Miracle Mile

The last time I ran was in March 2009. Shortly after that my body started shutting down. For the last ten years, I have basically been fighting for my life. The dream of running again was just that. A dream. The mind was willing, but the body was not.

Then on November 3, 2019, I experienced a beautiful miracle. During a prayer and healing service, several people prayed over me. I instantly felt my body was being healed. Being Restored. I was able to eat and speak again. Could I possibly run again? Could that dream become reality.

Yesterday 11/30/19, I went to the store to buy a new pair of running shoes. I wanted to see if this dream could become reality. Later that day, I decided the time had come. I needed to see if I could truly run again. Below is the video of my first run in over ten years. God is still the God of miracles. Never give up praying and believing. ~OC

www.facebook.com/toddeshoemaker/videos/10221424108098704

A New Chapter

As many of you know, I experienced an incredible miracle on November 3,2019. After not being able to speak without the assistance of a voice amplifier and being on a feeding tube for several years, I experienced healing at a Prayer & Healing Encounter. I have not had to use my feeding tube or voice amplifier since that night. God is good!

I have shared before, that I used to be a long distance runner before getting sick again in 2009. I ran my last official race in March 2009. I literally have not run since that day. I have always had a desire to run again. I even buy new running shoes once a year, in anticipation of running again. Yesterday, I officially signed up for my first race in ten years. On March 21, 2020, I will be running a 5k. I guess I better buy those gold running shoes and start training. See you at the finish line. ~OC

My Prayers and Thoughts

Good morning! So as I sit in this hospital room, here are some of my prayers and thoughts.

I pray my beautiful bride is resting and wakes up feeling great.

I pray that some dear family and friends who are sick, will experience complete healing.

I pray for all the Caregivers taking care of a loved one.

I pray The Holy Spirit will take over South Florida. Revival come!

I pray I will be the best husband, friend and disciple of Jesus that I can be through Him.

I pray for everyone in the military and all First Responders. And their families.

I pray for peace.

I pray for all the leaders. I pray their hearts and minds would be changed by God.

I pray for the victims of human trafficking. I pray they will be rescued and their lives will be completely restored. I pray for all the organizations fighting this horrible crime. I pray their needs will be met. Most importantly, I pray their hearts and motives are pure.

I pray for all churches, pastors, missionaries and ministries. May they truly be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I pray God will allow me to do more for everyone I come in contact with during the day.

I pray for all the patients, nurses, doctors and staff at Good Sam. Give each the strength they need today.

I pray for our schools, students, teachers, staff and administrators. I pray God would bless and protect each.

I pray I will not get in the way of what God wants to do in my life.

Here are some of the thoughts going through my crazy beautiful mind this morning:

What races will I run in 2020, if God allows me to run again? It has been almost 11 years since I last ran.

If God blesses me with the ability to run again, that means I could return to the workforce. Where would I work? Who would hire a 50 something guy who has not worked in almost 11 years, but has an incredible crazy beautiful story? Would I go on the speaking circuit? Would I look at working at a church or ministry of some kind? Would I work at a school or university? Would I be a Greeter at Walmart?

Yes, those are some of the crazy thoughts that go through my mind a lot of morning’s. I just want to be ready for whatever God has prepared for me. Even if that means never running another race or never being able to return to work, I will be obedient and thankful.

Have a wonderful and blessed day. ~OC

My Reading List

So many good books out right now. Here are a few I have read or currently reading:

Something Needs To Change by David Platt

Free Cyntoia by Cyntoia Brown-Long

The Final Race by Eric T. Eichinger

Me by Elton John

Wham! George Michael & Me by Andrew Ridgley

The Beautiful Ones by Prince

What Set Me Free by Brian Banks

~OC

What Is Your Calling?

If someone were to asked you what was your calling in life, would you be able to answer that question? Would you even know what the person was talking about? Answering the question of what is your calling in life is a pretty big deal. Nothing to take lightly. So what is a Calling? 

According to the dictionary, a Calling is a vocation, profession, or trade; a call or summons; a strong impulse or inclination. A pretty simple definition, but a life changing decision we all make at some point in our lives.

As a Christian, I believe God has called each of us to live a life of serving Him and others. Of course that is going to look different for each of us. Some will be called into full-time ministry. Others will be called to serve in their given profession. I believe God has a specific role for each of us that will use our unique gifts, talents, experiences and connections.

As most of you know, I am a former long-distance runner. I ran cross country in high school, a little running in college, but had not run in years when I felt God calling me to start running again in 2003. Oh, did I mention that God shared that calling with me while I was having open-heart surgery to remove a nasty tumor from my chest? It would have been very easy for me to dismiss this calling as way too much anesthesia. I mean really, who has a vision of running marathons while having life-threatening surgery? But several days after surgery, I still felt that calling on my life. I could not escape it. So five months after major surgery, I went on my first run in years. Answering that call changed my life in so many ways. Let me share just a few.

When I heard God calling me to start running marathons, I also heard him share that I was not going to be running just to run. No, I would be running to share God’s story in my life. How He was walking me through this crazy beautiful journey. Of course back in 2004 when I started running again, I had no clue this health journey would last this long. I am thankful for that. As I started running marathons, I felt God calling me to run for those who could not run themselves. My wife Laura started making shirts with the names of people I was running for. It became a topic of discussion at my races. People asked me questions about the shirts and why I was running. During those discussions, I was able to share not only about the names on the shirts, but I was able to share my faith.

During my running career, I was diagnosed with Young-Onset Parkinson’s. All the sudden, I was the cancer survivor and Parkinson’s patient running marathons. Then God woke me up on New Year’s Day in 2008 and called me to run a 1,000 miles in one year. Crazy I know. But with that calling came request for interviews and speaking engagements. More opportunities to share my faith with a larger audience. That was an amazing season of life.

The call to running saved my life. Really OC? How could running save your life? I am glad you asked. When my body started shutting down in March 2009, the prognosis was not great. Some medical staff were not sure if I would make it through the night. But of course I did. Then I made it through the month. Then I made it through the year. And ten years later I am still here. Almost all of my medical team shared I survived because I was in such great physical shape from running. That running had also made me mentally tough.

I often think back to 2003, when I felt God calling me to run marathons. What if I would have decided to ignore that calling? How different would my life be today? Even though I am no longer able to physically run, I still love running. I love talking about it, reading books on running, talking with other runners and coaching runners. Ten years after having to give up running, I still have the mentality of a runner. I believe my faith and my running mentality have kept me alive and thriving.

So how can you find your calling in life? Here are a few ways I found helpful.

Prayer. Being in prayer helps us discern God’s calling on our lives. If you are confused about the calling on your life, spend more time in prayer. God will make things clear. Never stop praying.

Obedience. Are you willing to follow through with the calling on your life, even when it forces you out of your comfort zone?

Trust. You may not understand the calling on your life at first. Others may tell you it’s crazy. I got some weird looks and responses when I told people God had called me to run marathons. Do not listen to the doubters. Keep your eyes on God and trust Him for guidance and direction.

What is God calling you to today? I pray that God will guide your steps as you seek His calling in your life. ~OC

 

 

Living Beyond My Limitations

Some days, I spend too much time focusing on my limitations. The things I can no longer do. I can no longer work. I have to depend on other people for rides. These days, I need other people to fill out my paperwork. I use a stamp to sign my name. These days, I need a voice amplifier to help me speak. I can no longer try and hit those Steven Tyler notes on Dream On. I realize, I will probably deal with more limitations as my crazy beautiful journey continues.

It would be very easy for me to get caught up in my present limitations. To focus on all that this health journey has taken from me. But what kind of life would that be? No, instead I choose to focus on all this journey has given me. What I can still do. Here are just a few things I can still do.

More Time for Prayer. Since I do not sleep much these days, I have so much time to pray for the needs of loved ones and complete strangers. I love praying.

Embrace Beautiful Interruptions. If you have been around me for a minute, you know I love beautiful interruptions. Those moments God blesses us with unexpected opportunities to encourage others. To listen to others. To help others. In the past, I may have been too busy to stop and notice those beautiful interruptions God was putting right in front of me.

Read. I have more time to read or listen to books these days. Most days, you will find me sitting in my recliner enjoying a good book. I love a good book.

Listening to Your Stories. Oh, how I love listening to other peoples stories. Finding out what amazing and sometimes not so amazing things they are facing. I just listen. Not to respond or fix. Just to listen. What an amazing honor that is for me.

Living A Life of Adventure. Today, I more time for adventure. Taking that last minute cruise. Jumping in the car with my wife and just driving until we find a place to stop. Making beautiful memories.

Encouraging Other. I can no longer go skydiving, but I can encourage someone else to take that adventure. I can no longer run, but I can help coach and encourage someone else to run their race.

I am sure there will be more days of dwelling on my limitations, but those days are becoming less and less. Today, I spend more time focusing on how much I can still do. ~OC

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