Lessons Learned: Part II

We all have tough days. You might be currently facing a storm or rejoicing that you just survived a storm. Life is is tough.

For the past 16 years, I have been facing a health storm. There have been moments of relief and days I did not know if I would survive. That moment when your wife is told her husband will probably not make it through the night. That moment when doctors and nurses were fighting to bring me back. The past 16 years has sometimes felt like the wildest roller coaster you could ever ride.

You may not be dealing with a health crisis, but I am sure you have been smacked in the face once or twice by the storms of life. Maybe your storm has been unemployment for a long stretch, marriage issues, financial issues or the loss of a loved one. These events can feel overwhelming. I would like to share some life lessons that have helped me during my crazy/beautiful health journey.

1), Your Storm Always Leads to Strength. Every storm we face in life, whether big or small, is something God can use to strengthen our faith, relationships and make us better people. Before I got sick the first time, I took a spiritual gifts test. To my surprise my lowest score was Compassion. How could that be? My job at the time was working with young people in the juvenile justice system. I volunteered in the middle school department at my church. I was totally blown away by this news. Fast forward a few years after being diagnosed with cancer, I took that test again. My highest score was Compassion. God allowed me to grow leaps and bounds during that time. I am still letting Him help me grow all these years later.

2). God’s Timing is Always Perfect: God’s timing and plans are usually different than ours. We want everything that minute and we want it to be perfect. When I got sick the second time, I was given a lot of prednisone. I went from my running weight of 150 to over 200 pounds in a very short amount of time. It was frustrating, because I could no longer go running or workout to bring the weight down. I remember praying, please God let me lose this extra weight. I didn’t feel God was listening to me. Then I started having some stomach issues. Those issues continued to get worse. In just over a year, I lost almost 90 pounds. In 2017, when the doctors had to insert a feeding tube, my weight was down to 112. If I did not have that extra weight hanging round, I definitely would not be writing this post today. It is hard, but we have to learn to be patient and wait on His perfect timing.

3). God Will Never Leave You: At times you may feel all alone during the storm. Maybe you feel God has left you. If you have asked God into your life, you are never alone. During the darkest moments of your storm God is right there with you. This 16 year health battle, I have faced many dark moments. Some family and friends have left my side, but God has never walked away. He has been right there holding my hand and wrapping me in His loving arms like a warm blanket.

I do not know what storms you are facing today, but I hope these tips, lessons or whatever you want to call them will help encourage you during your storms of life. ~OC

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