Dorsey Ross Show

Melody of Resilience: Melanie Brown's Life Lessons on Overcoming and Thriving

April 10, 2024 Dorsey Ross Season 6 Episode 7
Melody of Resilience: Melanie Brown's Life Lessons on Overcoming and Thriving
Dorsey Ross Show
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Dorsey Ross Show
Melody of Resilience: Melanie Brown's Life Lessons on Overcoming and Thriving
Apr 10, 2024 Season 6 Episode 7
Dorsey Ross

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When life throws a curveball, some duck, others catch it and toss it right back. That's Melanie Brown for you, a beacon of hope who turned her neurological battles into powerful narratives of resilience. Throughout our heartwarming conversation, Melanie opens up about her childhood stroke and the rare brain condition Moyamoya. Her story isn't just about survival; it's a melody of joy found in nature, puzzle-solving, and grooving to the nostalgic rhythms of 80s music. She'll have you chuckling with anecdotes from her life, showcasing an infectious positivity that's nothing short of uplifting.

Melanie is no stranger to adversity, and she's become an expert at using it as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. From the painstaking recovery of motor skills to embracing sports for rehabilitation, her journey is a masterclass in turning challenges into triumphs. The support system of family shines through as Melanie recounts the encouragement she received, fostering a spirit of independence and determination. As a motivational speaker and author, she extends a hand to all, guiding others through the winding roads of their own personal challenges with charm and wisdom.

Strap in for an episode that's equal parts inspiring and grounding, as we navigate the struggles that refine us. Melanie doesn't just share her story; she equips us with the tools for our own battles—faith, perseverance, and a positive outlook. She paints trials as preparation for our heavenly roles, blending life advice with spiritual insight. This is more than a podcast; it's a compass pointing towards purpose and contribution, both in this life and the next. Join us and let Melanie Brown's radiant spirit encourage you to face your struggles head-on, with humor, grace, and an eye on the eternal prizes awaiting us.

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If you are enjoying this podcast, please let me know by sending me a text message.

When life throws a curveball, some duck, others catch it and toss it right back. That's Melanie Brown for you, a beacon of hope who turned her neurological battles into powerful narratives of resilience. Throughout our heartwarming conversation, Melanie opens up about her childhood stroke and the rare brain condition Moyamoya. Her story isn't just about survival; it's a melody of joy found in nature, puzzle-solving, and grooving to the nostalgic rhythms of 80s music. She'll have you chuckling with anecdotes from her life, showcasing an infectious positivity that's nothing short of uplifting.

Melanie is no stranger to adversity, and she's become an expert at using it as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. From the painstaking recovery of motor skills to embracing sports for rehabilitation, her journey is a masterclass in turning challenges into triumphs. The support system of family shines through as Melanie recounts the encouragement she received, fostering a spirit of independence and determination. As a motivational speaker and author, she extends a hand to all, guiding others through the winding roads of their own personal challenges with charm and wisdom.

Strap in for an episode that's equal parts inspiring and grounding, as we navigate the struggles that refine us. Melanie doesn't just share her story; she equips us with the tools for our own battles—faith, perseverance, and a positive outlook. She paints trials as preparation for our heavenly roles, blending life advice with spiritual insight. This is more than a podcast; it's a compass pointing towards purpose and contribution, both in this life and the next. Join us and let Melanie Brown's radiant spirit encourage you to face your struggles head-on, with humor, grace, and an eye on the eternal prizes awaiting us.

Support the Show.

Here are several ways to support the show, and allow me to continue to create great content



Social Media Links,

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/dorsey.ross/


Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/DROCKROSS/


Leave a review

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dorsey-ross-show/id1495921329


Speaker 1:

Hello everyone, thanks again for joining me on the episode of the Dorsua Show. Today we have Melanie Brown, who is fighting to overcome life's tough challenges, and thriving isn't just the message she shares in her writing and speaking on the Challenges Won't Stop Me podcast. It's the message she lived all her life. Decades of neurological struggles and brain injury tried to stop her, but she chose to keep moving forward and pursue all God's land for her. Spending time in nature, solving rigor puzzles and enjoying the 80s in music her husband's band plays are her favorite activities. Her greatest blessings are 30 wonderful years of marriage, two chefs, two amazing adult sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law and a cuddly Labradoodle. Melanie, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Speaker 2:

I'm excited to spend some time with you, dorsey, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Usually I like to open up with a sort of easy icebreaker question and what's your favorite funny story to tell?

Speaker 2:

Funny story to tell. Well, I will say that it actually goes along with one of my challenges. Almost three years ago, this Thanksgiving, I had to have emergency surgery because my colon flipped upside down. Now it's a rare thing. I didn't do anything to cause it. They don't know why it happens, but nonetheless it did. I had to have surgery and fast forward. About six months later I go to my regular dentist checkup. I'm explaining to him because as part of getting ready for your dental cleaning, you have to update your health records, right, and I'm telling the dentist about it. So I'm telling my dentist the story about what happened, crazy as it was. And I said and they took half of my colon and just like that, dorsey, he says oh, so now you're a semicolon. I'm like, yeah, you're 100% right, I had not thought of it like that. So I use that as my funny story all the time. Yeah, and I give him credit because I wasn't the one that came up with the semicolon.

Speaker 1:

It was Dr.

Speaker 2:

Cole.

Speaker 1:

Tell us a little bit more about you know before we talk about your book and you know about your writing. Tell us a little bit more about your story.

Speaker 2:

Sure, absolutely Well. My story starts at age two, when I had a stroke that paralyzed the left side of my body, and in 1972, I'm revealing my age I was two, so I'm 53 years old. They didn't know in 1972 why a two-year-old would be having a stroke Like that, just wasn't normal. The normal box for people who had strokes were people who were 65 years or older, who maybe were obese, they smoked, they drank alcohol, they were not healthy. That just didn't fit me at all, and so they didn't know what to tell my parents, except we're sorry, and here's some baby aspirin and physical therapy. Good luck, right. And so my parents. I'm just so blessed that I was given those parents, because when they got home, of course it was overwhelming how did this happen? What do we do that kind of thing? But my parents said this stinks, what happened to her? But we're not going to let it stop her from being a kid who does all the things that kids do, at least try them, and we're not going to let it define her. And so I lived my childhood very much like any other kid. I had to learn how to ride a bike, which took me quite a bit longer, because the stroke caused balance issues. I had to do all the sports because my dad was a sports enthusiast, still is, and it's not as much that I had to do it. They wanted me to do it to get the full childhood experience. But the blessing that came out of that is that it strengthened my left side. Now did it make it back up to normal as my right side? Nope, still not normal, but it helped me significantly.

Speaker 2:

So now we fast forward to my late 20s and I start having migraines, which are also a neurological incident. It's not a stroke, but it's a neurological incident, and that lasted for about 10 years and they were debilitating. It wasn't once every 90 days or once a year or anything like that, it was two or three a week and debilitating in that many times I couldn't go to work. Many times I spent several days in the bed because they were just so awful. Again, no explanation for why this is happening, except I'm asking the question are these related? Because stroke is neurological, migraines are neurological. Are they related? And my doctors kept saying no's not a stroke of bad luck. I know I'm not a medical professional, but I know my body and I and I know that this just doesn't make sense. So finally got the migraines under control so that they weren't completely wrecking my life, and at about age 40, I started having many strokes. Well, again, neurological.

Speaker 2:

So again I'm approaching my neurologist and saying, please, tell me that you know why all of these three types of neurological things are happening. No, actually I'm not. I know that I come and see you once every few months and you look at me and I look fine, but neurologically inside I'm struggling. And so, after my fourth mini stroke, my new neurologist that was listening to what I was saying and was concerned said we need to do an angiogram of your brain to see what's going on. Now, normally, dorsey, they do an angiogram of your heart to find out where the blockage is. But they did an angiogram of my brain and the results came back that yes, indeed, all three of those neurological incidences had been related and were causing problems for me. And the reason is because I have a rare cerebro meaning brain, vascular meaning blood progressive chronic disease called Moya Moya. It's rare and the three characteristics I know that you can probably guess where I'm heading strokes, many strokes and migraine. At least I had a name for what was going on and at least validation to say you know, I did know what I was talking about, I did know my body and know that there was something going on, right, and so I said, okay, what do we do about this? I'm 45 years old at this point. It's been 43 years of struggles Not every single day, mind you, please, please, make sure you understand that but 43 years of not knowing what's going on with my body. And now we have a name for it, hallelujah. But what do we do to treat it?

Speaker 2:

And so the neurosurgeon that was doing all of my testing looked at me and he said well, we can do nothing and just wait until something more serious happens. And I said not an option. Something more serious happens. And I said not an option because we've been waiting all this time and I knew that there was something that could happen, that could be very catastrophic, because I know about strokes, thankfully, the one I had at age two, yes, it interfered with many things in my body, and still do. I've heard stories and and I know it's true that strokes can kill you or can make you so incapacitated that you're dependent on other people for the rest of your life. And I said no, we're not waiting.

Speaker 2:

So what is the other option? Well, brain surgery. And I'll tell you, dorsey, that those two words together, that causes a lot of anxiety. Let's just be honest. So I said, ok, I'm processing this and I'm realizing that you know I guess this is where we're heading, and so I said, let's, let's go ahead and schedule it, let's go ahead and do it.

Speaker 2:

So what they did is they took a blood vessel from right here on my right above my right ear that was thriving and was good blood flow, and moved it to the part of my brain that hadn't been getting blood flow my entire life because of what Moya Moya is.

Speaker 2:

Moya Moya is where your blood vessels, which normally like this, just the straight, it's, got good blood flow, thriving, all those things Mine goes straight for a little bit and then it gets all kind of jumbled and crazy. And then it goes straight for a little bit and then it gets all kind of jumbled and crazy and then it goes straight again. But where the jumbly part was is the moyamoya and because of that, that's what caused the stroke and the many strokes and the migraines. But basically it had caused that part of my brain not to get oxygen and that's where the blood flow got stopped and that's what was causing all of the problems. And so moving that blood vessel to another part of my brain helps open up that area and start to get good blood flow, which we all need. I mean, we don't think about that because it's in our head and God's taken care of that for us. We don't have to think about it. But that's what was causing all of my issues, and so I had brain surgery seven and a half, almost eight years ago.

Speaker 1:

I'm assuming it's because it's rare, but did you ever ask this new doctor? But did you ever ask this new doctor? Why did it take so long for all these other doctors to come up with a reason or an answer for your concerns?

Speaker 2:

I did. I actually did, and part of the reason is because when Moi Moi was discovered, it was discovered in Asia, was discovered, it was discovered in Asia and it was primarily people who are of Asian descent. I'm a white girl, I'm not Asian descent. So right there, probably my doctors who did know about Moya Moya didn't put me in that box because I didn't fit in that box. And so the other reason is is it was discovered in 1969 in Asia.

Speaker 2:

My stroke was in 1972, but it had not transferred over to the United States. That knowledge had not transferred over and while I had dealt with all of those things, those different types of neurological incidences, many of my neurologists didn't know about Moyamoya because it is rare and while it's probably talked about in medical school, they don't spend a lot of time. And so it took somebody like my current neurologist who said oh yeah, I know about that. I'm thinking that maybe that's what it is. Let's do the angiogram and confirm it or figure out what else it could be. So I think part of the reason, Dorsey, is because it is rare and not a lot of neurologists know about it. They probably have been introduced to it but they haven't studied it and become very familiar with it, and so I think that worked against me. But thankfully for my neurologist, Dr Anand, who I saw just last week just for a checkup, he said yep, I'm thinking that's what it is and let's do the testing, and thank goodness he did.

Speaker 1:

How much have you improved over your life with the stroke that you had as a child?

Speaker 2:

Well, improvement. I mean, if you look at me, you couldn't necessarily tell that and unfortunately there are people who have had strokes that you can most assuredly tell that they've had a stroke, because their face might be damaged from where it impacted the nerves there in their face. In their face, their arm might be up or they may have a very significant limp when they walk. I don't have those things. I can use my left hand. One of the biggest things that has continued to be a struggle for me is that the stroke really impacted the fine motor skills in my left hand. So when I was in middle school I went to physical therapy to help work on the deficits and the residual deficits of my stroke, and that was one of the things I had to do was I had to throw beanbags into a bucket, that kind of thing, but that's gross motor, and so one of the things that I can remember crying, crying when they made me do it is pick up pennies, because I can do it. It just takes forever, and so it's not. My fine motor skills are not necessarily going to just improve so much that they're going to be regular, it's just not. The damage is there. It has been improved, but it is not going to completely go away.

Speaker 2:

My balance We've worked on my balance my entire life. We've worked on my coordination, which was part of why my parents really wanted me to play sports. When you play sports, you improve. You kind of want to lean. I kind of want to lean to the left, and so I had to figure out the different ways of playing basketball and softball, soccer, all of those things. They definitely improved my strength and my balance and coordination. But again, it's not something that's just going to go away. It's something that, unfortunately, is a lingering, residual deficit. I just I don't let it stop me. I mean, there's too many things that I want to do in life, want to do in life, and sometimes the balance part of it is really hard, but I want to do it and so it may not look really pretty, may take me longer, but I'm going to experience that because I don't want to miss out on opportunities or activities or time with my family, right.

Speaker 1:

And I think and you know, know you talk about your parents and everything I think you know very similar. I can hear you know your parents being my parents as well, because you know my parents were the same way that your parents were. They were like, hey, we're not going to worry about him, you know, we won't give him away, we'll just allow him to go out and do whatever it is that he wants to do.

Speaker 2:

I'm so glad to hear that because that is something that I feel was a make and break kind of thing for me. And I didn't have and you didn't, neither one of us being young people when these things occurred. We didn't get the choice because we couldn't communicate that we couldn't. So thankfully, our parents took care of that for us and they could have said oh sweet, melanie, I'm so sorry, we're going to take care of this for you, we're going to do this for you. They could have and said, no, that's going to be too hard and that will hurt your feelings, and so we don't want you to try that. They could have. But they said, no, we want you to try it, we want you to do everything.

Speaker 2:

The other normal kids, normal what does that even mean? Right, dorsey? The non-disabled, non-neurologically challenged, whatever you want to call it, the regular kids. We want you to try those things. And there were times that I wasn't really happy that my parents were making me or forcing me to do those things, but I'm so glad they did. I'm so glad because my mindset of challenges won't stop me is started with my parents.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. So your story and you know what your message is is a message of overcoming Absolutely. How did you come about that and what made you write the book that you did?

Speaker 2:

That's a great question. There were so many times throughout my younger years middle school, high school, college years, middle school, high school, college that I did things that were hard for me and challenged me. And then my friends would find out about my stroke and they would say, wow, like that is amazing that you're able to do those things.

Speaker 2:

And I would tell them trust me, it's hard but I'm determined that what happened to me is not going to keep me from getting to do the things that I want to do. I don't want to miss any opportunities and so many times they would call me an overcomer and at first, when that started happening, I was like that feels like a really big word and I don't know that I fit in to that Because to me at that time, when I was younger, overcoming meant that you faced a challenge and you got past it and then you know like it never bothered you again. But that wasn't me, because my stroke and my neurological issues and the moya moya while it doesn't impact my everyday life, there have been periods where it's been very much that I have to deal with it. So it's not where I fought to overcome and then I never had to deal with it again. So in my mind, overcoming wasn't my story. But I had several people say it's the attitude that you have, it's the positive mentality of, yeah, these things happen, but I'm not going to let it stop me. That's what they said was an overcomer and I said, well, I'm so appreciative of you telling me that that's your definition of it, because I feel a little more comfortable with that word than what I thought it was. I feel a little more comfortable with that word than what I thought it was, and so about, I would say, about 11 years ago I went to a writer's I guess group and the speaker was talking about platform, and I'm sure you're familiar with that.

Speaker 2:

And platform is what are you known for? When you, when you're a writer, what, what do people know that you write about? How do they think about you? And so I got, I went up to talk to her after her speech, when we had a few minutes of downtime to go to the restroom or whatever, and I said well, I write fiction and so I don't know how to have a platform because I'm talking about imaginary characters. Because she had said you know, if you want to write books about gardening, then you need to start sharing information like tips and tricks and things about gardening, and that's how people start to know who you are. And I said if I've got fictional characters, how does this work? And I said if I've got fictional characters, how does this work? And she said well, what are the themes that you seem to be drawn to in your fiction? And so I paused for a moment and I said I really like people that struggle, that say you know, I don't like this, but I'm going to keep fighting, I'm going to figure out how to get past this. And she said overcoming. And it was like whoa, that word keeps coming up right. She said how about if you start interviewing people who are overcomers and sharing their stories?

Speaker 2:

So I went home and I thought about it and I was like, wow, yeah, I can do that, because I like those kind of people. I like those movies that are about those kind of people. I like hearing about real life people who are those people. So I started doing that and at the time, we didn't have the technology. Well, maybe some people did. I didn't have the technology to do a podcast, nor did I even really know about a podcast, because this was in 2013.

Speaker 2:

So I started interviewing women who had overcome all these different types of challenges and specifically women who had the same kind of mindset like I don't like what's happened to me, but I'm not going to let it stop me kind of people. And I shared their written stories on my website and they're still there. And then I progressed into a podcast after going to a writer's conference, and so at this point, I've interviewed over 150 women who have faced all kinds of challenges, and the thread on every one of them very similar to your show is you know, what did you learn and how did you keep moving forward? And how do you have this mindset of I'm not going to let this stop me? That's what I wanted to share, and so I'm thrilled that I continue to get to do this.

Speaker 2:

Like you, we get to talk to people who have faced some really terrible things and yet, like you and I, we're like all right.

Speaker 2:

You know I don't like that, but it's not going to stop me.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to keep living.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to keep doing everything that I feel God has called me to.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to hopefully impact lives, all those things, and so I'm just thrilled that you and I get to meet today and talk about this, because I think there are a lot of people out there and you probably have encountered some yourself that are facing a challenge of some kind, and they just live in that. Woe is me. Life is terrible. What am I going to do now? I just everything that I wanted to do has been taken away, and they need hope, like what you and I are sharing and they need examples of how do you face some kind of challenge and what do you do to get past it. What do you do to learn from it, what do you do when the dreams that you had now are different because of the challenge that you faced? How do you do that? And I love hearing that from the people that I have been honored truly honored to interview, because everybody's story is a little bit different and it's so interesting to hear the different things that they've learned.

Speaker 1:

What is the name of your podcast and can anybody go and listen to it anywhere, or is it on a specific platform.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so my podcast is called Challenges Won't Stop Me. You can get it on any of the podcast apps. I also have my YouTube channel, which is Melanie Brown, m-e-l-o-n-y. Brown like the color and my website. You can get Brown like the color and my website. You can listen to the podcast episodes there. And again, it's MelanieBrowncom, m-e-l-o-n-y-b-r-o-w-ncom. So all of the written stories and all of the podcast episodes are there on my website.

Speaker 1:

Okay, as far as your books go.

Speaker 2:

You said that they're more of a character type. You know book more of a character type written book. Who is that to? And is it for kids, for adults? And what is that? What are those stories based on? Well, actually, the fictional stories is where I started, about 11 years ago.

Speaker 2:

But in the process of interviewing these women, of having my own challenges and navigating those, what all I've learned from my own experiences, what I've learned from the overcomers, I wrote a nonfiction book and it is also called Challenges Won't Stop Me. It is the first book in a two book interactive survival guide for overcoming and thriving. So let me grab these. So the first one is challenges won't stop me.

Speaker 2:

I take the readers on an eight mile journey and at each mile marker, instead of chapter, I introduce the reader to essential pieces of gear, and what I mean by that is things that we need as we are journeying through life. Yes, these things are very important to have and to use when we're going through a challenge, but, in all honesty, having them ahead of time and using them ahead of time is going to prepare you, is going to equip and empower you to fight, to overcome, and so, for example, we have a map. Well, if you're going on a hiking journey in the woods, it's helpful to have a map, and the map in my book is related to the Word of God and we need to be consulting that map and studying that map because it guides us. Now does it say, melanie, you need to do X, y and Z? No, it doesn't.

Speaker 2:

But if we read those stories with the mindset of how did God guide this biblical character through their difficult times, could I do that? Yeah, I could. I could do those things, and so it helps guide us as we are fighting to overcome. Another example would be binoculars. Dorsey, have you had other challenges in your life besides the ones that happened early on in your life?

Speaker 1:

Sure, of course, I've had challenges all my life.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely right. Okay, have you ever noticed that we all myself included, and I'm assuming you too, because you're human and this is just a human thing to do is we get so focused on our challenge? We're looking at it, we're going what do I do? How do I get past this? I don't know. I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

Speaker 2:

All these things we get, we're building up our own anxiety because we're focused on that, right, but if we take out our binoculars which is something that you would want to have as you're going on a journey in the woods and we look up to God and we praise and worship Him, it changes our perspective. We're no longer laser focused on the challenges right in front of us. We are looking at God. Does that mean the challenge is going to go away? No, not necessarily. I mean it could. It could Hadn't happened to me, I don't know. Has it happened to you? Like, maybe not, but if we look up to God and we praise and worship God Like, maybe not, but if we look up to God and we praise and worship God it's changing our perspective because we know God's the only one that can do anything to change or improve or help our situation. So that's where our eyes need to be instead of worry, worry, worry, worry, worry about the challenge right in front of us.

Speaker 2:

So, throughout Challenges Won't Stop Me. The first book of the Interactive Survival Guide I'm taking the reader on a journey and we're picking up pieces of essential gear that are going to help us to fight, to overcome. And then I just recently released the second book, which is called Keep Moving Forward. I just recently released the second book, which is called Keep Moving Forward, and it picks up at mile nine, because in the first book we stopped at mile eight. So we're going to pick up at mile nine. And now we're starting to look at the challenges that are common to most people. There are probably a limited number of people that have dealt with the challenges that you have or the challenges that I have. I know that right, but there are some common challenges that everybody is going to face at some point.

Speaker 2:

So, for example, a refining fire, that time in your life where it gets really hot and scary and you can feel that it's just getting hotter and more challenges are coming and you're feeling completely lost and overwhelmed, and then, all of a sudden, you realize things are starting to be taken away. Maybe it's a job, maybe it's a friendship, maybe it's an activity that you love but is not really healthy for you. It's not a good choice. All of a sudden, those things are getting scraped away, just like in a refining fire. If you put silver and you're trying to refine it, the silversmith puts it in a cauldron and just heats it up and heats it up. But he's watching it the whole time, watching everything that's going on, and as the impurities, the things that are not good for the silver, that are keeping it from shining and being beautiful, rise to the surface, then the silversmith is going to scrape it away. That's when we feel the scraping away of a friendship that you know really they're talking about you behind your back. You don't need that friend, so it gets scraped away. In the refining fire. That job was going nowhere. It was only just stressing you out. It needed to go away, so it gets scraped away.

Speaker 2:

So the refining fire is one of the common encounters that the reader will learn about and keep moving forward. Another one fears and enemies. Fears, in this day and time, we see it everywhere. What are we afraid of? Well, we're afraid of our spouse walking out. We're afraid of losing our job. We're afraid of many different things and it causes a lot of anxiety and worry. We also have enemies that friend who you thought was a friend that's talking about you behind your back. We call them frenemies, but we need to deal with them. We need to deal with them.

Speaker 2:

So throughout that, throughout, keep Moving Forward. I'm sharing encounters that all of us will face. Refining fire is a challenge. Right, fears are a challenge, enemies are a challenge. So the first book primarily focuses on things that we need in order to face the challenges that we may experience personally Me, for my neurological issues, for my crazy colon that's now a semicolon All of those things. That's what that book is for. But the second one is to help the reader be prepared and equipped for those common type challenges, because we know challenges are part of life and we need to be able to be ready for them so that they don't take us down or make us want to quit. We don't want that to happen.

Speaker 1:

Why do you think so many people do quit when times get tough and times get hard?

Speaker 2:

Dorsey, I bet you and I could spend hours talking about this. I have to say, probably the biggest reason is because they aren't prepared. They almost live in that world of teenage years where they think they're invincible. Do you remember in our teenage years it's been said there's plenty of movies that use this same theme that oh, nothing's going to happen to me, I'm good, all of that. Well, we know that's not true and sometimes I feel like people in general don't want to invest the time to prepare. They just think, oh, I'll wing it when it happens, whatever. And then when it happens, it's so overwhelming because they don't know what to do, they don't know how to fight, to overcome, and therefore after a while they're like I don't see anything happening and it's just getting worse and I'm just overwhelmed and exhausted and tired and I just I can't do this anymore and they just, they just give up.

Speaker 2:

So preparation and planning and and knowing who God is and knowing the essential gear that I mentioned in Challenges Won't Stop Me is really about developing a very strong personal relationship with God through prayer, through praise and worship, through running to his shelter, his tent.

Speaker 2:

That's where you can find true refuge and protection and safety, because the world has a tent and they'll tell you come, come, we'll take care of you. But it's flimsy, it doesn't do anything. But if we have that essential gear and we're consistently using it, it's going to develop a very strong relationship with God. And part of what it does and I'll talk about this and keep moving forward is it develops those strong roots of a tree and, as we know from all the times we've learned about a tree and the roots and all of this. It's nothing new that I necessarily present strong roots in God so that when that wind blows, when that heavy rain comes, when that challenge wants to completely just knock you down, your roots are so strong in your faith and in God that, while you may bend, you're not going to break Amen, because you're prepared for whatever that challenge is.

Speaker 1:

Moving forward is sometimes hard. What encouragement would you share about moving forward?

Speaker 2:

Moving forward is hard, wouldn't you say? Would you agree that moving forward is kind of hard?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, moving forward is kind of hard, absolutely yeah, moving forward is really a decision and it's not something that you can kind of just do casually. Oh yeah, I think I'll just move forward after this. I'm just going to put this behind me, whatever. No, it is a decision that you make and the reason that you make it is because when you study the Bible and when you have a relationship with God, you realize he's been with you through all the challenges and he's gotten you through it. Now is he going to do it exactly again the way he did it before? That's never happened to me. It's different every time and actually I'm kind of glad because it spices things up, you know.

Speaker 2:

But when I read the Bible and I look at the stories in the Bible, it talks so much about how all of the things that we go through in life are actually pointing to heaven. It's developing our resilience and our strength and our mindset and our faith, because all of that will be used in heaven for whatever our new heavenly body is like and whatever our new assignment is or purpose is in heaven. We're not just going to sit there and just yes, we will do some of that, but God's developing us here on earth to be ready for what he will do in us and through us in heaven. So we keep moving forward and I say this a lot in my own head. Sometimes I say it out loud, but really much more in my head. Okay, mel, this challenge developed your stick-to-itiveness. Somehow God's going to use that in heaven, I don't know, but I'm going to keep moving forward because I'm excited to find out what that's going to look like. So to me, we keep moving forward, knowing that what we go through both challenging times and good times all of that, all of it mixed together, stirred up, is being developed in us.

Speaker 2:

Because we can't take our car, we can't take money. You know all those things that that people know. We know that we can't take those things with us, but guess what we can take with us when we go to heaven? Faith, determination, perseverance. Faith, determination, perseverance. Those things are intangible, because I can't look at you and say, oh, you've got perseverance right here, right here. I can't see that, but God can. He sees all of that developing in us and we can take those things with us.

Speaker 2:

And I'm glad because whatever I've gone through, I want it to be for purpose, I want it to have purpose and it does. It does. I can see some purpose here, but I know that it's all leading to heaven and I know it's all for what's going to happen in heaven, and for that I am super excited to see what that's going to look like. I'm just like, okay, god, I'm ready, let's go, so I can keep moving forward and really truly knowing that God's using it to get me ready for what he has in store for me in heaven. And that may sound a little too grandiose, that may sound too ethereal, but it genuinely helps me to not get frustrated, to not give up, to not whine about what's happening.

Speaker 2:

Now. I do, probably you as well. There are days when I'm like, okay, god, really Enough is enough, like I'm gonna be some just like kind of amazing heavenly being with all of this, could you possibly share the wealth? And and like, have other people develop these things? Because, like I'm tired. But that's part of the whole process for me is that I have to talk myself through it and once I do, I'm like all right, let's go, let's go.

Speaker 1:

And I think it's not just in heaven. You know, I didn't even really thought about it that way before. You know that God is preparing us for you know what we're going through here. You know, before you know that God is preparing us for you know what we're going through here. You know, for you know, I mean, we're not going to have trials and tribulations and all that or difficulties in heaven, which we're, you know, glad about, we're happy about, but you know to persevere and to persistently keep going. You know we'll, you know we'll take that. Like you said, we'll take that with us, but we'll also have that here on Earth, after we go through the difficulties and the trials, that we can keep going, that when we have the next difficulty, the next trial, we can, you know, push forward, because we know what we've been through in the past as well.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and I'm glad you brought that up because I do talk about that very much, about how it's intended to help us here. Oftentimes our struggles and challenges lead us to our purpose, like my purpose, I feel, is helping people to be equipped, to be prepared. That's why the focus of my books are about that a survival guide for overcoming and thriving, because some people they don't know, they've never thought about it, they've never considered it they look at people like you and I and the overcomers that you've interviewed, that I've interviewed, and they're like oh if she can do it, if he can do it, then I can do it, then I can do it.

Speaker 2:

So it's very much about our lives here and how we keep moving forward, saying God's not done with me yet. I've still got more that obviously he wants me to do while I'm here on earth. But yes, it's both. So it's both and Right.

Speaker 1:

It's here and for heaven. As we get rid of the end here, what encouragement would you leave with?

Speaker 2:

our audience. Whew, there's a lot I can say. Let's see. I think the biggest bit of encouragement that I would love to share to your listeners is the importance of this mindset. Now, this challenges won't stop me.

Speaker 2:

Mindset is not as much about me, me, me, me. It's about seeing what God has done in our lives and knowing that he's with us, he fights for us, he hears our prayers, he wants to be near us, encouraging us, strengthening us. He does that during our challenges, if we allow him to. And when I look back on my journey and probably when you look back on your journey, dorsey we see how God has just been so much a part of our challenges and what happened as a result. So I want your listeners to know that the Challenges Won't Stop Me.

Speaker 2:

Mindset is all about knowing that God did it before and he can do it again. So, no matter what challenge comes about in our lives, I don't want to say we can laugh at it because that doesn't sound. I mean that doesn't always make sense. But we can look at it and say always make sense. But we can look at it and say, oh man, I didn't see this coming. Or wow, this is a really big challenge, but then taking some time to think about what God did in the past and how he was there for you. Then you can say you know what? This challenge is not going to stop me either, because God is still for me, he is still with me, he is still fighting, he is still doing all the things he did, so my challenges won't stop me.

Speaker 2:

Mindset is about believing that God's going to do it again, but it's also about okay, what can I learn from this? What am I supposed to learn about God through this? What am I supposed to learn about myself and my future? And so I encourage the listeners to really consider their mindset as they approach a challenge. Are they going to be defeated or are they going to say you know what? This is hard, but God's done it before and I believe he's going to do it again in this challenge?

Speaker 2:

Reading the word about praying, about all the things that help us to strengthen our mindset and our lives and our roots, then challenges won't stop us, and I think it's very important to carry that mindset, because that's when we are living fully, that's when we flourish, because that challenge that wanted to stop us, we didn't allow it to, and all of us can make that decision. Yeah, that's what I would very much encourage your listeners and I walk readers through this. If they're interested, you can buy both of my books on Amazon, but you can also buy them on my website, melaniebrowncom, and I would love the opportunity to walk alongside your listeners as they go on the journey of overcoming and thriving.

Speaker 1:

Amen, well, melanie, thank you so much for coming on the show today. We greatly appreciate having you.

Speaker 2:

Well, dorsey, it's my honor, I've enjoyed it and I'm so glad to meet you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, guys and girls. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and listening again. Guys and girls, thank you so much for coming on the show today and listening again. Please check out Melanie's book on Amazon and her podcast as well, and be encouraged today and keep on persisting and keep on moving forward in what God has for you and until next time, god bless. Bye-bye.

Melanie Brown Overcomes Neurological Struggles
Overcoming Challenges and Inspiring Others
Overcoming Challenges
Staying Strong in Faith and Perseverance