Running Out My Miracle

A year ago, I weighed 112, pounds and the doctors gave me a few months to live. Then God did a miracle. Today, I completed my 500th mile this year. Next up, 1,000 miles. We serve an amazing Savior. ~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

Don’t Mess With My Miracle

As I continue to walk in my miracle, the enemy is not happy. He is constantly telling me my healing is not real. Or he tells me I am not worthy of Jesus healing and blessings.

You see the enemy loves to play games with us. He doesn’t want us living in victory. The enemy wants us to doubt the healing power of Jesus. The enemy wants us to believe miracles ended when Jesus went to be with his Father in Heaven.

But as live out this incredible miracle, Jesus reminds me that my suffering went well beyond the mild discomfort of a stubbed toe. Jesus reminds me that I was at deaths door on more than one occasion. Doctors shared I was in the Wasting Stage. They had lost hope.

Then on November 3, 2019 Jesus decided it was time for me to experience His healing. Time to wake up from a 17 year sleep. It was time to start living again. To start thriving.

As I sit hear typing this post, my life will never be the same. It is time to live in victory. Dear Enemy, you cannot still my healing or my joy. ~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

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

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

Never Stop Thriving

When I was diagnosed with multiple life threatening health issues, I made the choice to keep thriving. When I had to stop running, I made the choice to keep thriving. When I had to retire early based on my health issues, I made the choice to keep thriving. When I have been told I should not be alive, I make the choice to keep thriving. Do you sense a theme here? We have to keep thriving.

When my health journey started, I made the choice to become a patient advocate. When I had to give up running, I made the choice to start running a new race. A race to encourage others going through their own crazy beautiful journey. When my health forced me to retire early, I made the choice to become an abolitionist, a missionary, a speaker and a writer. I made the choice to not allow my circumstances define me. This has not always been easy, but it has been worth it.

Today, I encourage everyone to keep thriving. You may be facing some tough circumstances and you are just concerned about surviving. The thought of thriving is not even on your radar. I would encourage you to change your mindset from surviving to thriving. I would encourage you to surround yourself with people who will help you thrive. I realize this might be difficult. Change is never easy. But if we want to live a life of thriving, we will have to make some changes in our lives. I guarantee changing your mindset from living/surviving to thriving could be life changing. ~OC

Let Go of Fear

Has fear controlled your life? At some point in our lives, everyone has dealt with fear. For some, fear has paralyzed them. Kept them from truly living life.

During my 17-year and counting crazy beautiful health journey, fear has reared its ugly head several times in my life. I remember the first diagnosis so many years ago. Cancer. How could I possibly have cancer? Fear gripped my wife and I after that diagnosis. We had only been married a few years at that point. We had so many plans. Would we even have another year together? This scene has played out in our marriage many times over the years, as I have been diagnosed with one life threatening health issues after another. How have we dealt with the different fears that have tried to steal our happiness?

Prayer. I know this sounds simple, but a lot of times we reach for everything but prayer. Prayer becomes a second or tenth option. I would encourage everyone to make prayer your first option. I can personally testify to the power of prayer and faith in my own journey. I know I would not be alive today, writing this post if not for prayer. Not just my prayers, but the prayers of many. Whatever you may be going through today, I encourage you to pray and don’t be afraid to ask for prayer. People genuinely want to pray for you. Let them.

Team. Do not try to walk through your fears, or life for that matter, by yourself. We were not created to do life alone. The Lone Ranger may have been a good tv show/movie, but is a terrible lifestyle choice. During my health journey, my wife and I have surrounded ourselves with an amazing team of people. Team Todd has helped us walk through some of the most difficult days of our lives. People want to help, so let them.

Keep Living. This is much easier said than done. The fears and all the junk life throws at us can become overwhelming. We have all been there. Laura and I made the choice early on in this crazy beautiful journey to keep living. We decided not to just live, but to Thrive. Todd, what does that even mean? Thriving means not letting your current circumstances define you. Thriving means taking a last-minute cruise. Thriving means spending quality time with family and friends. Thriving means stepping outside of your comfort zone. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Don’t allow your fears or your current circumstances to keep you from living a beautiful and blessed life.

Find Purpose. During my crazy beautiful journey, I knew there had to be more than doctors appointments, hospital stays and multiple medications. There just had to be. Finding purpose in this journey allowed me to overcome my fears. During the past 17 years, God has allowed me to use my story to encourage others. To pray for someone going through their own journey. To hold their hand and guide them through the toughest moments of their lives. To walk them through their fears. So what is your purpose?

Does doing these four things guarantee you will no longer deal with fear? Unfortunately no. After all these years, I still deal with fear at times. But I do not live in fear. Fear does not control me. The power of Prayer/Faith, Team, Thriving and Purpose help me let go of any fears that come my way. Faith>Fear. ~OC

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