“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”
― C S Lewis
"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9"
Over the past two years, I will admit to some of the most amazing growth and sole searching I have ever done. I have made changes in my life that I would never have thought about doing in the past let alone actually taken action on. As anyone that knows me knows, my health has been an issue for the past 20 plus years and honestly, I thought I was on the downslide of life.
Who would have thought that I was being prepared for a walk of a lifetime? I surely did not see it happening or even want to have it happen. All I wanted was to make a small difference in my own little way. I did not see any big pictures or God working in my life to become a beacon for others walking a road that needed lighting. So over this past couple years, I have been steered, yes steered through some pretty hairy corners with little more than what amounts to a golf cart in a formula one race. Most often I feel more than ill equipped to handle the situations that I am presented with but somehow the answers always seem to appear. (I say a golf cart because God knows I am no longer in the racing shape I used to be in that is for sure. I know what imagery, right?)
It was 2 years ago this week that I was down at the Foundation, meeting up with my current Service Dog, Mike. Over the past 2 years, we have been on a whirlwind tour of America. We've traveled from sea to shining sea and from north to south. During those travels, we have been able to help other veterans talk about issues they prefer to brush under the rug or help them fill out an application for a service dog and other times just be a quiet friend to sit and listen. No matter what I have walked away as a richer person with a heart that has grown because I have learned to step out of my own way. Learning that I am my biggest problem, always have been and always will be.
So looking back on the past couple years is a great exercise in humility, being able to see a grand footprint of God where he has carried me through times I would not have made it on my own. We all have this capacity to look inwardly and should often but we all need to be reminded to do it with prayer and supplication so we stay right minded. In my own way, I see how I have been placed strategically in places at the right time to help others see things. I had nothing to do with the placement other than having been put there. I am grateful to be allowed to share in the lives of others and rejoice in the tears and smiles alike.
One of the super neat treats this past month was to take part in a tribute to the troops at a small but active American Legion Post here in NC. Post 65 in Statesville was honored to have Rockie Lynne a Country Music #1 recording Star and Veteran of the famous 82nd ABN Div himself, come play at their monthly meeting. Talk about showing veterans how to have a good time!
Lucky for those of you who were not able to be there I was sitting front row and was able to record the entire show live and then put it up on Facebook and Youtube.com. https://youtu.be/7Hr5W5cQZLM
“If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse.”
― Anthon St. Maarten
― Anthon St. Maarten
FYI- May is #NationalMilitaryAppreciationMonth, the month in which Americans are encouraged to honor those who serve or have served our country.
Charlie, the Today Show ‘puppy with a purpose,’ invites you to join him and VetDogs to celebrate Military Appreciation Month by taking on a vital role for veterans with disabilities. We’re asking you to join the “Charlie's Squad” to help sponsor 10 specially trained service dogs for veterans with disabilities. Operation.VetDogs.org for more info, and to make a donation today.