Today’s a new day! Our imagined fears and worries often break us more than reality. ~OC
Along this journey called life, we all deal with fear. Fear can hit us during what we thought would be a routine doctors appointment. Fear can hit us when test result comes back with more questions than answers. Fear can hit us when we watch the news or scroll through social media. We have all experienced fear in our lives.
Back in 2003, one of my doctors called me early one morning and shared he needed to see me right away. Oh, make sure you bring your wife. A little fear hit me at that moment. Later when the doctor shared I had a tumor, the fear grew a little deeper. Fear, Worry and Anxiety. My wife and I experienced all those feelings sitting in that doctors office.
A few weeks later a biopsy revealed the tumor was the size of golfball. A few weeks after that, surgery revealed the tumor was cancerous. Once again, Fear, Worry and Anxiety smacked me in the face. Things seemed overwhelming at that point.
Then something amazing happened. As I laid in ICU hooked up to several machines, God took away the fear, worry and anxiety. Those feelings were replaced by peace, calmness and even joy. Yes, joy. What changed?
God reminded me of the week long fast I had done a year earlier during a missions trip. He shared the reason I had fasted was to prepare me for this very moment. Peace flooded my room and heart at that moment. At that moment, I completely turned my heart toward Jesus and trusted Him to walk me through this journey.
Even though I had been filled with fear, anxiety and worry, Jesus was right there with me. He welcomed me into His presence, even as I was filled with fear. He never abandoned me in my time of need.
During that moment, I still had to deal with life as a cancer patient. But that unknown did not overwhelm me anymore. Jesus reminded me that He was bigger than any health issue I would ever face. I am thankful, I did not know my future would be full of more health issues, test, multiple doctors appointments and hospital stays. No, at that moment I was just filled with peace.
Here I am in 2019, still fighting multiple health issues. Still fighting for my life every day. Still living in the unknown regarding my health. But I am still experiencing that same peace and joy, I experienced in that ICU room so many years ago. Knowing that Jesus is still bigger than anything life throws at me. Still living life with a thankful heart. ~OC
During my crazy beautiful health journey, God has shared many lessons with me. I have shared some of these lessons in earlier blog post. Today, I would like to share some more lessons learned during my journey. Some of these lessons have been difficult to walk through, but they have brought me closer to God. They have made me a better person. They are lessons I never want to forget.
Don’t Live In Fear. Surrender everything to God. Including your fear. My life is filled with a lot of unknowns. It would be easy live in fear. For moments I have. Thank goodness, I chose not to live in that fear. No, instead I continue to choose to live in Hope. Not always easy, but making the choice to not live in fear has been life changing.
Let God’s Word Empower You. Spend time in God’s word. Speak it. Pray it. Sing it. Live it out. During my good days and bad days I choose to let God’s Word pour over me.
Embrace Every Moments. Make every moment count. Tell your love ones you love them. Share some hugs. Take that trip. Give freely. So some grace. Love without prejudice.
Be Grateful. Take time to be thankful for your many blessings. My journey has been filled with some rough moments, but I have so much to be grateful for. My wife. My family and friends. My medical team. Great insurance. Beautiful moments.
Never Give Up. The temptation is always there. The journey is too hard. The pain is too great. There are plenty of reasons to give up, but I encourage you to keep fighting. Reach out to trusted family and friends to walk with you during those moments of wanting to give up.
I hope these lessons will encourage you. They are not easy to walk through. Believe me I know. I have been trying to live them out for the past 17 years. ~OC
Has fear controlled your life? At some point in our lives, everyone has dealt with fear. For some, fear has paralyzed them. Kept them from truly living life.
During my 17-year and counting crazy beautiful health journey, fear has reared its ugly head several times in my life. I remember the first diagnosis so many years ago. Cancer. How could I possibly have cancer? Fear gripped my wife and I after that diagnosis. We had only been married a few years at that point. We had so many plans. Would we even have another year together? This scene has played out in our marriage many times over the years, as I have been diagnosed with one life threatening health issues after another. How have we dealt with the different fears that have tried to steal our happiness?
Prayer. I know this sounds simple, but a lot of times we reach for everything but prayer. Prayer becomes a second or tenth option. I would encourage everyone to make prayer your first option. I can personally testify to the power of prayer and faith in my own journey. I know I would not be alive today, writing this post if not for prayer. Not just my prayers, but the prayers of many. Whatever you may be going through today, I encourage you to pray and don’t be afraid to ask for prayer. People genuinely want to pray for you. Let them.
Team. Do not try to walk through your fears, or life for that matter, by yourself. We were not created to do life alone. The Lone Ranger may have been a good tv show/movie, but is a terrible lifestyle choice. During my health journey, my wife and I have surrounded ourselves with an amazing team of people. Team Todd has helped us walk through some of the most difficult days of our lives. People want to help, so let them.
Keep Living. This is much easier said than done. The fears and all the junk life throws at us can become overwhelming. We have all been there. Laura and I made the choice early on in this crazy beautiful journey to keep living. We decided not to just live, but to Thrive. Todd, what does that even mean? Thriving means not letting your current circumstances define you. Thriving means taking a last-minute cruise. Thriving means spending quality time with family and friends. Thriving means stepping outside of your comfort zone. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Don’t allow your fears or your current circumstances to keep you from living a beautiful and blessed life.
Find Purpose. During my crazy beautiful journey, I knew there had to be more than doctors appointments, hospital stays and multiple medications. There just had to be. Finding purpose in this journey allowed me to overcome my fears. During the past 17 years, God has allowed me to use my story to encourage others. To pray for someone going through their own journey. To hold their hand and guide them through the toughest moments of their lives. To walk them through their fears. So what is your purpose?
Does doing these four things guarantee you will no longer deal with fear? Unfortunately no. After all these years, I still deal with fear at times. But I do not live in fear. Fear does not control me. The power of Prayer/Faith, Team, Thriving and Purpose help me let go of any fears that come my way. Faith>Fear. ~OC