There are many things about which I am proud, but if I had to pick only two, the first would be that despite how difficult my life has been, I never let it make me bitter or weak; I was determined to grow stronger and overcome every trial and have a testimony to share about the grace of God in my life.
My greatness isn’t found in anything I did of myself but in the fact that I have always, as long as I can remember, relied solely on the Lord for my strength, wisdom and my very life. I did not have a big supportive family or network of people I could count on; I have been alone most of my life, starting at a young age and I had to trust the Lord, and He has never failed me. I have known many wonderful people through the years who acted as agents for the Divine, and though very few of them stayed in my life long term, all of them blessed me in some way for which I can only give thanks to God.
*Dana's before pic from July 2008*
The second thing which I believe defines my personal greatness is my complete lack of fear. Fear is poisonous and it keeps us paralyzed in bad situations and so many never recognize their potential because they spend so much time thinking about and speaking of all the reasons they will fail. They are born cursed and dying and they live in the shadow of death their whole lives like condemned prisoners.
Sure, you’re going to fail at some things, but you will succeed at others and though it took years to overcome my fear of failure and rejection, it wasn’t until I was able to face my demons and take control of them that I was able to take on the greatest challenge of my life. That challenge came in 2010 when, after slowly starving for 2 years from a marginal ulcer following gastric bypass, I collapsed in front of my children and confronted death in a real and terrifying way. Scariest moment of my entire life and I have to say that nothing I have face since and nothing I faced before can come close to the horror of confronting my own imminent demise and realizing I was not done living.
In those last moments of my old life I decided that I wanted to live and I called upon the Lord and He breathed His life into me and it changed everything. It turned my whole life upside down and cost me all the things I thought had value and left me with everything that mattered. I learned that I am a Daughter of Holiness living in My Father’s House right here on earth and I am truly safe from all evil and death no longer threatens me, for the Lord is not trying to kill me after He went to so much trouble to rescue me from the grave.
*Dana's after pic*
Personal growth means casting off the chains of the past, the childish fears and myths and toxic relationships which hold me back. It means real accountability for my life and my happiness and the realization that I am not being set up to fail. To know the Lord wants me to succeed in all things and in fact He provides what I need to succeed gives me great confidence to go forth with any endeavor wisdom and necessity demands. Realizing that I am a mother and a woman and therefore complete in all things gives me blessed assurance that I do not have to wait for Superman to rescue me. Superman is a comic book character and he can’t do a thing for me. I can do all things because I know the Author and Finisher of everything.
About a year ago I learned that my first name means “Perfect Pearl” in Arabic. Natural, perfect pearls are so rare they are valued as gold and diamonds, but unlike metal and stones, pearls are created inside a living organism and they begin as a tiny, irritating grain of sand, and retrieving them is highly dangerous work.
Pearls represent perfection through adversity and I stand in awe at how aptly I have been named, for throughout my life I have sought to be perfected through my trials as a way to obtain victory over adversity. In addition, my birthday falls on the 21st, and the gates of Heaven in Revelation 21:21 are made of pearls. Such stunning coincidences have never been lost on me, for they have been my greatest comfort, my personal love letter from the Divine.
To the world I am a nobody. Just another face in the crowd; a name and a number given to me by someone else. I’m not expected to amount to much; I wasn’t born into privilege and advantage and there is nothing to really set me apart from the herd. And yet, my whole life, despite little encouragement from others and in fact a great deal of negative input from those who constantly told me I wasn’t quite good enough, I always knew I was worth more, that the Lord had great things in store for me.
I can’t tell you how I knew this, but I did and it sustained me through everything and it is the reason I have overcome such great adversity. My past, so littered with pain and loss did not break me because I knew I had a reason for being here and I knew I must be someone special if the world would go to such trouble to destroy me with its cruelty. It turns out, I was right and the world was very wrong. I look at what I have overcome, what I have accomplished without an army of people patting me on the back every step of the way and I know in the deepest part of me that the Lord was with me throughout my life, sustaining me and protecting me from all real harm, and I know I am valuable to the One who truly matters.
I know most women would say their greatest accomplishment is motherhood, but I am not one of those women. I love my children more than I ever thought it was possible to love another soul, but having children was never a goal; it was something that happened on my way to the goal.
I have never viewed motherhood as my purpose but an important role and a sacred trust, and simply having kids and slapping on the title of mom doesn’t make me a good mother. Being a great woman, being true to myself and to my calling in life and teaching my children to be the same by my example and not just my word is an obligation I can never escape if I hope to be proud of the job I did raising my kids to adults.
Their lives belong ultimately to God as my life does and whatever He has in store for my sons is between them; my job is to exemplify excellence, integrity, honesty and to be the example of a strong, healthy, beautiful godly women not just to my husband and children, but to the world as well. I am satisfied that I have not just accomplished this, but I accomplish this every day and when my children speak of me, they do so with pride and reverence. My family is proud to know me and I would never do anything to change that.
I have always wanted to be a writer, and after 15 years of writers block and the torture of thinking I would never achieve a lifelong dream, I finally finished and published my first book, entitled "Coming Out Of The Darkness" a few months ago. It is a collection of my thoughts, experiences and ideas compiled from my blog during the two years I recovered from my illness and found my way in a new world. Dying and coming back to life changed me so profoundly the experience required I write it down and share it with the world.
*Quotes that describe Dana Marie Cain*
"Never be afraid to confront the truth even when it's painful. In facing it you will find liberty and ultimately, peace."
"Our actions not only reveal our character, they define it as well."
"Good intentions are no substitute for good judgment."
Written by ~Dana Marie Cain
Life has taught me that we are all unique in how we love, how we deal with pain & how we express our truth. I love to learn people because you never know what their experiences have done to them or how it has changed them.
Dana is the definition of GREATNESS because she dug deep into her pain & she flipped it into her personal truth. She is not only beautiful but she is truly bold & brave. Dana saw herself "Coming Out Of The Darkness" & into a light filled with love.
It takes courage to express how you truly feel inside & why you have certain emotions. Life is not so much about everybody else understanding you. Life is about understanding yourself so you can learn your worth & have personal growth from your joy, pain & lessons.
Dana is a fearless soul who is an inspiration to many because she has chosen to gain strength from her lessons so she can stand firmly in her truth & in her faith. ~Bindu