How Am I Using This Gift?:
You have heard me refer to this crazy/beautiful health journey as a gift. Yes, I truly believe the past 16 years of health issues as been a gift. Most people would not look at illness of any kind as a gift. But I decided early on in this journey to have a positive attitude To turn this journey into an adventure and share it with anyone willing to listen. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I am using this gift. Here are a few questions I ask myself on a regular basis.
Has this journey become about me? I hope not. I never want this journey to be about me. That would cheapen the story. My life and this journey is a gift from God. Yes, I share a lot about my faith. My faith is a gift. It’s something I am passionate about and want to share with others. That’s what you do with a gift. But I will never force my faith on anyone. I don’t think that’s how you treat a gift. But my faith will continue to guide this crazy/beautiful journey.
Am I using this gift to help people? I decided early on in this journey, to use my health issues to help others. I didn’t know what that would look like, but I was determined to use this journey to help someone. I never could have imagined how many hours I would end up spending in doctors offices, treatment rooms and hospital rooms. That those places would be filled with so many hurting people wanting to tell someone their story. I made the choice to listen. I cannot truly convey how honored I have been to hear those stories. I also could have never known how much social media would play in my journey. I remember telling my wife Laura, I will never be on social media. Famous last words. But social media has been a gift. It has given me a platform to help and encourage others. I cannot tell you how many times I am up in the middle of the night and will jump on social media only to see so many hurting people. I am always honored to pray for those going through a tough time. I am amazed every time someone shares how something I posted helped them. Another way I have decided to help people, is to embrace beautiful interruptions. Taking time to really see hurting people. Not just seeing them, but finding out how I can help them. I encourage you to embrace beautiful interruptions.
Do I share too much? Some would say yes. Maybe their right. But I only have so much time to share my story. That is true for all of us. So, I will continue to share my story if I feel it can help one person. That one person who is hurting that needs a positive word. I have learned that a simple story can make a huge impact.
Am I living a life of adventure? I decided early on that I would not allow my health issues to keep me from living. Not just living, but thriving. That is why I ran marathons until the doctors and my body eventually said no more. That is why I went sky diving after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. That is why Laura and I continue to travel even though my body doesn’t like it. My life doesn’t have to end, just because my body is wasting away. I encourage everyone to never stop truly living a life full of adventure Go find your adventure! Go make memories! ~OC