The month of April is nearly finished and so is the annual campaign for Parkinson's disease awareness. In a week our local National Parkinson's Foundation will hold it's annual Moving Day walk, I'll have family in town, and I'll see friends that I haven't seen for months.

A symbol that is commonly used for Parkinson's disease awareness is the red tulip. Our awareness color is a shade close to the cloud-filled sky in this picture where we see one tulip rising above all others. It is a scene that many may think about when they look at their life walking through this journey of living with Parkinson's.

We are tempted to think that we stand out for all the wrong reasons because our bodies start to fail us in so many ways. The temptation to believe that others see us as odd or different quickly flashes through one's mind as well. It doesn't  and isn't what I want you to see in this picture.

You might be thinking that one needs to rise above the rest, find a solution to this disease and beat the odds.Nope, that is not the reason for this image either.

When you see this image, know this. God made us in his image. We are his sons and daughters. While our bodies are temporary, our spirit lives forever. Look at the photo as all the tulips in the field are members of His body. The one tulip rising above is that of Christ who showed us how to live, and die. Christ gave us hope.

Our bodies are temporary. They serve a purpose while we are on Earth. I know each day that I have a purpose and part of that purpose is living with Parkinson's.

Four years ago, I said to God, "I will go. Lead me." I didn't say give me Parkinson's, nor did I say keep me close to where I was born and raised. What I said is use me for your purpose. Open my eyes to do your work, you are in control. When I did that, my life was blessed in ways I could never imagined.

I now am married to the most wonderful woman I have ever known. I have two amazing step-sons. I am a faith leader in my family and He uses me to make others aware of living with an illness like Parkinson's. God blessed me with the tools of a teacher and now I offer lessons not only to youth in the classroom, but those I encounter everyday. I don't preach about God, but I allow God to shine on and through me.

Here I am Lord. 

"Speak, for your servant is listening."
1 Samuel 3:10