Walking Another Journey

I have always tried to be open and honest about my health journey. God has given me a story of hope and encouragement to share with the world. He has given each of us a story to share. Here is my current story.

As some of you know, I walked an almost 18 year health journey. I faced death on many occasions. At one point I weighed 112 pounds, was living off a feeding tube and had to use a voice amplifier to speak. On November 3, 2019, with just two weeks to live, I walked into a tent and was healed during an old fashioned prayer and healing service. My life changed completely in a minute. I went from The Man Who Refused to Die, to the Dead Man Running sharing my story around the country. A documentary was even made about incredible journey (www.deadmanrunningmovie.com). Life was good. Then February 7, 2021 happened and my life changed again.

I woke up on Super Bowl Sunday February 7, 2021 excited. You see, my Tampa Bay Buccaneers were playing in the Super Bowl. I have been a Bucs fan since the NFL announced Tampa was getting a team in 1974. The Bucs started playing two years later in 1976. Anyone who truly calls themselves a Buccaneers fan knows there have been a lot of ups and downs over the years. But on Sunday February 7, 2021, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would win the Super Bowl. I would only see a few minutes of the game. Life was about to throw me another curveball.

I woke up that Sunday morning a little tired, but nothing major. I went to church that morning feeling excited about the day. After church, I came home and took a small nap. Had to get my rest before cheering for my Bucs. I did not wake up rested. No, I woke up trenched in sweat and a 103.7 fever. So I ended up sleeping through most of the Super Bowl. The next day Monday February 8th, I would be admitted into the hospital with Covid and deal with a 104.4 fever for four straight days. Little did I know that over a year later, I would be still dealing with issues from Covid and be classified as a Long Hauler.

Which brings me to September 2022. I am currently hospitalized and dealing with an uncertain future. I was brought to the hospital a few days ago with stroke life symptoms. Thankfully, the doctors do not believe I had a stroke. So what caused those symptoms? We may never know. Thank you Covid. These days eating and even drinking have become difficult. At this time, I am taking in less than 500 calories a day. My body is being attacked on multiple fronts. A lot of tough decisions will need to be made over the next few days and weeks. Once again, thank you Covid.

With all that said, I am still clinging to the promises of Jesus. I am reaching out, just trying to touch his robe. I still believe in the beautiful miracles of Jesus. None of this is a surprise to the King of Kings. He is still using my beautiful crazy journey to tell a story of hope, love and encouragement. I am at peace.

A little side note. Jesus did not take away my miracle from November 3, 2019. My current health issues are not caused from sin in my life. I do not have some type of evil spirit in my life. The only spirit I have in my body is the Holy Spirit. I share this because these things have been said to me as I am walking this new health journey. I also know other people walking through their own journey that have heard these cruel words. Please do not believe these lies. Remember, Lazarus was raised from the dead, but today he is walking with Jesus in Heaven. So for those walking through a storm, do not walk in these lies. Walk in the beautiful victory, hope, love and peace of Jesus. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~OC

At The Table

Today’s a new day! Let me say this loud and clear. God is not affiliated with any political party. If that statement surprises you, you might need to check your heart. Once again, God is not a Republican or a Democrat. He should never be used as a prop or weapon in political arguments. Sadly, God is often dragged into the political arena. His primary concern is not who’s in the White House or any political position. Obviously, Jesus cares for the needs of America, but he also cares for the needs of every country. Whether they love Him or not. It breaks God’s heart, when his people worship a political party or political figure. That seems to be a major issue among so many Christians today. If you call yourself a Christian, God should be the King of your life. Period!

Please hear me, I am not saying you cannot support your candidate, political party or country. That is your right. Please go vote. But your allegiance cannot be to a political candidate, flag or country. As a Christian, your allegiance should be to God. There will be moments in our lives where what seems to be in the best interest of America, or your political party will go against what God says is true. In those pivotal moments, you will have to choose who’s first in your life. Who reigns over your life?

This is not me pointing my finger at anyone or casting judgement. These are the types of questions we need to asking ourselves. These are the type of discussions we need to be having with each other. Even if we have disagreements. This is an invitation for all of us to sit down at the table. ~OC

Seasons

I know what it’s like to have your world come crashing down in a life changing way. In 2002, I entered a season of health issues that would effect my life in one way or another for next 20 years.

My career and love of running were taken away, and I have been fighting for my life for the last 20 years. I have been pushed to the brink in every area of my life. I would never want anyone to endure the journey I am traveling. Yet, in this season I have learned how to find and spread deep and authentic hope, love and encouragement.

During this season, which continues today with the diagnosis of covid long haulers, God has blessed me with the opportunity to share his love in many different circles. To share hope with many who feel hope has slipped away. I have been blessed with the opportunity to encourage others as they walk through their own crazy beautiful journey. This season has not been easy, but I would not change a step. This season has been filled with amazing lessons and memories. A season of beautiful interruptions. ~OC

Friends

Today’s a new day! During this journey called life, I want to be a friend and have friends who challenge others to love and serve the least of these. Friends that challenge us to think outside of the box. Dear friends who challenge us to speak out against injustice. Friends who refuse to let us just breeze through life. True friendships that challenge us to grow deeper in our walk with God. I desire to be this kind of friend and to be surrounded by these type of friends. ~OC

Overcomer

Today’s a new day. Let’s talk about this crazy beautiful journey called life. Life can be like a roller coaster. We experience ups, downs, twist and turns. Life can be a wild ride. We experience happiness and pain. Life is filled with laughs and tears. This journey called life can be tough. So today, I want to remind you that you’re a strong overcomer. I wholeheartedly believe this to be true. More importantly, I want you to believe this truth. Often we move through life so caught up in the rigors of life, we forget there is a lot of pain and hardship around us. Maybe you are dealing with a health issue that came out of nowhere. Possibly you have lost your job and are wondering how you will take care of your family. The list could go on and one. As I shared above, you are an overcomer. You got this! Stay in the fight. Never give up. We all face difficulties and challenges events during this crazy beautiful journey. Stay focused. Finish strong. ~OC

God Shows Up

In Disappointments God shows up.
In times of Victory God shows up.
In times of Loneliness God shows up.
In times of Happiness God shows up.
In times of Heartbreak God shows up.
In times of great Blessings God shows up.
In times of Sorrow God shows up.
In times of Turmoil God shows up.
In times of Peace God shows up.

You see, God shows up during the storms and during the sunshine.

The Dance

As I travel this journey, my life has been blessed with meeting people walking through the same dance. A dance no one ever wants to experience. A dance filled with pain and many days sitting in a chair while you experience the drip, drip from your IV. Days filled with tears, but also filled with sweet memories as you laugh with other conquerors doing the same dance. Oh the memories we shared. Our bodies fighting to enjoy another dance. How could we have known the music would end for some and they would say their goodbyes. Oh the memories of the dance. We never thought we would say goodbye. As I continue to walk through this journey, I will think about those that have taken a bow and completed their dance. I will embrace the memories we shared and continue to dance. ~OC

The Run

Looking back on the memory of a run, all was right in my little part of the world. Lacing up my shoes and heading out the door. Most of my runs took place in the early morning. The moon still shining. Usually not another soul in sight. I could hear the sound of my breath and God speaking in my ear.
Oh, the runs we shared.
How could I have known this run would only last for a season and we would have to say goodbye. I could choose to look at the end of a beautiful season and what I have lost. But no, I will choose to look back and see all we accomplished along the run. The pain and the victories along the way. The thrill of being in a corral with others excited about the run ahead. My life is better off for taking a chance and being part of the run. ~OC

A Gift

As we walk through our faith journey, we are instructed to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Why? Because it’s the very essence of who we are in Him. Every breath we breathe comes from God. Think about that for a moment. All that we are is God’s. Every breath is a gift from our Lord. He has given life to our bodies. Not only that, but we have also been bought with a price. A heavy price paid on the Cross. At one point in our lives, we were filled with fear, confusion and ultimately death. In one moment God changed our eternity. Today, we are free from our past. Living in the freedom and victory of God. Each day is a beautiful opportunity to live out God’s purpose for our lives. If our identity is entirely in God, that will be reflected in the way we choose to live our lives. How we love. How we serve. How we forgive. How we respond to the needs around us. How will you use your breath of life? Your gift. ~OC

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