19th Mile Moments

Today’s a new day! During my marathon running days, mile 19 was when I hit the wall. When I just felt like giving up. Thankfully, God always gave me extra strength to push through and finish the race. So as I have walked this 20+ health journey, I often refer to the tough moments as my 19th mile.

During this crazy beautiful health journey, God continually reminds me that His love and grace are sufficient. Throughout my health journey, God has taught me several important 19 mile lessons. I have learned to trust in God’s plan for my life despite how I feel on any particular day. To turn to Him for strength, peace and wisdom during my darkest moments. God has also taught me to humble myself and ask for help when needed (not always easy for me) and most importantly, that all my hope is in Jesus alone.

I long for the day to see Jesus face to face, to receive my glorified body, and walk the streets of Heaven without pain or disease. Totally healed! Until then, I will walk by faith and keep leaning into the beautiful promises of God.

I pray this post brings you some encouragement as you walk your own crazy beautiful journey. Keep running the race and never let mile 19 break you. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~OC

Flaws and All

Today’s a new day! As we start this new day, remember people are not perfect. We all have flaws and shortcomings. Do not allow those things to keep us from being loving, kind and forgiving. Let’s spend time cultivating our relationships. Flaws and all. ~OC

Pray

Today’s a new day! As we start this new year, do not forget about the caregivers, those that are terminally or chronically ill, those that are mourning, those who enter 2023 not knowing what losses it will bring, what sadness will accompany the next 365 days. Pray they will see some beautiful light through the broken glass. Pray they will feel the arms of God wrap around them like a warm blanket. Pray they will be surrounded by loved ones as they walk through their journey. Pray no one will walk alone. Pray even as they walk through the roughest storms, there will be some beautiful moments and memories. Pray they will experience peace. Pray that through the toughest moments they will keep moving forward and never give up. Blessings. ~OC

Check On The Strong Friend

We all have that strong friend. The one who makes everyone laugh. That friend who is always there to listen. That friend that seems to have it all together. That friend we assume doesn’t need any help. Nothing fazes them. And because they are strong we tend not to check on them. They got this. But beneath all the laughs and wonderful advice they share, they are dealing with unimaginable pain. They are crying out inside, but they do not know how to share those feelings. Maybe they’re hiding behind a strong brave face. Forever being the strong friend.

The strong friend gets that title for a reason. They have survived the hardest storms. They have made those difficult times look easy. That strong friend has carried the weight of many. They are the ones that never complain. They are the ones always lifting others up. They have made the tough choices in life. They have stood tall during the toughest conditions.

We must check in on our strong friends. Everyone needs a helping hand. Our strong friends need to feel love and appreciated. They need to know someone cares. Even the strongest friend, no matter what they have endured cannot always carry the load.

So today, check on that strong friend. Check on your strong friend anyway. Do not allow them to face difficulties alone simply because you believe they can handle anything. They may need you to be the strong friend. ~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

Go Rest On High

As I have scrolled through social media the past few weeks, I have been saddened by stories of friends dealing with the death of loved ones. Those stories inspired me to write the following words.

Your mission on earth is now complete. No more pain fills your days. Your journey on earth was filled with ups and downs. But even during the hardest days, you looked up to heaven and gave praise. When the enemy came in the middle of the night, you faced him head on never taking a step back. You reminded the enemy that even on the darkest days, you would continue to praise the one on high.

Now you are looking into the eyes of Jesus rejoicing in praise. He has welcomed you home. No more walking through the pain. Your purpose on earth is now complete. I wish I could have seen your face as the angels led you into the gates of heaven to meet the King. We rejoice as we think about you sitting at the feet of the King of Kings, as he took you by the hand and uttered those beautiful words well done, thou good and faithful servant. I can see the smile on your face as you gazed into his eyes. Go rest on high.

We will continue this journey as we carry your memory in our hearts. We will remember your strength and determination as you faced your darkest days. Some days will be filled with tears, when we pick up the phone to call only to remember you have gone home to the King. We will smile as we recall how you made everyone laugh even during the pain. We will rejoice as we think of the day we join you in heaven and sit at the feet of the King. Go rest on high. ~OC

Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

As I scrolled through your social media pages, I sense you are struggling. You seem tired. As I read your post, it appears you are being overwhelmed by the storms of life. I have experienced those moments.

So friend, I want you to know I am here for you. There have been times, I have watched other friends walk through storms from a distance because I was not sure what to say. I made their pain about me. I wish I had just showed up. Just listened.

As I have walked through my own storms, I realize how important it is to have friends walk with you. I am thankful for those who did not jump out of the boat when the seas got rough.

I am done letting fear keep me from staying close. I will not be perfect when I reach out to you. I may not always say the right thing. I am okay with that. The most important thing is, I will always be there for you. No judgment. No quick fixes. Just me standing in the gap.

Friend, you will get through whatever storm you are facing at this moment. It will not be easy. There will be some rough days. You might even feel like giving up. You might lose hope. When you lose hope, I will hope for you. We will get through this journey called life together. We will finish strong. ~OC

Life Moment Lessons

Today’s a new day! As we walk through life we will all face storms. As we walk through the storms of life, we make the choice what lessons we learn. Here are just a few lessons I have learned during my journey.

Life Moment Lesson 1: I could not do life without my faith. As a 10 year old boy, I gave my life and heart to God. There have been some ups and downs along my faith journey, but God has never left me. As with any relationship, I have taken the time to get to know Him better. I have taken the time to listen to God as he has spoken to me. l have seen God move mountains, perform miracles and heal relationships that people said were dead. I have felt the beautiful peace and presence of God in every area of my life.

Life Moment Lesson 2: Do not take any moment or person for granted. Life can change in a single moment. So share grace and forgiveness. Do not hold onto anger or grudges. Let it go.

Life Moment Lesson 3: Family and friends are a beautiful gift. Hug them often. Never miss a chance to say I love you. Treasure the time together. Cherish the laughter and memories. Be present.

Life Moment Lesson 4: Never make life about you. Make life about serving others. Every experience we encounter, has a beautiful God purpose if we only stop and embrace the moment. Stop rushing through life.

Life Moment Lesson 5: God is in every moment. But we must stop to see God’s beautiful presence. It doesn’t matter what storms we are facing. God is always there. If we look closely, we can see God’s fingerprints on everything. Slow down.

Life Moment Lesson 6: Be thankful and grateful in everything. I have learned when my focus is on God and everything He has brought me through, I can only praise Him and say Thank You. Take time to be thankful.

Of course there have been more lessons learned along the journey, but these are the ones God wanted me to share today. I am Blessed. ~OC

True Friends

Today’s a new day! There will be friends that stick close and support you during the storms of life. There will be people who call themselves friends, but they will disappear during the storm. Do not dwell on those friends. Be thankful for those friends that continue to walk with you during the storms and rejoice with you during the victories. ~OC

Whisper from God

Today’s a new day! The same fight from when I was a walking through my almost 18 year crazy beautiful health journey continues today. The devil wanted me gone then and he still wants me gone today. And he continues to do everything he can to try to stop me from getting where God wants me today. There has been a lot of heartbreak, a lot of sicknesses, and a lot of struggles from my first health battle in 2002 until my healing miracle in 2019. The enemy tries to put doubt in my mind that my healing is real. Did I really deserve my healing? Of course I rebuke those thoughts, but that doesn’t stop the enemy from trying. But, that doesn’t change my mindset about God. God is still God. He is still the King of Kings. God continues to give me His strength. I can overcome all through Him. One thing that I’ve come to learn is that the enemy is going to continue to try and take me out. The enemy sees what God has done and continues to do in my life. The enemy fears me because he knows I am an Ambassador for Christ. The enemy cowers knowing that my strength comes from God, who is so much stronger than him. The enemy is going to continue fighting for me, but God continues to whisper to me, “I have you; together we can change the world.” ~OC

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