Every once in a while, I enjoy featuring a younger Incredible Woman - one who isn't married, who doesn't have kids - because I like to hear what they've learned so far in life. This week, I'm going to be featuring a wonderful young woman - Stacy Johnson. She was nominated by one of our readers. ENJOY!!
KARA: "Describe yourself. What makes you an incredible woman?"
STACY: "I have a hard time taking all the credit for where and who I am today. I have been through trials and have worked hard but it's those very trials that God sends me through which shape me. I would not be who I am without the experiences I have been through and without putting my trust in God. I grew up in trying circumstances. I lived in constant fear of my mom who made me feel terrible about myself. She was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive and I was depressed. I sure grew up fast, but I grew up hating who I was. I struggled with a malabsorption problem which made me extremely skinny. I stuck a tube down my nose every night for a few months in hopes of gaining a few pounds. When I was no longer able to do that, I had one placed in my stomach for 5 years. And if I didn’t already feel like a walking sideshow act, I lived with an actual hole in my stomach for about 9 months. I thought that my purpose in this life was to make people feel better about themselves. I gave up easily in school because I thought I was dumb and lacked talent. Besides, if I didn’t try I couldn’t fail, right? How wrong I was! As my senior year in high school came to an end I realized that I wanted more than I had or would have on my current path. I decided to go to college. This was a big step for somebody who almost didn’t graduate high school! I worked harder than I ever have before. I wanted to prove to everyone as well as myself that I could do something amazing. Through most of my years in college I worked to pay for my car and living. I participated in councils and church service. I learned to put the Lord first and to really rely on him and trust in him. I was accepted into the nursing program in June 2007 and after the first day, I wanted to quit. I felt overwhelmed and inadequate. Something told me to keep going and I did. For the first time since first grade, I received all ‘A’s! After graduation I started my prerequisites for the registered nursing program along with the exciting task of paying off my student loans. I was blessed with a fantastic job that has provided me with a way to pay off my student loans and gain very valuable experience. I made the decision that I did not want to treat people the way that I was treated by my mother. I am always striving to be better and when I fall short I try again. I have worked very hard. I have had so much help along the way. When I was about 14 I chose a path of religion for myself. That small decision I made at 14 has been the single greatest factor in my success. I had a bumpy start but I am who I am because of my trials, not in spite of them."
KARA: "Tell us about your family and something you love about each of them."
Stacy: "Well for starters there is my mom and I am grateful to her for the life she gave me and the lessons she taught me. I have a very loving Dad who would do anything for his kids. He has always been there to support me in all of my endeavors. He can always make you feel good about yourself. He is the hardest worker I know. I love him very much. He is married to Kris, my stepmom. I am very grateful to her because she too has supported me. She has shown me how mothers act and has helped me in everything from school to finding jobs. She is an incredible woman herself. I have 7 brothers. Some by marriage and some full but I see them all as my full brothers. I love them all. Matt is my older brother and he has always been very respectful to me. He has always stood up for me. Nate is smart and responsible. He is a great example of patience and love. Daniel is in the Army reserves and is such a smart guy. He is an extremely hard worker and I respect him with all my heart. Blake is a loving boy who has worked hard for a cause that he is passionate about. He and 3 other brothers have started a foundation and I am very proud of the work he has done. Jacob is so talented in everything he does. He is funny and is a joy to be around. TJ is so in tune with other people’s feelings. He is so caring. He is funny too. Adam is a great kid who can make you feel better when you are having a rough day. He is very smart and has so much going for him. He also is very talented. Last but certainly not least, there is Ellie. The 3 year old little sister we adopted from Guatemala. She is so precious and sweet. All I can say is she has an important work to fulfill."
Please join us each day this week as we continue this interview with Stacy.