EP. 32: Heather Dixon

Heather Dixon | Equipping Women for Courageous Living

Heather M. Dixon is an author, speaker, and Bible teacher who understands living with a story that is not easy.

Diagnosed with an incurable and terminal genetic disorder that she inherited from her mother, she is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to trust in God, face their greatest fears, and live with hope, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances.

When she is not blogging at The Rescued Letters or speaking at women’s conferences and events, Heather loves to make the most of everyday moments such as cooking for her husband and son, brainstorming all the possible ways to organize Legos and superheroes, checking out way too many library books, or unashamedly indulging in her love for all things Disney.

Heather is a regular contributor to Journey magazine and the author of Ready: Finding the Courage to Face the Unknown and Determined: Living Like Jesus in Every Moment.

Heather and I chat about the power of God’s Word to change lives, the loss she has experienced in her life, dealing with anxiety, and her Bible studies: Ready and Determined.

4:08 Heather shares her story of coming to know Jesus and how her love of God’s Word took root in her heart

10:42 Heather walks us through the major medical events in her life that led to a diagnosis of vEDS (Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) and how that has challenged and changed her faith.

Major Medical Events: Pre-mature birth, Colon rupture, miscarriage, two aneurysm flare ups (kidney and gut), kidney infarction, and left carotid artery rupture.

vEDS makes your blood vessels and organs prone to rupture.

There is no cure or treatment for vEDS.  “The prescription he gave me was prepare your bucket list and live your life well, because the average life expectancy of someone with Vascular EDS is 48 years.”

18:22 Heather talks about the days and months following the diagnosis.

“I wasn’t afraid to die. I wasn’t afraid to go see Jesus. I hunger to see Jesus. The hardest thing for me was coming to terms with the fact that God would take care of my husband and son.”

“We had to come face to face with the reality that we are not promised another day on this earth.”

“During that season I literally sat an alarm on my phone every 60 minutes to pray, because that was about as long I would last before I felt a wave of a panic attack coming on.”

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

“I said, Okay, I am going to choose life. I am going to put two feet on the floor…. choose life, Heather. You still have life to live.  If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.”

“I don’t think God intentionally caused pain, but I do think He used that pain to bring me to my knees, to a place where I had to confess to Him, I’m not giving You everything.  I am not giving you my trust over my husband and my son and their life. It was that moment when he said, ‘Choose life. I got you. I got your family, choose life’.”

25:58 Have a wholistic tool box when dealing with anxiety.

29:39 Heather shares encouragement and tools she uses in dealing with anxiety.

  1. You are not alone in this struggle.  Other humans struggle with it, but so did Jesus. “At the final moments of the cross in Luke 22, He is literally sweating blood, because He is so afraid.”  There is a Greek term used agonia for agony in the passage, when Jesus is praying to God out of fear for His life. “We serve a Savior who understands what it feels like to battle that in His body physically, in His mind. He understands what it feels like to cry out to God for relief.”
  2. Don’t expect to fix it all at once
  3. Make intentional, sustainable choices

35:58 Heather shares about the 2 Bible studies she has written.

“God really drew us to the book of Joshua to really prepare us for all of these major medical events.”

The Ready Study is for the woman who is looking to her future and saying, “This is scary.”

“I write for two women. I write for the woman who doesn’t like her story and I write for the woman who wants to know her Bible better.”

41:54 “I’m still here. My doctor said, ‘I don’t know why, but you are beating everything I know about vEDS.’ There are three major medical events that normally take someone home with my condition, home to see Jesus, I’ve had two.”

“One of the words that is used to describe my condition is terminal, because of the shortened life expectancy associated with it. I really didn’t like that word…so I chatted often with God. He drew me to the book of Luke and reminded me, I was not the first person to walk the earth with the awareness that death was on it’s way. That Jesus had three years to fulfill His mission and He lived with a determined attitude, not a terminal perspective.”

53:45 “A faltering in your faith does not equal a failure.”

SPONSOR: Beloved Women’s Conference

We live in a society where busy is synonymous with success. So how can we experience the peace of Christ when we’re encouraged to hustle and and endlessly work our way through life? It feels impossible to find rest for our souls when responsibilities and to-do lists are endless.

Jesus provides a simple solution: come to Him, and He promises rest for our weary souls. Though this may seem simple, we both know it’s not easy.

That’s why I want to personally invite you to this year’s Beloved Women’s conference. The Beloved Women’s Conference is a one-day event in Raleigh, NC filled with speakers, worship, breakout sessions and more to refresh, refuel, and empower women like us to find rest for our souls, peace for our minds, and hope for the journey.

The mission of the Beloved Women’s Conference is to replenish the women who do so much for their families and communities so they can continue to build better futures for themselves and those they love and serve. This is the break that you not only need, but that will replenish your soul.

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