When I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, one of the saddest things for me was saying goodbye to work. At the time of my diagnosis, I was working about 20-30 hours a week as an online editor and other tasks related to the English language. Slowly, that dropped down to 10 hours, and then none. It hurt. The medicine affected my memory and the pain affected my concentration. It’s been almost 3 years, and while my cancer isn’t any better, I have been able to get my pain under control, and for the moment, my condition is stable, meaning, there’s a lot of cancer in my body, but it’s not growing very fast.
I’ve felt led for months to do something to help others, breast cancer patients in particular. I am not ashamed to say that on sleepless nights, I would pray a lot, asking God to point out where he wanted me to go. I have found that it’s a very effective prayer for me, to remind God that I need more than a little nudging. I would go to church and sob, not with confusion, but with utter happiness to be a child of God. “Here I am, Lord,” my heart would say. “Send me.”
Like most opportunities that come my way, it started with me saying no several times. My mom invited me to a Mary Kay makeup party. I didn’t want to go. I went, and immediately connected with Amber Smith, the Mary Kay consultant. I found out that Amber’s mom died from breast cancer. Amber invited me to join her team as a Mary Kay consultant. I told her I didn’t want to sell.
One night soon after, Amber was working at an event downtown, and I walked over to say hello. I later ran into a fellow board member from Sister Cities Winston-Salem. I resigned from the board when I moved to Texas, but the chairman had been asking me for months to rejoin. Suddenly at that moment, I felt like God was giving me the OK to try some things. I told the board member that I would be back on the board soon. Soon after, I found myself considering the possibility of selling Mary Kay. What was fueling my desire was the belief that I could use Mary Kay to make women with cancer feel pretty, to feel like their old selves again, as I did that evening in downtown. But I wasn’t ready to commit yet. I ordered a starter kit, and began dreaming big and praying hard.
Last week, my Mary Kay starter kit arrived. It was very exciting. The box was adorable, with motivational statement inside and out. I began discussing the idea with my husband and he helped me tremendously with my mission statement and general advice on running a business.
I haven’t even begun to explain the financial miracle that allowed this business to begin. I’ll share that later.
In the first photo, you can see me with my own set of Mary Kay potions. I’m not giving anything to cancer patients I haven’t tried myself. My cancer treatment had made my skin crazy-sensitive. Some nights, I slather on Benadryl cream like some women do with night cream, before bed.
Today, I announced my business on Facebook. It’s actually 2 businesses. The one I announced today is Look Closer, the project that will deliver gift bags of Mary Kay products to women with breast cancer. I want to do much more with this organization, but for now, I’m starting with gift bags. The other part of my business is simply selling Mary Kay. I will be accepting donations to help pay for inventory for the gift bags, but I will also be in business for myself, and I hope to make enough money to contribute regularly to the inventory of Look Closer. I am ready for my life to change and to change lives. Here I am, Lord. Send me.