Ten Years In the Making

In March 2009, I ran my last 5k. A few weeks later, I was told I only had 24 hours to live. For the next ten years, I would be fighting for my life. On November 3, 2019, I experienced an incredible miracle healing from God. This morning, I completed my first competitive 5k in over 10 years. The Miracle continues. ~OC

Dream Killers

If God has placed a dream on your heart, do not let anyone or anything try to destroy that dream. Dream Killers can be the the following:

Doubt

Criticism

Comparison

Intimidation

Failure/Discouragement

People

These dream killers can happen everyday. Do not allow them to destroy the dreams God has put on your heart. Step out and trust God. ~OC

Never Stop Praying

Never stop praying. My miracle took almost 18 years. During my crazy beautiful health journey, God never stopped loving me. He taught me so many lessons during my battle. God also shared many blessings in my life. The road was not easy, but I would never change the path.

If you are walking through a storm, I encourage you to keep praying. Keep believing in your Miracle. ~OC

Peace and Love

This year has been filled with a lot of hate. Turn on the news. Check in on social media. It is hard to escape all the hate we encountered this year.

As we close the chapter on 2019, I want to put out a challenge for 2020I. I challenge each of us to seek Peace & Love as we enter a new decade. Let our hearts be filled with Peace & Love. Let our words be filled with Peace & Love. Let our actions be filled with Peace & Love. Let our social media pages be filled with Peace & Love. Let our homes be filled with Peace & Love. Let our workplaces be filled with Peace & Love. Let our neighborhoods be filled with Peace & Love. Let our places of worship be filled with Peace & Love. This challenge may not always be easy, but I believe it can be accomplished. Why? Because we get to choose Peace & Love. Each day we make the choice how we will treat people. Each day we make the choice how we let people treat us. Let us make 2020 the year Peace & Love reigns. Are you up for the challenge? ~OC

How To Help

During my 17 year crazy beautiful health journey, I was often asked how people could help Laura and I. Here are a few suggestions:

Stay in Contact: Nothing brightens a patient’s day more than hearing from friends. It could be a phone call, visit or a simple text. Even when I could not eat or drink, I loved the interaction with friends. So never be afraid to call that loved one or friend. Also the doctors have shared keeping a person’s mind active is very important. So, when you are thinking about someone, take that opportunity to reach out to them. Do not miss out on a beautiful memory.

Remember to Check On The Caregiver: The caregiver can get lost during the journey. As my caregiver, Laura had the toughest job. Working full-time and taking care of me could be overwhelming. And remember, she did this for over 17 years. So, make sure you are asking about the caregivers physical, mental and emotional well-being. One of my main concerns during my journey, was that Laura take care of herself and enjoy life. A caregiver can always use a night out.

Don’t Start a Pity Party: Dealing with health issues is tough enough. At times people want to go crawl in a hole and isolate. Don’t let them do it. Offer some words of encouragement. Get them out of the house. Go make some memories. My journey was a tough one, but so many people had it tougher than me. Remember, a lady gave birth in a tree. True story!

Just listen: Sometimes hurting people just need someone to listen. Not to fix. Not to have all the answers. Just listening is a beautiful gift.

Be Flexible: The one thing about illness is everyday is different. My health issues bought new challenges each day. Sometimes each hour. So be flexible when dealing with a family member or friend struggling with health issues.

Learn About the Illness: Some people are dealing with illnesses we have never heard of, but asking questions and maybe a quick Google search can help. This can help you better support that loved one. Just don’t believe everything you read online.

Be Available: People dealing with health issues face different challenges. So be available to help when possible. That help could come in the form of bringing someone meals, sitting with someone during their treatment, visiting them in the hospital or transportation. For years, I could not drive based on my health issues. So, having rides to my appointments were important. I am thankful for my team of drivers during my journey. Getting out of the house and enjoying live is so important.

The Long Haul: Be there for your family and friends. Did I ever think my journey would last 17 years? No way! But what I learned was that some friends put an expiration date on how long they could endure my new normal. Having friends that have stuck it out and supported me has been a true blessing.

Acceptance: Stop comparing who someone was before they got sick, to the person they are now. Simply accept that who someone was and who they are now has changed. So when that family member or friend has a life changing experience, embrace the new them.

I hope this helps. There is really not a blueprint for this stuff. So don’t beat yourself up, if you say or do the wrong thing. The most important thing you can do is be present and engaged. ~OC

Words Matter

Today’s a new day! Our words are powerful. Make no mistake. They can inspire and elevate or they can cut down and destroy. A seemingly simple comment, without consideration, can devastate and once it’s out there you can never get it back. ~OC

True Identity

Your relationship status doesn’t define you.

Your career doesn’t define you.

Your degree doesn’t define you.

Your social media doesn’t define you.

Your wealth doesn’t define you.

Your past doesn’t define you.

Your true worth is found in Jesus Christ alone. ~OC

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