Resilient Living: Mastering Lupus Through Mary Kay

Life After Lupus ~ Tonya Crawford

Before I began my Mary Kay business, I was a Licensed Practical Nurse [LPN] for nearly 11 years. While I worked in the medical field for over 25 years, my desire to become an RN was short lived due to the onset of Lupus. After being placed on bed rest repeatedly and ultimately losing my job due to my illness, I begin to find purpose to my life and how I could use my struggle to help someone else. After all, I realized years ago that nothing I experience in this life was solely about me. After hosting the 1st Annual "WALK IT OUT" LUPUS WALK in Savannah, Georgia, I was heading back on I-16 to my residence in Atlanta crying because while I enjoyed the smiling faces and support of my friends and family, I was headed home to an $1,100.00 per month medication and immense body pain that would last as long as the entire drive to and from Savannah.

What most did not realize was that during this time, I was on short-term disability and awaiting a weekly check. Frustrated, busted and disgusted, I was riding and talking to God and reminding HIM of what HE said in his word about me. I remember reciting " HE is my father and I am HIS child". I reflected on the prideful feelings I would have as I told my family I was fine and I wasn't. I remember the battles of depression as I saw my face swell from steroids and various medications used to treat my illness. I remember giving up and thinking suicidal thoughts because I felt this was no way for me to live. Having been so independent for the majority of my life, I was now faced with selling my most precious things just to afford medication. I was at my lowest point and I remember saying "God Why".....I said, "Father, I know this is not your WILL for me. Please show me" and immediately the phone rang. In my head, I was thinking "Really God". On the line was my high school classmate Jackie Williams- Morris. I thank God and Jackie. That one call changed my life.

From that conversation home to Atlanta to present day, I became a Mary Kay Independent Consultant. The joy of being apart of Mary Kay enables the opportunity for meet some amazing women and men who lives I can pour into - despite my illness. For me Mary Kay is not just selling makeup and skin care products. It is about enriching lives and bringing out the best in everyone who's paths I am able to cross. It allows me the flexibility of making my own schedule. I have the ability to go to lunch with my granddaughter at her school. I am able to determine my next level of success. I do not have to wait to become the "Charge Nurse" as I desired to become many years ago as I can now make the same money at the pace I desire to. I AM MY OWN BOSS NOW!!..... NO MORE TAKING ORDERS....

As I build my Mary Kay Business, I am so excited about retiring from my nursing job. While I loved working, my illness made it very difficult to stand for long periods of time. I used my role as a Mary Kay Consultant to set time for rest and ensuring that my diet was appropriate as well. I was determined to beat this illness.

Recently, my doctor stated that I was in remission from Lupus and while the tears filled my face with overwhelmingly joy, I was more excited to say that "God remembered me and HIS will for my life". He replaced my salary and my desire and will to live. I am now building a strong team. Our goal is to be a strong, sensational, record breaking, cadillac diving unit. We are ready and I am no longer defeated....... I am a survivor. I mastered lupus through Mary Kay...


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