I’ve been healthy most of my life. In fact, I lived over 60 years of my life without spending one night in a hospital. When I was 60.3 years old, that streak ended.
I had a health issue that thankfully was caught early, but resulted in quite a few days in the hospital. I believe it was night number four around 3am. Tears began streaming down my face. I’m not sure if it was the flood of emotions, my thoughts, the morphine, or a combo pack of all three.
I sat up in bed. I thought about all the times in my life I have thought, and said these words out loud to other people; “If I don’t have my health, I don’t have anything.” I thought, “What a selfish, arrogant, incorrect statement. What a lie and myth. How could I have said something so selfish out loud?”
You see, for the first time in my 60+ years, I didn’t have my health. And for all of my 60+ years, I foolishly thought if I lost my health, I wouldn’t have anything. That statement focuses on the negative. It focused on what I didn’t have. It totally disregarded what I did have.
That night was a transformation for me. I quit focusing on what I didn’t have, and began focusing on what I DID have. I became a more grateful person in an instant. Sure, I didn’t have my health, but I came up with a pretty good list of what I did have. These are just a few items that hit my mind that morning;
I have a Jesus that loved me.
I have a wife of 38 years at that time that loved me and was praying for me.
I have two beautiful daughters and their families that loved me and were praying for me.
I have numerous friends that loved me and were praying for me. One couple, when finding out about my health issue, graciously offered their home for us to stay. To this day, it is “The Healing House.”
I have skills that God has given me.
In a few hours, a nurse will force me to walk the halls to regain my strength. I will be pushing my IV pole with one hand and attempting to limit exposure by holding that poorly designed gown closed with my other hand. I will pass by rooms occupied by those that can’t walk or can’t use their hands. I have my legs and hands.
There were so many other thoughts but I made a commitment that morning. I will never, ever again make the statement, “If I don’t have my health, I don’t have anything.” This statement wrongly categorizes my health as Something, and everything else as Nothing. This is so far from the truth.
This morning I woke up so grateful, so thankful in my heart. It has been four years this month since I sat up in that bed and had these thoughts. There are many things I journal or blog to keep from forgetting. This is not one of those. I will never forget the things I am thankful for. I was always grateful for all the other items but I wrongly disrespected them when I made that selfish statement about my health.
No, I have journaled and blogged this so you won’t forget.