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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ronnie Terry: Encouraging the World to Turn Their Burdens Into Blessings

by Cyrus Webb

Being a survivor is so much more than about saving yourself. It's about setting an example for what is possible for others as well. Just ask Ronnie Terry. She's an individual that is not just a celebrated model and actress, wife to R&B artist Tony Terry and mother. Ronnie is also someone who knows what it's like to live with Fibromyalgia and by sharing her story has become a source of inspiration for individuals around the world.

"It has been a blessing to be where I am today," Ronnie told me during our conversation. "It is my passion. I have had a long 7 year journey with Fibromyalgia, but I had to go through it to get here and help others."

Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.

Ronnie is showcasing that spirit that is sure to help others who share her diagnosis and struggle, but it hasn't always been that way. "In the beginning it wasn't an easy decision to share with others because I didn't understand what it," she says when speaking about the diagnosis. "It caused me to shut down from the world." Then she had what many would see as an epiphany about herself and her condition. "I began to realize that this is all for a reason. All that I'm going through is leading up to where I am supposed to be which is where I can reach out and help others."

This is why she can connect with people who feel like giving up. She's been there. "There were so many days that I didn't want to live anymore," she shared. "For me I wanted to give up, but once I made the decision that I had to fight, then I  had to change my thought process and get to a place of healing. Now I can share what my journey has been and allow people to walk through it with me. I want them to know that they are not alone. There is hope, and there is help."

Whether it is through speaking engagements or just offering support one-on-one, Ronnie has taken what many would look at as a burden and transformed it into a blessing. During our conversation she relayed an experience that happened to her just last year while on a cruise hosted by media personality Tom Joyner. "One day I got up and shared my testimony," she told me. "There was one young lady who came up to me afterwards crying and said 'Thank you. You've made me feel it was OK to talk about it, and that I'm not alone.' If I didn't do anything but help one person, that's all that matters. It makes the biggest difference in the world."

Ronnie is also taking full advantage of social media in helping to encourage not just those dealing with chronic pain disorders but anyone she comes in contact with. Whether it is sharing messages of faith or just speaking life into the lives of others, it is something she does almost daily. One such message is this: “Do anything you can do to keep your mind off yourself. Courage is fear that has said its prayers and decided to go forward anyway.”

Those aren't just words to Ronnie. It is the way she has chosen to live her life. May we find the courage necessary to faith down our own fear and move forward towards our individual callings in life.

Stay connected with Ronnie on her website www.ronnieterry.com. You can also follow her inspirational messages and upcoming event on Twitter at www.twitter.com/piecesofronnie.

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