Storms, Trials and Sorrows

Today’s a new day! I love that Jesus doesn’t simply say we will have storms, trials and sorrows and then leaves it to us to try and figure out. No, he promises peace and reminds us that he has overcome the world. Which means our hardships are not without purpose.

This is why the Apostle Paul who experienced much pain and difficulty during his life can boldly declare these beautiful words in Romans 8:28:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Rap Sheet

Hello friends. I have always tried to be open and honest about my health journey. I have never wanted or allowed my health to define who I am. I am a child of God’s. Wonderfully created in His image. A lot of people have reached out to me since my stroke to see what was going on with my health overall. So after praying about it, I have decided to share my medical rap sheet (HaHa). Once again, none of these conditions define who I am. I share this to encourage anyone walking through a storm to stay positive and use their story to encourage others. Please do me a favor. Do not fill my comment section with home remedies or ways to fight these conditions. I have a great medical team taking care of me. Thanks. Here we go….

  • I am only the 28th person in the world to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Myasthenia Gravis at the same time. Yeah me!

*Covid Long Haulers.

*Still recovering from a stroke.

*Based on being so many medications over the years, the doctor shared my pancreas is fried. So I have been diagnosed with Diabetes. Currently taking insulin.

As you can see, I am in a real fight. But I am not walking this journey alone. God is walking right by my side. Holding me up when I cannot stand myself. I am blessed with a beautiful bride Laura West Shoemaker, who is an incredible caregiver. I have a wonderful circle of friends standing in the gap. I am blessed with a great medical team. I am thankful I have great insurance. I will continue to fight and share the story God has given me. I am far from giving up. I am excited about the wonderful plans God has for me. Living a blessed life. ~OC

World Stoke Day

Hello. Since today is World Stroke Day, I thought I would share a little of my experience since having a stroke a month ago. ~OC

*Still cannot remember the days of the week or the months of the year. Thank goodness for my cellphone.

*Still having memory issues.

*Still having difficulty putting words and sentences together.

*Still having weakness on left side and balance issues.

*Still cannot bend over without getting a tremendous headache and dizziness.

*Still very fatigued.

*Still takes me forever to text.

*What I can do:

*I am still breathing.

*I am still walking.

*I am still laughing.

*I am still trying to make a positive difference.

*I am still trying to encourage others.

  • I am still making memories.

*I am still moving forward.

*I am still standing.

*I am still living.

The Boat

Today’s a new day! At one point during my beautiful life, my friendship list looked like a big cruise ship. Many people laughing and having fun. Life was great. Then I got sick and the boat began to get smaller. Of course that was rough to endure, but God gave me peace.

Then I experienced a beautiful miracle and all of the sudden the boat started getting bigger, but most of the relationships were not real. They were based on what God had done in my life. People cared more about the miracle than they did about me. Once again tough to endure, but God guided me through this storm. He even told me on a walk one early August morning, that my inner circle would get smaller. There would be fewer people on the boat. This did not scare me, it actually gave me peace.

Then I had a stroke a few weeks ago and more friends jumped off the boat. This time I was prepared for it. Less phone calls checking in or returning my calls or text. God had clearly prepared me for this time. That doesn’t mean there was not some pain and disappointment.

But as I continue to walk through this new crazy beautiful health journey, I cling to the friends who have decided to stay in the boat with me. The ones who actually reach out to me without any prompting and reassure me they are not leaving the boat regardless of how big the waves get. We will endure together. How blessed to have people in the boat who reassure me they are not abandoning me. Who tell me they don’t care how small the boat gets. No matter how rough the waves become. “Todd, I am not leaving the boat.” How encouraging those words are as Laura and I move through this new storm.

As I wrote the words above, I realized I have never needed rescuing from the boat. God has always been and always will be in the boat with me. He has never thought about abandoning me. I am thankful for those God chooses stay in the boat with me. But my hope and peace comes from God who created the boat and me. The One who can calm the raging seas with just a whisper.

If you are dealing with a storm in your life, look around and see who’s in your boat. When you find them cherish them. During the storms of life, learn to sit in the boat with others. Embrace those in the boat. Encourage those in the boat. Empower those in the boat. ~OC

Gratitude

Today’s a new day! It saddens me that America has become overrun with so much entitlement. We currently live in a country were we believe we deserve more, more and more. We are disappointed with everything that interferes with this poisonous belief. Some people are upset with their families, neighbors, churches and even the waitress at the local restaurant when they interfere with that person getting more. When the dust settles, some are even disappointed with God. How dare He not give us everything we want.

What craziness. If only we could see our situation clearly. Even for one moment. We deserved death. God gave us life. We deserved judgement. God gave us grace. We should be filled overwhelming gratitude. Nothing less. Because God owes us nothing. Just the opposite. We owe God everything. When we realize we deserve nothing, it puts a tough day in perspective, doesn’t it? ~OC

Power of Hope

When we wake up and are still facing the storms of life, we need to reach up to God and grab onto the hand of hope. The bigger the waves, the worries and troubles, the more the stage is set for God to move mightily in calming the waves. God cares about our storms.

One of the lessons God wants to teach us during the storms of life, is to fully trust in Him and not lose hope. Hope is a life changing word. No matter how many tears have filled the boat, how many prayers seemingly unanswered, or how fear grips us there is hope. We can cling into that hope during the worst storms. God will always be by our side as the crashing waves try to take us out. Plant your feet in the beautiful hope of God. ~OC

Healing Prayers

Good morning! As we pray for those that are sick, here are a few prayers I wanted to share with you. Remember, our words themselves have no power. But when we speak these words with the 🔥 of The Holy Spirit in us, beautiful healings occur.

Healing Prayer for Someone

Sweet Jesus, your Word speaks promises of healing and restoration and we thank you for the miracles you still perform today. This very moment we claim those powerful promises over …. We believe in the healing power of faith and prayer and ask you to begin your mighty work in the life of … Please reach down and surround …. with supernatural peace and strength and give …. the faith to believe that all things are possible for you. Protect … from the lies and discouragement from the enemy and let your miraculous healing begin. We pray …. would begin to walk in their amazing healing this very moment in Jesus name. Amen!

Healing Prayer Over Yourself

Loving Jesus, I pray that you will fill me with peace and comfort me during my suffering journey. Bless the hands that pray over me. May those hands be cleansed by the powerful Blood of Jesus. Allow those blessed hands to be used for the complete healing of every area of my body. Bless me with your confidence and the power of your sweet grace, that even when I am scared, I will lay everything at your feet. Let me surrender all I am to you. I pray all this in the powerful and beautiful name of Jesus. Amen.

I hope these prayers will encourage you, as you pray for others and yourself. ~OC

Conversation With God

Hello. As I walk through this crazy beautiful health journey, God has been sharing and teaching me a lot. I thought I would share some of the lessons and conversations with God.

*I will not experience healing on this side of heaven. Yes, God clearly shared that with me during one of our morning conversations. I am at such peace. There is no fear, worry or anger. Just the sweet peace of God flowing through my life. Do you have that kind of peace?

*Healing comes in many different forms. We get caught up in the miracles we can see with our eyes. Those are beautiful! But God is performing miracles daily that we cannot see with our eyes. Those healings and miracles are just as real as the ones we can see.

*Keep sharing the story God has given me. The thorn in my side is health issues. Still God is using my health issues to minister to a broken world. A broken world that needs the beautiful light of God. A world that needs encouragement.

*Be bold in sharing the true gospel. A lot of false theology being pushed in the Christian community.

*I did nothing to lose my miracle from 2019. My current health battle is not from sin in my life or an evil spirit living in me. That healing from 2019 was real and from God.

*God shared he owes us nothing. Everything He does in our lives is a beautiful gift. A gift of love, forgiveness and grace.

*God will not always answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, but He will always walk with us through the journey. We have to learn to be okay with His plans for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Also every trial will produce lessons. We learn more in the valley than on the mountaintop.

*Then Jesus asked me a question. I did not hear the audible voice of Jesus. He asked me “Who has suffered more than me?” Jesus shared he suffered most of his life. Suffering is part of the journey. But as Christians we never want to walk that journey. But by choosing not to embrace the journey of suffering, we are missing out on some incredible lessons Jesus has for us and others.

I pray these words bring you comfort today. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~OC

Lessons Along The Journey

I have been dealing with multiple life threatening health issues for 20 years. I have had ups and downs during this journey. Throughout the years, people have said some crazy things to Laura and I. I am sure most meant well, but that’s not the way it always came across. Here is a list to help you have positive conversations with someone dealing with serious medical issues. I will expound on some and some do not need any explanation.

*Well, Todd lasted this long. Yes, someone said that to Laura. Please do not say that to her or me.

*How are doing/How’s your health? I know people mean well, but I am more than my health. I really do not care to spend the whole visit discussing my health. Some days I am not even sure how I am feeling. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. (Hear is a free suggestion: Asked how Laura is doing? As a caregiver, her job is much tougher than mine).

*Do not hug me unless I move in for a hug. Let me initiate all physical contact. Not being mean, but my immune system is compromised.

*If I choose to wear a mask that’s my decision. Please do not make it a political or religious issue. It’s my life.

*If I choose to take a flu shot or some other vaccination that’s my business. Once again, do not make it a political or religious issue.

*Do not just show up for a visit. I could be resting or visiting with other guest. Please call first. Also do not stay all day.

*Do not say, I hate seeing you go through this. My current situation is what it is. I know people mean well, but I do not need a reminder I am sick. My body does a good job of reminding me.

*Do not say, Let me know if I can do anything for you if you do not mean it. I know that might sound harsh, but a lot of people say that just to be kind.

*Do not make my health journey about you. I am sorry if you lost a loved one to an illness I am dealing with, but it does not help if that is that’s all you talk about. Sorry.

*Do not tell me my health issues are caused by some spirit or sin in my life. Laura and I will shut you down. We do not need your poor theology in our lives.

*Do not tell me how I should handle my health issues. This journey is not yours. Laura and I will continue to look to God for His guidance and wisdom.

*Do not say how brave I am. Thanks for the compliment, but I do not always feel brave. Also I did not choose my health issues. It’s just life. I will continue to live a life that hopefully encourages others, but there will be days I do not want or feel like an inspiration.

I share these tips to help educate not to criticize. There is not a playbook on how to walk through a health journey. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or suggestions. ~OC

Life Giving Words

Why do I write? Why do I share my thoughts, hopes and pain with strangers? Why do I get so personal? I write to share hope, love and encouragement with those walking through their own journey.

I write to challenge and make people think. To step out of their comfort zone. It’s okay if you disagree with me.

I write to encourage others to write their own stories. We all have a story to tell. Every experience is an opportunity for a story. I hope someone will read one of my blog post and be encouraged to begin to put pen to paper. Or maybe just use a computer.

With God, all things are possible. I will continue to write to give hope, encouragement and prayers to all who read about my thoughts and experiences. I pray my words will let you know you’re never alone. Thanks for dropping by. ~OC

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑