Lessons Learned: Part I

During this crazy/beautiful health journey I have learned a lot. Here are just a few lessons learned along the journey.

1). Turn a negative into a mission. I have shared about my 16 year and counting crazy/beautiful health journey. I made the choice early on to turn my health journey into a ministry of encouraging others. My health issues have cost me a lot in life, the ability to work, run and talk. It would have been very easy to just throw up my hands and give up. But that would have been the easy thing to do. The hard part was making the choice to turn this negative into a positive. This has not always been easy, but the rewards have been amazing. God has blessed me with so many opportunities to share His story during this journey. God has allowed me to use this journey to encourage so many people. There has been so many amazing memories during this crazy/beautiful journey. I am a better person because of this journey.

2). Choosing to be Grateful: Taking a breath in the morning. Being able to walk without the aid of a walker, cane or wheelchair. And having an amplifier to help me speak. Being able to drink Ensures. Spending time with family and friends. Having a wonderful medical team. The opportunity to keep fighting human trafficking. Getting a text from a friend sharing they are praying for me. Laura and I still being able to take trips. These are just a few things I am grateful for in life.

It’s the small things in life. Taking time to find the beauty in the seemingly insignificant moments in life. I think the choice to be grateful is one of the greatest decisions we can make in life.

3). Humor is Great Medicine: This journey has been filled with humorous moments. The book Laura and I are writing will be filled with funny stories. Humor has helped us get through some very tough moments. Laura and I tend to have a lot of dark humor in our life. Some people are turned off by our type of humor. When people share their displeasure with our type of humor, I always tell them to get their own incurable diseases and they can share their type of humor. What works for us may not work for others. That’s okay. We all have our own journey.

Funny things happen every day. Do yourself a favor and don’t get so caught up in the serious moments that you cannot have a few laughs. Laughter actually helps improve your health.

4). Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box: One of the greatest things we can do is think outside the box. That is for every area of life. If I would have made the choice to stay inside my little box, I would have missed so many things. I mean who decides to run marathons after not running for 20 years, being diagnosed with cancer and recovering from open-heart surgery? I made that choice and experienced some of the greatest moments in my life. Who gets diagnosed with Young-Onset Parkinson’s and goes skydiving to celebrate? That was an amazing experience I will never forget. Who decides to be a missionary at doctors appointments and hospital stays? God has blessed me with so many beautiful moments since I made that decision.

It is easy to make the choice to stay in our safe little boxes. Staying in our safe boxes can keep us from being hurt. It can keep people at arms length. But that’s not living. That is just surviving. I want to Thrive.

These are just four lessons I have learned during this crazy/beautiful health journey. There are many more and maybe I will share more at another time. I just wanted to share a few to hopefully encourage someone today. ~OC

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