort regardless. That, no matter the response I would try again next year if need be and the Shine Your Light For Epilepsy Awareness Movement would be a phenomenal event nationwide and globally even so. The moment I had finished my phone call, I had given it to God with a smile and had faith stored in my heart for a positive result.
A couple of days later, prayers were answered and I had received a “Yes!” to my request to illuminate the Stewart Street bridge purple on November 1st on behalf of Epilepsy Awareness. The City Of Dayton had officially agreed to stand with The Epilepsy Network (TEN) and I on that very day and show the entire city that it indeed stands alongside epilepsy awareness. In taking in this astounding news that this would soon be happening, I became enveloped with absolute joy. I looked straight up with tears welling up in my eyes thanking God for allowing this to come to be, thinking of each one of us on our journeys with epilepsy. Reconfirming within my heart and soul that The City Of Dayton, the sixth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio had just said “Yes” to illuminating Stewart Street Bridge for Epilepsy Awareness on November 1st to kick off Epilepsy Awareness Month.
I couldn’t help in the next moment but to think about my grandmother, my grandfather and even my father who had all passed away years back. Wishing they could all be alive and well and here with me to share this great news with. I inhaled and slowly exhaled smiling knowing where they are I’m sure they know.
We are now exactly one month away from November 1st! The beginning of Epilepsy Awareness Month. I am very excited for what this awareness month has in store. I am so thankful to The City Of Dayton for their support of The Epilepsy Network and epilepsy awareness as a whole for agreeing to illuminate Stewart Street Bridge this coming November 1st.