So, it’s been a while since I’ve written. I have taken a few months of being quiet as I have faced some serious challenges. I don’t want anyone to read this letter for pity’s sake. I AM ON FIRE! GOD IS Stirring something up like I’ve not seen in more than a decade and if it can happen in DC, IT CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE!
So, here’s the deal. I want to apologize to many of you for not keeping in touch over the last few months, for seeming disconnected. I have been working through a few issues and I decided to be quite while I got things in order.
On October 7, 2011, I had an event. This is after Robby Dawkins came and after GOD really started moving in the church. I was sitting at my desk at work where I still currently work a 40 hour work week. I was very stressed as I was in the middle of rolling out the new brand for the firm. This financial firm is an almost half-billion dollar financial firm. (We are fee only… the good guys). We manage funds for high net worth individuals having more than $1 million to invest and I had been tasked with the 13 month responsibility of rolling out a whole new marketing package, brand, name and more. Everything was going wrong with the different pieces and contractors. I was EXHAUSTED… I did not know I was also stressed with high blood pressure and in trouble.
My arm had started to hurt and shoulder as well as my neck a little where my artery is. Sometimes I was having intermittent fuzzy feelings in my arm and as my friend last night put it, “An impending sense of doom…”
The day before, I had told Lori (My wife), I think I need to go on a diet. If I am not careful, this stress is going to kill me…
I had no idea.
October 7, 2011, I was sitting at my desk while 10 issues arose and I could not see a way out. I had just walked into my boss’ office and said that we had to push back the go-live date. (THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING). I was a bit overwhelmed and panicked. I prayed. The pressure and stress only increased. (And remember, this is as GOD is doing so much GREAT stuff in the church).
All at one moment, I had a searing pain, I lost sight in both eyes and my arm was aching, I had the beginning of what was going to be one of the WORST headaches of my entire life and I was momentarily disoriented. Shocked, I yelled out to one of my co-workers, “I just went blind… I’m blind…” She got to me quickly and I stood up in darkness. I could not get my bearings. So, she said, “as soon as you can, you need to go to the break-room and take an aspirin.” I did. She may have saved me.
My right eye came mostly back but blurry, my left eye stayed dark. I took the aspirin and sat down at my desk thinking that I was too young to have a heart-attack or a stroke, so I needed to just chill out and rest and then I finished my work day after speaking to my ANGRY WIFE on the phone… Lori was ticked that I wouldn’t go to the hospital. (I just did not know). I tripped up the stairs on my left foot and my left arm from that day felt fuzzy, almost like it is not my own. I noticed I kept dropping things including my daughter once if I did not focus on what I was doing with the left hand and then there was the memory loss. Pictures with me in them were brand new to me. I did not have the heart to tell anyone and I simply prayed.
My left eye never fully recovered. I went home, started a diet, lost weight, rested, prayed, and never missed a step. I am down 30 pounds and I even continued to setup and teardown at church with the team which has been a part of my morning worship for 8 years. The LORD gave me the grace to roll out the brand successfully, thus boosting my career and allowing me a doorway to move more into ministry.
In December, I decided to get my eyes checked since my glcrudes obviously were not working anymore only to find that I had possibly had a stroke. I had lost half vision in my left eye with lasting damage and some kind of constriction and blockage that now the neurologists say that they cannot fix and will ultimately cost me the eye. Now I realized the reason for the issue with my left leg not lifting and catching on doorsteps, my left arm being funny, fuzzy feeling, numb and/or not even feeling like my own let alone dropping things and the lost memories.
My doctor was angry because he had never had anyone walk into his office and state, “Hey I think I may have had a stroke…” From there, they had many tests, MRI’s (6 now) and we found that I do not react well to contrast and that I possibly now have degeneration to the base of my spine, more issues with the eye, some problems with lesions on the brain. A large one on the posterior parietal lobe, more lesions on the frontal lobes, the onset of white matter disease and possibility of Multiple Sclerosis. We have a few more appointments and more neurologists to talk to and a possible last spinal tap.
Now, with that said, please do NOT feel sorry for me. Yes, this has been tough. However, GOD has been so good to me. I trust in the LORD with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. Since 1993 this has been my life-verse.
And I am holding the hand of Poppa GOD through the valley where death’s shadow falls. His ROD AND STAFF have been such a comfort!!!! GGGRRRRR!!!!
And not only that, my life is getting into real order. I have lost the weight, gotten life insurances in order (thankfully before all of this came) along with pcruding much of my leadership responsibilities off to the leaders that I have now been mentoring and delegating to for many years. Ownership of the church is happening, our leadership is growing, and much is stirring. When I am tired, they pick me up now. When I hurt, they pray for me too. These guys are leading!!!!!
I am learning that where my ability ends, GOD’s CAPACITY KICKS IN! Where we end, GOD begins!
This is exciting! I want to be fully healed. I have seen GOD heal people of stroke damage and dance. I have seen people healed of cancer and various other diseases while I have prayed for them. I KNOW HE CAN DO IT! If HE is not healing me yet, there MUST BE A REASON and folks, I have learned that Poppa has the BEST REASONS for His little adventures. Yes, it is frustrating and I wake up with pain every day as well as I have lost abilities and capacities. I do not drive as much at night, I cannot drive at night in the rain, I cannot stay up as late. I get tired, my brain gets foggy and I have to rest. I cannot remember some things. HOWEVER!!!!! What has been replaced is much better! HOPE! JOY! PEACE! PATIENCE! and so much more!
I love every day more. And here is the kicker. Lori and I intentionally did not tell the church until after the New Year because the doctors had told us we should tell family and such for support. We waited, prayed and saw GOD prepare everything. Our church has been growing in revival for the last months and guess what?! Right as we told everyone, we were able to say, “And guess what, GOD has been moving in spite of this challenge for months, so GOD wants to keep moving…”
And HE HAS ONLY INCREASED!
I am praying for full healing. Until I have it. I HOPE and I live each day as if I am not promised tomorrow’s ability to continue on. I have had things happen that have slowed me down, but as I slow, I have found Satan hates it when I pray and praise and seek GOD for lost souls. So, that is what I have grown in.
So, folks, what I am saying is this. GOD is moving.
HE is moving in spite of me.
HE is moving in spite of you.
HE is moving because HE loves HIS kids and it is HIS good pleasure. Grace is unmerited favor and mercy is getting what you don’t deserve. And both Grace and Mercy are falling on us again! It’s like a sweet Spring rain.
No matter what you face or what struggles you have I am writing today to call out hope in you. Please have hope. We fight a good fight. We will finish the race. I am proud of you and love you and am thankful to continue to walk with you and call you my brothers and fathers and sisters and mothers in faith.