What My Crazy Beautiful Journey Has Taught Me About Living

When people meet me, they are always amazed how positive and upbeat I am. I have been asked more times than I can count, why I am not depressed? Doctors love asking that question. I guess people just think I should be hiding under the covers and living in pure devastation. Obviously they have never met me.

No, I have decided to live a life full of adventure and gratitude. It is a choice I have to make on a daily basis. Sometimes a hourly basis. I made the decision early on in this crazy beautiful health journey, to not allow my health issues to consume me. Not let it become my identity. I made the choice to be grateful for all the blessings I have experienced on this journey. That has truly been a life changing choice. Choosing to live with a heart of gratitude has allowed me to remain upbeat and full of joy. Yes, there are still some very tough days, but the blessings far outweigh the negatives of this journey.

I have also found that writing and talking about my journey has been very healing. It has also given my family and friends permission to ask about my journey. That has been important for everyone.

Humor has also been positive. If you know Laura and I, you know our humor tends to be on the dark side. And we do not apologize for it. Laura and I have been given the stink eye more than once when it comes to our dark humor. Our humor is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for us. Hey, if you don’t like it, go get your own life threatening health issues.

This crazy beautiful health journey has taught me that when I am truly living, I do not have the time to worry about the negatives this storm brings.

During this journey, God has also revealed his purpose for my life. It’s pretty simple. My purpose is to encourage and love others. Not just people who look and think like me. No, that would be easy. No, God has called me to encourage and love everyone He brings my way. That is not always easy, but the blessings have been unbelievable. I love this crazy beautiful journey God has me traveling. I would not change a thing. ~OC

Another Blessing In The Road

Over the years when I have faced another medical trial, I have stated “It’s just another bump in the road.” Yesterday, God changed my mindset. He shared with me that instead of looking at my current situation as another bump in the road, I should instead look at my health challenges as another blessing in the road. Pretty mind blowing. I also believe it could be a life changing way of looking at our circumstances. With every “Bump in the Road” has come a blessing. Let me share some examples.

*A Missionary. During my crazy beautiful health journey, God has allowed me to become a missionary at doctors appointments and hospital stays. God has blessed me with the incredible opportunity to encourage others during those visits.

*My Voice. Based on my health issues, I have lost my physical voice. I speak with a whisper these days. I use a voice amplifier to help me speak. But during this time, God has blessed me with the opportunity to speak out loudly against human trafficking, racism and other important issues.

*Listen. During this crazy beautiful journey, God has helped me become a better listener. I always thought I was a good listener until I got sick. It was then that I realized, I tended to listen so I could respond. So I could fix things. During this journey, God has blessed me with the incredible opportunity to just listen. Not to be the fixer. Not to share my opinion. Just to listen.

*Extra Weight. When I got sick again in 2009, I was prescribed the highest dose of prednisone (a steroid), that you can take. I put on a ton of weight in a short period of time. I went from my running weight of 150 to over 200 pounds in less than six months. All the weight went straight to my stomach. Based on the fact I could no longer run or exercise, it was difficult to take weight off. It was very frustrating. Then in 2014, I started losing my appetite. Then from the middle of 2016 to the first of 2017, I lost 90 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly. 90 pounds! That is when I had my feeding tube inserted. That extra weight saved my life. A bump in the road turned into a life saving blessing in the road.

*A Book. In March of this year, my memoir The Blessed Overcomer was published. If not for this “bump in the road”, I would have never written a book. You can find my book on Amazon or you can contact me about getting a signed copy. A little shameless plug.

*This Blog. Once again, if not for this crazy beautiful health journey there is no blog. I do not have a huge following and probably never will, but that was never the point. I am thankful for everyone who drops by and checks out my blog. Writing my thoughts down has been very cathartic. A wonderful blessing.

As I reflect on my crazy beautiful health journey, I have so many Blessings In The Road moments. It took God changing my mindset to realize this amazing truth. ~OC

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