OUR JOURNEY: BACK ROADS AND BABY STEPS

Life has a way of getting our attention and teaching us. Often though, we don’t learn the first time around and go around the same mountain or down the same road repeatedly.

We’ve all done it. We’ve all been in that moment when we recognize, “Oh my, I’m here again.” It’s not a failure, it’s only part of the journey. It’s not a time for despair, but it’s a time for hope.

It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. ~Vince Lombardi.

And then parts of the journey take us down unfamiliar backroads into foreign neighborhoods with strange surroundings. Indeed, these are the times that try men’s souls, as Thomas Paine suggests.

But as we enter these seasons of uncertainty, we mustn’t lose heart. It’s easy to focus on disappointment and adversity. But it’s just as easy to focus on hope and encouragement.

If you believe you can’t, you won’t. If you believe He can’t, He probably won’t. The great Henry Ford said: “Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you are right.”

When God teaches us, sometimes He’ll do it on the fly, and other times, He’ll stop us in our tracks. For Elizabeth and me, we know that hope is never lost and that His faithfulness is steadfast. We have learned while running against the wind, we have learned when times are good, and we have learned in the toughest of times.

For those who have followed our recent story, I concluded my initial treatments for Guillain-Barre Syndrome on Monday. Indeed, I’m walking better, and I have generally improved hour by hour. However, it is essential to note that this recovery process could last a few months or even longer. It may be slow and tedious and require baby steps, but it’s about perspective, attitude and mindset. Here are a few things that have come front and center recently in our journey.

Be grateful. Yes, I understand. It’s challenging to be grateful and thankful when the bottom just fell out. Thanksgiving is not a day, it’s not a season. It is a way of life. The sooner you adopt that philosophy, the sooner you will gain clarity of mind and purpose. “Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery. It merely washes clean the glass you look through so you can clearly see the colors.”Richelle E. Goodrich.

Take nothing for granted. It’s amazing how many things we take for granted. For me, tying a shoe, climbing a staircase, holding a fork, typing and driving have been a challenge in recent weeks. Don’t take your next step or your next breath for granted.

Block out the noise so you can hear the whisper. What does God want you to hear? No shortage of voices would like to distract and discourage. The choice is yours, but most likely, the loudest voices aren’t what you need to hear today.

Sometimes, God has you come full stop, not just a rolling stop. Take the 15-minute challenge.

Take inventory. Clear the deck. Start from scratch. Get a blank piece of paper and write down the most essential things in your life. Then narrow that list down to five. The things you thought were important may have little or no significance whatsoever.

Adapt. Quickly. Sometimes, it’s a case of survival. If Covid taught us anything, it let us know change is inevitable and necessary. What’s one thing you can do – or change — today to get you closer to where you’re going tomorrow?

Did I mention to be grateful? Every morning before you start your day, write down 10 things you are thankful for. Post it in a prominent place. Make it a way of life.

What does God say about your situation? If He said it, believe it. Does anything else matter?

Let others into your life. Avoid the Woe-is-me syndrome. God always works through people.  They will show up on your doorstep and in other areas of your life. Acknowledge them, learn to be vulnerable, accept kindness, don’t burn bridges.

Whatever road you find yourself on today, remember: Hope is not lost and everything you want is on the other side of fear. Take the next step now.

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