I doubt Janeece Edroff had any idea of the impact her young life was going to make.
At age three she was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis type 1, with tumors growing off almost every nerve root from her spine. By age seven, after multiple surgeries, she knew her family had been receiving financial assistance from Variety, The Children’s Charity and she decided she wanted to give back.
Her penny drive at her elementary school that year netted $164 and was presented to Variety during their annual Telethon. The next year she got others involved and collected $27,000! By age fourteen she had raised a million dollars; by sixteen, $1.5 million. Janeece is now eighteen and has inspired more than $6.7 million in donations. When she’s not in school or in hospital she spends her time fundraising for various organizations and inspires others to do the same.
Janeece Place, a temporary home for families to stay while a family member is in Victoria General Hospital was one of her dreams, and she saw it become a reality this spring. She has been presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Changing Our World/Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Ages 5-17.
And this weekend the girl who doctors said would probably never walk, or even live to see her teens, will graduate from secondary school.
A few years ago I mentioned Janeece in a blog post entitled Tenacity Despite the Odds. I’m not sure why I thought of it this morning, but as I was considering what to write about on this fourth anniversary of my blog, the idea of tenacity lodged in my writerly brain and refused to budge. Have you noticed how some ideas are stubborn like that?
My early posts were an effort to accustom myself to online visibility. Then they morphed into a commitment… mostly to myself, because there weren’t a lot of readers.
Four years later, after 658 posts and 70,000 views, I’m amazed at the cyber friends I’ve made, and how important this regular bit of writing has become to me. Has it accomplished anything significant? Not likely, although I’ve received occasional messages from readers who were encouraged by something God had prodded me to say on a particular day.
That’s the thing about blogging. While we might have a few regular readers who are kind enough to leave a comment, the statistics don’t let us know who the silent majority are… the ones who not only don’t comment, but don’t subscribe, and simply drop in on the way through from somewhere else in cyberspace. There’s no way to prove our inspirations are meaningful to anyone. It’s hard not to question whether the words really make a difference.
I look back at the tenacity that has kept me here and realize it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with God. He’s the only one who sees the entire picture and provides the words that are meant to reach an unknown-to-me but specific someone. I trust in his judgment.
I also trust in his direction for me and my writing. It may not include publication of my novels, or perhaps it will, but only when the timing is right. For now, as I step off into my fifth year of blogging, it’s enough that I carry on with tenacity and trust. My job is to turn up here and write. If there’s a difference to be made, it will be up to God. Is that called ‘passing the buck’? Sorry, God, but that’s the way I see it!
“Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning,
for on You do I lean and in You do I trust.
Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk,
for I lift up my inner self to You.”
Psalm 143: 8
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9 thoughts on “Making a Difference”
Carol, I do a study about four women in scripture when I speak to women’s groups. From Mary, the mother of Jesus, we learn that we are responsible for submission and obedience. God is responsible for the consequences because it’s his plan, not ours. You are not – I repeat, NOT – passing the buck. You have exemplified exactly the way it’s supposed to work. Blessings to you my friend, and to your aunt.
“My job is to turn up here and write.”
Some days I feel like that too…..but I can tell you from MY perspective YOU make a difference in so many peoples lives. You my dear are so driven by the Holy Spirit and it shows in your thoughts, words and deeds.
I’m the one who needed to read this message this morning. You gave me inspiration, but “My job is to turn up here and write” is exactly how I was feeling this morning? Am I making a difference?
So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for listening to the Lord’s nudging this morning and giving me the hope and encouragement I needed to hear.
Your faithful fan!!!
You’ve done it again, Carol, said things I’ve been meaning to say. I feel exactly the same way. One thing though, my blogs are few and far between because I’m more conscious of wasting my reader’s time. And finding subject that seem important or relevant… I’m drawing a blank. And then I read your post. I won’t repost what you’ve already written, but I’m sure I’ll find a subject to share.
Amen!! Tenacity is my theme of life. Keep on writing my friend, for you are doing an awesome job!! I enjoy reading it all!! thanks,love, carla
Thanks for this encouragement to hang in there with blogging! Sometimes I really do wonder. I’ve had my blog longer than you have but have only been writing regularly since I retired 18 months ago. Stats do not tell the story – but they do have an impact. So, despite my small ones, I’ll hang in here a while longer.
“Has it accomplished anything significant? Not likely … There’s no way to prove our inspirations are meaningful to anyone.”
I think you have accomplished something significant, and you will probably never know the full extent of it, because that’s the way writing is.
It’s the same thing with publishing books. Once you put a book out there, you don’t know who’s reading it, what they think of it, what it means to them, or how they pass it along. Only a tiny percentage of people who are touched by a book will ever let the author know or comment publicly online about it.
This also made me think of Ecclesiastes 11:1 and 11:5-6.
Congrats on 4 years of blogging!
Janeece didn’t worry how much her $164 would help. She did what she could, and God blessed her efforts. I’m reminded of Paul’s admonition not to despise small beginnings. Oh, oh – I think you’ve inspired a post for me. 🙂
Carol. I loved this post in it’s entirety. It all comes down to making a commitmnt to follow the path God has put before you, I, too, sometimes wonder if the blogging might be a waste of my time — if it’s accomplishing anything. It may or may not be making an impact in someone else’s life, but it is making an impact in mine. First, there’s the practice in writing — thinking, planning, following through. Second, it’s building up in me the discipline to write daily. Knowing that I have even one or two people who are checking to see what I’ve written is a great motivator to be consistent. Actually having readers who are following my blog is gravy — icing on the cake. And yes, the reults ae certainly up to God. My job is just to do as I’m directed and watch where it takes me. (All this said, ironically, I’m taking a holiday/wedding anniversary week off and won’t be bloggin again for a week.)
Great stuff. Thank you!