During my 17 year crazy beautiful health journey, I am often asked what lessons I have learned along the way. I could probably write a book on the lessons God has taught me, as I have walked this journey. I am not up for writing another book at this time, so I thought I would share a few with you. Here we go…..
Prayer. I knew the importance of prayer way before my crazy beautiful journey started, but this journey has only reinforced the importance and power of prayer. I can look back on multiple occasions when the prayers of many saved my life. Praying for others is a real honor for me. Prayer energizes me.
Choose to Thrive. Dealing with multiple health issues can be overwhelming. The journey can flat out be exhausting. It can be very easy to just survive. To just make it through the day. Who could blame me? But years ago, my wife and I decided Just Surviving was not how we wanted to live life. No, we decided to Thrive in life. That means not allowing my health issues to define us. Thriving means embracing life. Even on those rough days. Choosing to thrive is a daily choice. Sometimes a moment by moment choice.
Finding Purpose. During this crazy beautiful journey, I had to find a purpose for it all. There had to be more to this journey than doctor appointments, unending test and hospital visits. During my 17 year journey, God has allowed me to become a Abolitionist, Missionary, Motivational Speaker, Author, Patient Advocate and Thought Leader. I made the choice to turn a perceived negative into an opportunity to make a difference in life. What a ride it has been.
Laugh Often. When you have been diagnosed with as many life threatening health issues as I have, you just have to laugh. My wife Laura and I have used humor, dark humor most of the time to get through some of the toughest days. I mean when your known as The Man Who Refuses To Die, you have to laugh.
Don’t Sweat The Small Things. Life is too short to worry about the small things in life. My wife often shares with people, “Todd and I do not argue over how one of us squeezes the bottle of toothpaste.”
Find Your 3 am Friends. Who’s in your posse? Who are those friends that you can call at 3am when life becomes overwhelming? Do you have any? I truly believe God brings those 3am friends into our lives. I do not believe they can be manufactured by us. Also, I believe your posse can change over time. And guess what? That’s okay. I believe some relationships are just for a season. So don’t stress out when your posse changes.
Travel. I had never really traveled that much before my health journey. A few trips here and there. But after I started dealing with my health issues, my wife and I decided we wanted to travel more. Sometimes it’s just a day trip up the road and sometimes it is trips to Cuba and Alaska. Traveling has been a true blessing for my wife and I. So plan your next trip.
These are just a few lessons learned along the journey. I pray they will help encourage you, as you walk your own crazy beautiful journey. ~OC