MOBILITY MATTERS: STEPPING OUT IN FAITH COMES OUT THIS WEEK! 

October 1 begins National Disabilities Employment Month AND National Cane Safety Month. Looking back, I’m amazed at my own progress! A year ago, these issues were not part of my active vocabulary.

The actual catharsis came while writing my book, and analyzing the steps I took to change my mindset toward my dual disabilities (vision and hearing loss) and writing about those life lessons. Reliving that time and the mobility training made me realize what a journey I really did take.

About that time, I encountered a vision-impaired online friend. She was the first friend I ever had who also had Retinitis Pigmentosa.

One friend.

I started small. Though she lived in Australia and I in the US, it was like having an online penpal. Only she understood me better. In spite of her RP, she was a professional writer and blogger–exactly like me.

And through that friendship, a wonderful change took place!

I started becoming actively involved with other vision-impaired people.

How did this happen?

Quite by chance, or so I thought–I’m certain God planned for that to happen–I heard about a group called the Retinitis Pigmentosa Family Support Group. Like others in the group, I had never met anyone with RP before. But interacting with them made me feel like I was a member of a team. As is clear in the group name, we provide support to each other. And all of a sudden, I was not  alone and I could share my stories with someone. Guess what else? My stories weren’t so terrible! People laughed with me. They had experienced the same thing, or something similar. They, too, sat on people in theaters. They, too, said “Excuse me,” to telephone poles and signs in error! They had their own stories and wounds from running into things. This group helped me to become more at ease with saying words like “blind” and “cane.”

I found out that I had come to the point on my journey that I could become a resource person. I could encourage! Because there are people at every stage imaginable in our 6,000+ group, I could learn and share what I had learned. This coupled with the book I was writing made me suddenly burst out of my blind shell!

I had originally intended to write a small booklet about my mobility training and share it mostly with the people in the RP Support group or at Christian speaking engagements. I thought it would take me about a month to complete. That was back in January. I planned to write the book in two parts: my mobility training and lessons and tips for those with low vision.

But when I got serious about writing it, this booklet started to take a different shape and have different outcomes.

I was the keynote speaker for a ladies’ retreat in May and thought for sure I’d get the booklet out by then. But, no, I wasn’t finished. And my target market widened. I wanted to share my lessons with others.

So. Many. People.

Blind. Vision-impaired. Sighted. Heart-impaired (Cynical), Christians, those I knew, those I didn’t, those with other mobility issues, those who wanted to be inspired by a good true story, those who wanted to be inspired by our awesome God, those who like to laugh, those who don’t like to but need to learn….

I couldn’t be silent! The floodgates opened. I typed and shared and honed …this booklet became a proper “book.” It turned out to contain the bigger  story of the challenges I faced and how God changed my mindset about them. I finally finished my book last July. I had planned to finish at a different ending point.  But when I completed Chapter 23, with my final mobility training, I knew it was done. It took my breath away! It was so right. SO me.

Around the time I finished the book, I took an even bigger step. I got involved with an outreach program put out by the American Federation for the Blind. I became a peer adviser for VisionAware. This changed me even more.

And made me more grateful. Suddenly I had a ministry. I wanted to bring awareness to and bridge the gap between the sighted and the blind, and I wanted to encourage both groups. It was an exciting discovery!

Since then I’ve gone through a lengthy review, editing and formatting process with the book. It’s nearly ready.

Celebrate with me the arrival of my new memoir:

MOBILITY MATTERS: STEPPING OUT IN FAITH.

Magically, it comes out during National Disability Awareness Month and National Cane Safety Month.

Could life get any better?

How is your life changing? Which direction are you going that you would never have anticipated? What “bad” thing have you gone through that “good” came out of?

***

You have just read “Mobility Matters Coming soon” by Amy Bovaird, October 1, 2014. If you liked this post, please LIke It, Share it and Comment.


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30 thoughts on “Mobility Matters Coming Soon

  • October 2, 2014 at 2:38 am
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    Hello Amy, congratulations on the release of your new book! What a wonderful gift to the world to be able to read about how you overcame the struggles in your life. Sometimes it’s hard to keep sight of the fact that life is a process and not a destination, and I think that has been one of my greatest struggles… that and understanding that the place I am in needs me now.
    Best wishes!

  • October 2, 2014 at 3:11 am
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    How absolutely inspiring! I don’t have the physical problems you have, but I am a writer and a Christian and we all have challenges. So glad to see you are able to find the positive in something that is devastating. Worlds are opening up that wouldn’t have been before. Isn’t God awesome! I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  • October 2, 2014 at 3:15 am
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    You make me realize how much I take for granted some of the things in life that can be taken away. Your determination and strength are inspiring! Thanks for writing!

  • October 2, 2014 at 3:44 am
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    Thank you so much, Victoria!
    I love how you say, “Sometimes it’s hard to keep SIGHT of the fact that life is a process and not a destination…”
    It’s true for all of us, isn’t it? “Understanding that the place I am in needs me now.” Really profound!
    Yes, when I first went through my mobility training, I was so excited. But it wasn’t until I wrote about it that I became aware of how very much it changed me! Milestones in our lives to be celebrated!
    Wishing you laughter in the place that needs you now!
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 3:48 am
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    Thank you, Anna Maria!
    We all do have problems. We can also all become resources for others going through the same thing–if we choose to and when the time is right. Sometimes we teach (after 25 years of doing that, it’s hard for me not to want to do that in different situations!) and sometimes we are tutored. Do come back and read more!
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 3:50 am
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    Hi Danni!
    Thank you. I think I took it for granted too when I was losing it slowly.
    Now that it’s running away, I’m like, “Come back! Come back! We can be friends! Don’t leave me!”
    Have a great day and come back to read more about my upcoming book.
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 4:18 am
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    You have both an amazing story and testimony, Amy! I’m looking forward to reading your book cover to cover. Good bless you and your ministry.

  • October 2, 2014 at 6:03 am
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    Thank you, Melinda. So interesting how God revealed these things step by step and it’s only now, reflecting back, that I see how it came together. =)

  • October 2, 2014 at 6:09 am
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    Congratulations on the book Amy. You’re an inspiration. Losing my sight has always worried me – it’s pretty crap but I only have to wear glasses and my brother is a diabetic with very bad sight. Reading your story shows me that our lives as we know them wouldn’t come to an end at all. One less thing to be scared about in the world.

    Norah

  • October 2, 2014 at 6:55 am
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    Told you previously Amy that you are such an inspiration, obviously in more ways than one in what you are involved with including your book. Congrats on that by the way: HOW exciting! 😉 <3 (Because of a book I read of a teacher in the area I live with RP, I was able to remember and relate it to your story. His name is Ryan Knighton and he wrote, Cockeyed: A Memoir with bits and pieces of stories that I hear in yours…shock/anger/sadness, acceptance and humour. You may wish to (though don't have to) read his story. For myself, a nightmare turned into a saving grace: http://www.xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/part-3-suicide-prevention-week.html where I learned my most important life lesson. 😉 <3

  • October 2, 2014 at 10:06 am
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    Congratulations on releasing your book, Amy. You’re an inspiration for many. Losing my eye sight is something that worries me, but reading your story makes me feel a little calmer. I worry because both my grandmothers lost their eye sights, one had just 5% vision for the last 10 years or so of her life and gave up doing all her favourite things. It’s something that I wouldn’t want to do, and just reading this post makes me realise it’s not something that would have to happen.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:23 am
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    Hi Amy, I’m really looking forward to this. I’ve enjoyed your posts and your sense of humour so much. Congratulations on your book!

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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    You are so brave to share your experience. I had two brain tumors that left me with ADD..it’s still an occasional problem. You have proved that life goes on despite the darkness.

  • October 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm
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    Thank you, Norah.
    Yes, that’s right. We can adjust to whatever we have to.
    Does your brother’s diabetes (sugar content) enter into his vision or has he always had very bad sight?
    My mobility instructor said something I’ve never forgotten: “We live in the SAME world; we just perceive it differently, and one is no less safe and no less legitimate than the other.”
    That was a good lesson for me!
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm
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    Thanks, Elly! In 24 hours, I’ll be able to purchase the book and submit it to Kindle!!!!
    I will certainly make time to read that story. Thank you for sharing it with me!
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm
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    Thank you, Alexandria!
    5% is how much vision I have. I think perhaps it’s more difficult for older people to adjust to vision loss, but that said, I do know some older people who increase the things they like to do. It is a matter of perspective.
    Take heart!
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm
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    Thanks so much, Crystal!
    It will be out in a few days!
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm
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    Thanks!

  • October 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm
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    Michelle,
    Brain tumors are a lot to cope with. Thank God you came through it. Sorry about the ADD. At least you know it is there, so you can work with it. Yes, life does go on for all of us.
    Take care and thank you for sharing.
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm
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    Amy, I am so excited to find you and your post! I have a legally blind niece who lives alone, in Atlanta. She inspires me with her courage and radiance. Your light shines through, too. Thank you for the inspiration you are being to so many! Blessings!

  • October 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm
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    Congratulations! Amy. I can’t wait to read your book. I enjoy your essays. You find the universal in the individual. All the best to you.

  • October 2, 2014 at 10:17 pm
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    Thanks so much, Kate!
    I liked that thought, finding the universal in people.
    Looking forward to reading your book as well!
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 10:20 pm
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    Hi Lynn,
    I would love to get in touch with your niece.
    Please have her contact me on my website and I will email her.
    Thank you SO MUCH for taking time to read my blog post.
    Amy

  • October 2, 2014 at 10:22 pm
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    Congratuations! I am surprised by how many people do not seek out support groups for their particular issue. They are so valuable. I hope many, many people get encouragement and direction from your memoir, whether they have your challenges or others.

  • October 2, 2014 at 10:58 pm
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    Me, too, Alana, but I didn’t seek out any support group for 25 years. I coped on my own silently. (rolling my eyes).
    And I know one of new people who did come to our large RP Support group got discouraged quickly and wasn’t able to handle reading our discussions so she informed us she was leaving after just one day. She wasn’t ready. So it all depends on the person. Now that I’m part of a support group, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Go figure. =) As you said, they are so valuable! It’s amazing that the Internet now enables people from all over the world with the same problem to share fears and solutions. That was not possible before!
    Amy

  • October 3, 2014 at 6:08 am
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    I have a vision problems since age nine, and as I grow older, the vision continues to deteriorate to the point that I worry how long I have to see the world. I am blind in the left eye, and the right eye is soon to follow.

    I am a graphic designer and currently have 24″ screens. The more I need to see, the less I do – it seems.

    I would be interested in reading your book. Congratulations on the release! So proud of you.

  • October 3, 2014 at 8:32 pm
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    Hi Bonnie,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your vision problems! You compensate for it very well. I love your videos!
    I noticed that your pointer is really big, and the 24″ screen can help. Mine is 19″ and I want a bigger one.
    Nowadays, there is much that can be done via technology to aid those with vision loss.
    Also, there is much work being done in genetic testing that offers hope.
    It’s frightening to think about losing one’s sight. Be assured, there is a lot of help available.
    I would love for you to read my book. It’s very upbeat and encouraging!
    Take care,
    Amy

  • October 4, 2014 at 1:59 am
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    Amy,

    I love how your book bloomed from the pamphlets. And it’s so cool how God turned this into a ministry for you to serve Him. You’ve already reached a lot of people, just think how many more you’ll reach when your book comes out. You will love how God will bring people into your life for you to minister to and for them also to minister to you.

  • October 4, 2014 at 3:23 am
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    I can’t wait to start branching out! Thank you for your prayers!!

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