I have come to see that my whole life has been about me. I go to the Lord with petitions of my heart. I come from a home where the dysfunction of others outshined any hopes and aspirations of my own. I did not know how to leave the dysfunction behind and seek out a life of my own. Instead, I always hoped the Lord would swoop in and save the day, delivering all of my unrequited hopes and dreams.

When the bomb dropped in my life, it destroyed every shred of a dream I once had. I know that no matter what, I am strong enough to “rise from the ashes…” The truth is, I don’t feel like I should have to. I feel like I deserve a break. But that is all about me. In reality, nothing is promised to any of us. I was blessed with the gift of life twice. What I do with that gift is mostly up to me. Rather than thinking about what I feel I deserve, I need to look to my Father. I owe everything to Him. For the gift of life, I owe it to Him to live well.

I feel the closest to wounded soldiers. However, they were living with the knowledge of the risks. Their sense of duty to God and country outweighed their fear of the risks. I have always thought scars to be badges of honor to show a life of taking risks, of working hard, of living well. Their injuries are in essence badges of honor. It feels like any losses they may have mean something…

I went from running coliseum stairs to a hospital bed to a wheelchair. While the wheelchair will not be forever, the scars and the trauma will be. I can only pray that I use it to make me rather than to break me. I pray that I use it to define my perspective. While I may not be serving my country,  I can serve my God and mankind. I pray that my life will make a difference and that rather than viewing things in terms of what I feel I want or need, that I will live to matter, to serve. I have petitioned to God for what I want. It is time to ask Him what He wants from me. He spared my life. It is a very real feeling to lay down and imagine what dead feels like…I had a glimpse of that, and it was more than enough.

It is my desire that we all learn to live well. That we not only live for ourselves in search of our desires,  but that we live in service of God and mankind. And that in the process we extract every ounce of joy available. Please stop wasting time sweating the small stuff. I promise you, from this perspective, life is far too short and precious. And cherish those who stand by you, and release with wellwishes those who walk away for they are blessing you with their departure. May God bless and keep you and yours.

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