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Amazing Grace...

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Amazing Grace...

By, Ruschelle Khanna

Author, 30 Days of Prayer
Healing Autoimmunity for Women

When I first became ill in March of last year, I was extremely angry with God.  As a psychotherapist, I had already decided to spend my career helping women obtain optimal mental and physical health care.  Why had God thrown me into a mysterious illness, causing me to be shuffled from physician to physician with no answers? 

I had begun attending a nearby church about five weeks prior to the time when my seizures began.  LIttle did I know what a huge support my church community would be in my recovery.  About one month into my illness, one of the Ministers hosted a half-day prayer retreat where we learned different styles and methods of praying.  I was so sick and could barely remember any details of the event.  But there is one part I will never forget.  

I remember coming in late.  The Minister led me to sit next to this beautiful young woman.  There, tucked between the edge of the pew and this new stranger, I suddenly felt supported. I actually had the strength to sit through a half- or long day of prayer and reflection.  The retreat continued and we were separated into groups.  Each group was given a different person from the Bible to reflect their prayer style.  My group was given Jesus as an example.  Of all the people in the Bible, Jesus’ unique way of approaching prayer is one of the most inspiring examples of a life well-lived.  Jesus was real.  He wasn’t afraid to question God.  And this was exactly the message I needed, since I was in the midst of a sea of questions. 

The day ended and I went to thank the Minister.  She asked me to wait and  she wanted to introduce me to someone she had chosen to be my personal prayer partner due to my current medical crisis.  I waited in the hall as everyone gathered their things to leave.  A few minutes later, she came back into the hall with Abby.  Abby was the beautiful woman whose presence so comforted me as I sat beside her in the beginning of the retreat.  I burst into tears.  I had an overwhelming feeling that I was actually going to be able to get through this lonely, dark period in my life. 

Weeks passed and I slowly started to recover from the light and sound sensitivity.  I was able to stand for more than a few minutes.  My cognition returned.  I was diagnosed with Neurological Lyme Disease and began the proper treatment.  Week after week, Abby would meet me, come to my home or chat on the phone.  We prayed out loud.  We prayed silently.  We set designated times to pray apart.  We were honest and open about how to approach God during this scary, confusing time.  There were times when I felt that I might overwhelm her with my pain.  But she was consistent, loving and available.  Before this event, I never knew that such a thing as a prayer partner even existed.  I am forever grateful to my church and their prayer partner program for providing me with an absolute angel in Abby. 

Today, almost one year after having met my prayer partner, I am well on my way to recovering. And more than that, my life has blossomed in unimaginable ways.  Before my illness, I aspired to do many things.  My illness and pain catapulted my life into a direction of clarity and focus like I have never had before.  One of the first projects that came from my healing has been the writing of a collection of prayers, reflections and healing prompts for women with autoimmune disease and/or disorders.

Lyme disease caused extreme inflammation in my body which resulted in months of intense pain.  Without Abby, I would not have survived. 

It is with great joy and thanksgiving that I share my healing story with you.  I want to remind everyone that pain is an incredible catalyst for growth and that there is absolutely no reason to run from seemingly difficult seasons that arise.  We are here to experience the fullness of life. 

That is amazing grace. 


 

Ruschelle Khanna

Ruschelle Khanna, LCSW is a dynamic speaker and psychotherapist in Manhattan.  Her beautiful voice of grace has been shared on Simply Grace Radio, offering the gift of present moment awareness and prayer. Since 2001 she has worked as a psychotherapist in Manhattan helping women restore health and vitality to their lives. In early 2014 she was diagnosed with chronic lyme disease and began experiencing autoimmune reactions.  While experiencing extreme physical pain in her brain and spinal cord, she awakened to the full meaning of present centered living and connection with Divine Spirit.  Since that time, she has devoted her time to teaching women to stop running from their pain, to take control of their lives and live in the joy of the present moment.  It is her hope that you are nurtured, inspired and revitalized by her experience, resources, meditations and prayers.

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The Gentle Joys of Thanksgiving...

The Gentle Joys of Thanksgiving…

~ Mikki Lessard


One of my first memories in truly understanding “Thanksgiving” was as a little girl, experiencing Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts with my Mom on a school field trip.  I will always remember a quiet conversation I shared with my Mother that afternoon while standing in a meadow overlooking the bay, discussing what the Pilgrims might have experienced.  My Mom encouraged me to imagine, to visualize, wonder and honor those souls.  I imagined the kindness extended within the community and also the heartache of losing family.   I imagined and believed the place where my Mom and I were standing might be where the families of both the Pilgrims and Native Americans held hands, gratefully sharing grace and the abundant blessings of the first Thanksgiving.    


Forty five years later, I pause on purpose, honoring the wisdom I gathered those many years ago as a little girl, while cherishing the blessings and memories of each of the ‘Thanksgivings’ of my life.  The story of my family began over fifty years ago, when my parents were wed on Thanksgiving morning, in the home where my mother lived with her family. The space was sacred to my our family, my parents purchased the home a few years later from my grandparents to raise their family.   I smile, when I think of the love in my family home, especially when my five little brothers and I were little children.  With each year our family experienced change, our family grew larger with adoptions, marriages, beautiful children and now grandchildren and great grandchildren.  With all my heart, I embrace the belief: to experience love is truly the greatest blessing of life.  With the passing of my beloved grandparents and my amazing brother, I have been reminded what matters most in life…is my faith and the love of family. 

Our family has a beautiful tradition on Thanksgiving.  Before saying grace, we share our love of being present with one another as a family, honoring each other, our parents’ anniversary and remembering those who are no longer with us.  While holding hands as a family, each family member shares what they are most grateful for in their life…this experience of connecting our hearts and souls through sharing is one of my greatest joys and blessings of being a family.  I am gently reminded through our Thanksgiving tradition, a simple truth, the feeling of being love is what I love most about being a human being…

My calling, my purpose is simply to gently awaken grace… I learned my simple truth, words and calling by observing my beautiful, kind, compassionate and loving parents  my entire life.  I am who I am, blessed with New England common sense and huge heart f because of my parents simple and pure intentions and wisdom, to raise a family who loves each other unconditionally.  And we do.  I am humbled, blessed and grateful for the memories of my heart and soul…
 

I wish you and your family abundant blessings light, love and the gentle joys of Thanksgiving…

With gratitude, grace and love,

Mikki Lessard
Founder, Simply Grace

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mikki Lessard
Founder, Simply Grace

My intentions are pure and simple, my hope is to gently awaken grace, one soul at a time…

Simply Grace is a movement of kindness, compassion and love.  This is an invitation for women to connect to their inner beauty and essence while gently awakening their grace, sustaining life and moving in relationship. Women naturally create community and a divine sense of belonging.  They are led inwardly by love. It’s time to strengthen this gift and share it with the world.   

When we see with our hearts our intentions are pure. To be kind, to be compassionate, to be love. This is humanity at its very best.  This is simply grace…

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