It was early December and I went to bed just like any other night, only thing was, I woke up in more pain than I ever had felt in my back. Fifteen years ago, I had been in a little finder binder that totaled out the car my mother was driving. A little, old, nervous, man stepped out of the truck, all he could say was, now my daughter won’t let me drive anymore. Following that accident that I walked away from, my back started hurting more and more. Days went by I thought I was having a heart attack due to Chest pain. I went through therapy and it seemed as if it was never going away. Finally after hurting for two years and Dr. Bills going into collections I decided to do the only thing I could. I settled for way too little with the Insurance Company. As time went on I eventually got better and I could have full use of my back. Or so I thought until December of 2011.
That morning I woke up in extreme pain. I don’t know what hit me, I didn’t go to work but I couldn’t stand, lay, walk, NOTHING! For three days I missed work, I finally realized this was not going to work it’s way out so I had to find something to dull the pain so I could at least work. I went to the Chiropractor to get my back popped and only felt worse. I asked for prayer from people I know are strong in their faith, still nothing! I finally found an over the counter drug I could take that dulled the pain enough to go to work, but on days I forgot my pills, I laid my head on my desk and just cried! The pain was shooting down my right arm and I couldn’t even type or work on my computer without severe pains but I eventually learned to work through the pain.
I am a light sleeper anyway and I sleep on my right side mostly, I had not been able to do so since this flare-up! It was now “Late January” and I’m tired from not sleeping because of the pain. I’d go to bed late and get up early because the bed was doing me more damage than good. One morning in January, I woke up at 4:30am and said, “Devil, if you are going to keep pushing this pain on me I’m going to do something constructive with it.” I went into my study, closed the door and began to read my Bible and pray! Every morning around the same time, the pain was too much to stay in bed so to my study I went! I noticed by mid February that I was sleeping as late as 6:00 or 6:30 the pain was getting easier to handle. Just when I thought relief was in sight, I was packing for my trip to Florida for my John Maxwell Certification class when round two hit me! This was almost as bad as the first! The only difference was I was changing! By replacing my 2-3 hours sleep with prayer and Bible reading I was growing stronger in my faith. Satan must have known this and tried to take me out!
I drove to Florida with my back and arm hurting; I sat in my classes with pain just throbbing. At times, note taking was hurting so bad I would just want to saw off my arm for the pain shooting down it. But I knew God was a healer and I just began to tell God, I’m placing my trust in you. I prayed very little for myself before this, but while in Florida, my mind changed. My wife and daughter would be out sleeping like babies on those mattresses at the Marriott and there I would be hurting and awake, but praying for God to change me on the inside. Never did I ask God to heal me! I actually thanked him for allowing me to go through this because it was drawing me closer to him. When I came home from Florida, I came home changed! My John Maxwell Certification changed my thinking about me and my pain changed my thinking about God!
The day after I got home, I began to reflect on my notes and what I was feeling while I was there. I realized I left the old me in Florida! The next few weeks I spent time prioritizing my life. I made a workout schedule, and stuck to it! I made out menus and planned my food. I scheduled time with my family on purpose and left my phone in the house when I went places with my family. I began to read more and feed my mind. After weeks of not asking God to heal me but just thanking him for allowing me to change as a result of this pain the pain began to let up slightly. By the first of March I wasn’t taking pills for pain all day, just at night to sleep. Then, mid March I stopped hurting altogether! I’ve taken no pain pills as of this writing for FOUR WEEKS! I am completely better!!! Following the end of this pain, I began to thank God for taking it, I told God, “Thank you for allowing this pain to not rule my life, but giving me the ability to rule it. I see now that this pain was a blessing and I have changed because it was here. I am not mad I had this pain but glad because it changed me. For this, I give you praise.” The apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Notice he said “in” all things not “for” but in this case, I praise him for these things!
I will leave you with this. My change has been noticeable to those around me! I’m closer to God, I’m getting healthy, I’m saving more money, I work harder, and I’m spending more time with my family and doing things that make me happy! I’ve really got a grip on my life instead of it getting a grip on me. I am taking one day at a time. The greatest proof of my change came to me yesterday when my daughter and I was taking a walk in the yard looking at all of the flowers I had planted and was admiring my work. She looked up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and said, “Daddy, you have changed since we came home from Florida, why?” I replied, “Yes I have changed, but what do you mean?” She said, “Well, you are just different, you spend more time outside, and we go for walks and you are always talking about money and saving, you just do stuff you never did before.” I said, “Is that a bad thing?” “No, I like it!” she replied! We then had a nice long talk about the changes I made and why I made them. My baby girl is learning things at 9 that will change the course of history. The future is going to be brighter for my Grandkids that I hope to have someday, I’m leaving behind more than just stuff I’m leaving behind a legacy that will outlive myself by sowing seeds into my daughter. Share your wisdom with your kids no matter how young, they are ready to learn from you. Don’t wait until they are teenagers, by then they already know it all!