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

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

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

When We Suffer

I have been asked many times why I have dealt with so much physical suffering in my life? I am not 100% sure, but I know God has taught me many lessons during my health journey. Beautiful lessons I would never trade. Here are a few lessons I have learned about suffering during my medical journey.

Suffering prepares us to help others. I have been blessed with the opportunity to walk with many people during their health journey.

Suffering helps us grow in our walk with God. My relationship with God has grown so much during my health journey.

Suffering can bring relationships closer. My wife Laura and I have watched our marriage grow during my health journey. I am a better husband.

Suffering conforms us into God’s image. When people are suffering, the encouraging words from someone who has dealt with suffering can bring beautiful hope.

Remember, if we seek God through His word and prayer, we will find Him. God understands our pain because he too suffered. ~OC

Living In Hope

Hope guides us through the tough days. Through the storms. Our hope comes from our faith and trust in God. Our hope grows deeper as our relationship in God strengthens.


Hope is often found as we walk through health issues. As we deal with life and death issues, we lean more on the love and hope of God. During these storms we experience the hope of wisdom, the hope peace and the hope of healing. Remember, that healing can come in many forms. Only in the arms and grace of God can we find a firm foundation.

Take your burdens to God and leave them at the cross. He is our Savior and only hope. God’s love and care for us is everlasting. ~OC

Hello Old Friends

In 2007, I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s and in March 2009, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. There is no cure for either of these diseases. Actually less than 30 people in the world have been diagnosed with both.

In November 2019, I experienced an incredible healing regarding these two illnesses. For over a year, I did not deal with symptoms of Parkinson’s or Myasthenia Gravis. Then In 2021, Covid wrecked my body. After Covid I began showing signs of Parkinson’s and Myasthenia Gravis. My medical team shared Covid caused these diseases to return. Thank you Covid.

I will not allow these new challenges to steal my hope or joy. I truly believe God is going to use these new challenge to help me share His love with more people. These old friends will not beat me. Staying Focused. Finishing Strong. ~OC

Dear Stroke

Dear Stroke,

You tried taking me out a few weeks ago. You thought you had me down for the count. But once again God had other plans for me. So God 1 Stroke 0.

I have some things I want to share with you stroke. I want to to know you do not define me. I am not Todd the stroke patient. No, I am The Blessed Overcomer who just happened to have a stroke. You get no victory. God gets all the praise.

Yes, my left side is still weak and I still do not know the days of the week. But I truly believe I will experience complete healing and restoration in those areas. Dear Stroke, you will never win. God and I will not let you. I will push through therapy and continue to make improvements. I plan on ditching the cane one day.

Each and every day I get out of bed and face the challenges of the day and take back everything you tried to steal. The battle is not over. You might be powerful and strong, but you’ve got nothing on the power of God for those–like me and those who pray for me–who believe. ~OC

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