I’ve shared a lot with you on this journey through my stroke recovery. However, one of the most important things that I’ve learned and I am reminding myself daily is that although the stroke was devastating. It affected so many people other than just me.
Our Choices Affect those closest to us
I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face when she asked the doctor “will he get better”, while I was lying there groggily in the hospital bed. His answer shook her to the core…It’s like I could feel her knees buckle as she put on a good face when the doctor said…”Your son will never be the same”.
I could see the pain and concern on my brothers and sisters faces when they’d visit me in hospital or rehab. I had several friends and co-workers that were worried sick since they were not sure what was going on. I was recovering in ICU for days heavily sedated and having horrific nightmares as doctors were hoping and waiting for my brain to heal.
It has been almost 5 and half years since the debilitating stroke. One incredible change that God has led me to in my life is that before I make decisions, I pray and ask myself how will this affect those close to me? And is this in line with God’s word?
God wants to be Included
One of my favorite scriptures passages that I have known since I was a child and I am now applying to my life is Proverbs 3:5-6. It reads,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not unto your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And he will direct your paths.”
That third line is the one I missed (or even ignored) and we sometimes forget. “In ALL your ways acknowledge Him.” In life we will always have choices. God gives the ability to choose. He wants us to choose Him willingly.
Prior to my stroke, the foundation of my life was built on selfish desires; making lots of money, having a nice home, and a sweet ride! My focus was doing what I wanted and whatever I thought I needed to do. If I had time, I might recite a quick prayer to God on the way to work.
I wanted to please myself. I was definitely not focused on being “pleasing to the Potter! (Sorry. I couldn’t resist) I also chose to not take care of my health, was not getting enough rest, and I usually decided what to eat based on the restaurants I passed on my way to and from the office.
Then in the blink of an eye on a Thursday afternoon in my office everything changed! I could not even open a package of gum sitting at my desk. The fingers on my left hand became stiff as a board. Then it became hard to speak as my speech began to slur. A friend called 911 and within minutes I was up on a gurney and being rushed to the hospital. The doctor was right…my life has never been the same. It is so much better than I ever imagined!
About More than Just Me
I know it took awhile but I now realize that life is not just about me and my goals, dreams, and desires. Every choice we make has consequences some good and some can be bad.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Those closest to us need us. As Christians, we need to live for God not just ourselves.” quote=”The people around us,they need us. As Christians, we need to live for God not just ourselves. He will give us the strength,courage, and the grace to impact those around us for the better.”]
Now my foundation is built on my faith in God! This allows me to have peace when I keep my eyes focused on Him. I also have access to Him everyday through His word. I know I cannot control every single thing in my life. I trust God with all my heart and leave things in His more than capable and willing hands. I want to be pleasing to Him in the things that I do, the choices I make, and consider how it may affect not only me but those whom I love and care most about.
I am beyond thankful to have such a loving Christian family and sincere, genuine friends who love, support, and encourage me. So every day I will do my best to live for God, trust his guidance,accept the peace he offers, and be the best son, brother, uncle and friend I can be!
Food for Thought
How do you hold yourself accountable for the choices you make?
Forgive yourself and learn from the bad choices.
What foundation is your life built on? temporal or eternal?
I shared this post at Thought provoking Thursday