Thriving

I often hear people say how sorry they are for me. I know they mean well. Heck, if my crazy beautiful journey belonged to someone else I might feel sorry for them. But that is because people are looking at my journey from the outside. If you take a closer look, this journey really is beautiful. This journey has brought me great insight to what is important in life. Let me say this, I was very happy before this health journey started. But this almost 18 year health journey has been more than just living. More than just surviving. It has been about thriving. Choosing to thrive after every bad medical report. Choosing to to thrive after every setback. Choosing to embrace every breath. Choosing to embrace and overcome the pain. Choosing to embrace every lesson learned. You see,I am not just surviving this crazy beautiful journey. I am finally getting life right. I’m thriving. ~OC

National Caregivers Month

November is National Caregivers Month. I truly believe caregivers should be celebrated everyday.

For the last 17.5 years, my beautiful bride has been my caregiver. She has made a lot of sacrifices during that time. Besides being my caregiver, she has been my health advocate, chauffeur and cheerleader. I definitely could add more titles to the list. Laura has taken on each of these roles without complaining. This crazy beautiful journey has been tough on her, but she has handled it like the champion she is. I never take her love, support and sacrifice for granted. I do my best to celebrate her whenever I can. I also try my best to make sure she takes care of herself.

Too many caregivers are forgotten during the health journey of a loved one. Everyone is quick to asked about the patient, but we can never forget about the caregivers. They are the real heroes. Caregivers continuously make sacrifices that nobody notices. They sometimes put their life on hold to take care of a loved one. Most do it without complaining. So many caregivers walk this journey alone. Most would never asked for help. So many caregivers get lost in the journey.

That is why I wanted my bride to share her part of the story in our book The Blessed Overcomer. I wanted caregivers to know they mattered. That they are not forgotten. Laura’s story needed to be told.

I pray if you know a caregiver, you will not forget about them. I believe their job is much harder than the patients. There is no playbook on how to be a caregiver. Here are a few things we can do to help out a caregiver:

Check on them. Reach out to a caregiver and see how they are doing. Let them know they matter.

Give them a break. Asked if you can sit with the patient. This is huge! Most caregivers will not asked for a break, but it is so important for their wellbeing to have those breaks.

Volunteer to drive the patient to appointments. Based on my health issues, I am no longer able to drive. Friends from our church have taken it upon themselves to create a ride schedule to take me to my many medical appointments. This has been a huge blessing for Laura and I.

These are just a few helpful things you can do to help out a caregiver. They may seem small, but can be life changing. So if you know a caregiver, take the time to see how you can help them navigate their crazy beautiful journey. ~OC

Healing and Miracles

Prayer Warriors are needed to pray for a dear friend to experience a miracle. A group is meeting at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida this morning 11/7 at 9:30am. I know most people reading this cannot physically be there, but I ask that you would pray for my dear friend and her family at 9:30 this morning. Please feel free to share this with your family and friends. Thank you. ~OC

When Life Is Hard

We’ve all had some rough days. Maybe your rough days have turned into rough years.

As I have walked through my own crazy beautiful journey, I have experienced my share of rough days. Days where nothing seems to go right. Days where I just wanted to crawl back into bed (in my case, crawl up in my recliner). Those days can seem overwhelming at times. They can be stressful.

A season of health issues, relationship issues, financial issues or unemployment can seem overwhelming. During my health journey, I have learned a few lessons about dealing with the challenges of life. I pray you will find them encouraging and helpful.

Your Character. We cannot always control what happens to us in life, but we can always control how we react to the circumstances we face. During the rough moments of my journey, I have made the choice to stop complaining and instead thank God for my many blessings. Choosing to stay positive during those storms of life. Not always an easy choice, but it can be life changing. Our character should always be stronger than our circumstances.

Struggle to Strength. God can use every storm in life to make us stronger. To strengthen our faith. I know sometimes that is hard to see during the storm, but hold on. Our storms have a purpose.

God’s Plans are always perfect. God’s plans are almost always different than ours. Come on, we all think our plans are perfect in the moment. Sometimes we believe God’s plans for us are moving too slowly. Come on God, hurry up! Has anyone but me ever uttered those words? I would encourage each of us to slow down and be patient. Oh, that word Patience. Remember, God’s plan for our lives is always the perfect plan for our lives.

God is always with us. I know that is sometimes hard to believe, as we are holding on for dear life as we face another storm. But the minute you asked God into your life, he is always with you. Walking by your side as you navigate the crashing waves. If you have not asked God into your life, I pray today would be the day you make that incredible decision.

I pray these lessons help encourage you, as you walk through those tough moments in life. I also pray you will never walk your journey alone. Reach out to family or friends when facing those tough moments in life. Most importantly run to God and allow him to wrap his loving arms around you. ~OC

 

 

 

 

A Night of Miracles

Hello everyone. Last Sunday morning, God woke me up and shared this past week would be a week of Healing and Miracles. During the week, I also felt God calling for me to asked people to pray for my throat and stomach. As many of you know, I have not had an appetite for almost 4 years and have not been able to speak without the assistance of a voice amplifier for about 3 years.

Last night my wife Laura and I attended a Prayer and Healing Service. During the healing part of the night, God blessed me with an appetite and allowed me to talk without the assistance of my amplifier. God is so good. I am overwhelmed by His incredible love for me.

Since I had an appetite, a bunch of us decided to go celebrate Jesus. So the picture below is my first meal in 3 years. I was able to eat a little chicken salad and fries. I also had a few sips of sweet ice tea. I am thrilled to share, I did not choke or throw it up. That had been a major problem in the past.

I encourage everyone to never stop praying for Jesus to move in your life. You never know when the Holy Spirit is going to show up. Keep Believing in your Miracle. ~OC

New Opportunities

I had to retire early from my career in the juvenile justice field. I was only in my early 40’s. Thankfully, God was not finished with me. In the past ten years, God has allowed me to take on several new roles. Here are some of the opportunities God has blessed me to be part of:

Abolitionist

Missionary

Blogger

Encourager

Author

Thought Leader

Speaker

Prayer Warrior

Health Advocate

Blessed Overcomer

Ten years ago, I could have allowed my health issues to become my identity. But God had other plans for me. I had to make the choice to keep living and thriving. I pray you will make the choice to look past your current circumstances and choose to keep thriving and making a difference. ~OC

My Choice

Today’s a new day! It is easy to point,yell & judge. I want to be a person who encourages, loves & makes a difference. ~OC

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