Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Liam Ryan's Story

(This will count as week 38)

A variety of routes exist that will take you from anonymity to being noteworthy. Most will travel by way of exceptional achievements in business or politics or sport or entertainment. In my case, the route was a little different. It selected me, rather than I choose it.
12 years ago I was very much minding my own business in the world. I was an architect in a little town in Ireland. I was never destined to one day be asked to write a blog for Careers in Government.
I had never been ill. I had run 6 marathons.
Then, out of the blue, I began to get headaches.
Over two days at my local hospital a suspected routine sinus infection dramatically transformed into one of the worst Head & Neck cancer tumours ever seen.  My consultant told me I was the second worse case he had ever seen. The worst case was dead in a month. Very few hospitals in the world, he told me, could offer any hope to a case like mine.
The end of my life just appeared right in front of me.  I simply had weeks to live.
Eventually, impressed by my fighting spirit, Professor Simon Rogers and his team in Liverpool decided to offer me a chance. But even there, they didn’t believe I would make it. They wouldn’t tell me that so they told me I had a 5% chance.  The problem with serious Head & Neck cancer is the complex treatment required will generally put you in the grave before the cancer gets to.  If I was still alive after surgery I was likely to be without my sight, my speech, my hearing, my mobility, my brain function or any combination of all five.
Survival was all that was on the horizon. Anything beyond that would be a bonus.
None of that mattered then. I just wanted to be alive. If I was alive I was winning, and cancer was losing.
I underwent a huge 12 hour operation. They told me it was as big as surgery comes. It was followed by 7 weeks of radical chemo-radiotherapy but in between I got meningitis and a deep vein thrombosis. Both of these nearly killed me by themselves.  By the end of 2002 I simply had no business still being alive, but somehow, I was.
All of that was 12 years ago. My amazing survival has now been outdone by my even more incredible recovery. I am working, talking, running and functioning again just as I did before. Apart from my eyepatch, it is almost as if I never had cancer. My consultants are simply amazed. Through their great work I have become one of the greatest cancer survivors of all time.
From nowhere, I have become noteworthy.
In 2012, on the tenth anniversary, I wanted closure to the amazing survival and recovery element of this story. To achieve this I ran my first marathon, post-cancer and I wrote a book. I wrote the book, not just for cancer patients but for anybody who has a mountain to climb.
I have become the living proof that nothing is for certain.  I have been given a second life and with it comes an opportunity to encourage and inspire.
I have now had responses to this story from all over the world. The greatest say “I was giving up, until I read your story”. When I speak in public I like to offer not just inspiration, but perspective too. I remind everybody that the lost account can be replaced, the crashed car can be repaired, even the prison sentence can be served. I ask them to watch the news again only this time swop roles with the man in the war zone who comes home to find his wife and four children blown up or the woman who finds her entire village washed away by a tsunami.
They are the real heroes.
The longer I live the more I believe very little really matters. It won’t matter where you lived, who you knew or what you had. What will matter is what you did.  When my time does come I want to be able to say this amazing story came to me and I did not, not do something with it. I tried to use it to show everybody of how lucky we really are. To demonstrate how easily we forget what it truly means to be alive and well.
I have been given a chance to live again so that I can die better.
- See more at: http://www.careersingovernment.com/tools/gov-talk/about-gov/public-sector-trends/gift-life/#sthash.WA2dhnX4.dpuf

After I read this story I felt more encouraged to keep fighting the battles God has given us. Like my previous post said, I've been spiritually exhausted and I just wanted to give up. My relationship with God didn't feel close anymore and so this was very encouraging for me.
I want to share a song by Jamie Grace called Fighter, this story reminded me of it, so here it is: Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spiritually Exhausted

Week 36-37 ...

Today has been a long day for me, first we went to our early morning doctor appointments, then to the grocery store, and then to the park. All which took up most of the day and left me sitting on the computer at 6pm writing about how tired I am. Which, by the way, I am very tired.
 So the past couple of weeks have been hectic. We joined three different homeschool groups all in which started last week. My exhaustion from last week has overlapped with this week and in doing so  school has been difficult. Or just not done. But hey, I do school year round, so I'll catch up later... :-)
 In the mix of all this, though, I did manage to clean off the counter and the floor. Hopefully that will be enough for today, am I right?
 Have you ever had days like mine? Where your just so tired you don't even want to get out of bed in the morning? Well, there are two different kinds of exhaustion, and the one I will be talking about is Spiritual Exhaustion.
 Have you ever heard of such a thing? Yes, it's a real thing. And no, it's not fun. In the midst of all this exhaustion of mine, I have been spiritually exhausted to. I feel like my faith has been running the same straight line for to long, and my relationship with God has gotten nowhere. Where are the ups and downs that I've said I hated but would like to have again? With none of that, I feel like I have been in the same spot, without movement for weeks. Which is partly true. Going through the same motions everyday is boring. Where is the variety? I guess I'm that type of person. It works for some people but it doesn't work for me.
 Well, that time was really difficult for me. I didn't know what to do anymore. I started to text my (very spiritual) friend, and she helped me through and she used scripture to do so. It was definitely a God thing. 
 After going through the healing process, I felt led to send a letter to my friend (who lives thousands of miles away) who I felt may have needed some help. After she got the letter she sent me a text and told me what was going on in her life, and she really needed a friend. God led my friend to help me, and God led me to help my friend, and now she will help someone so the chain may continue. 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

 So if your ever in a tough spot in you relationship with Christ, go to someone you know will help you. Go to your youth pastor, or your mom, or your dad (whoever you feel comfortable with).
And then continue the chain- go share the love! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Is Anyone Still Reading?

Hello everyone! I am sorry I do not have a post for you yet, I have been busy all week starting up with school and only now found time to come on the computer. :-/ I am super sorry.
But I do have to ask, is anyone still reading?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Guest Posts Needed

Hello everyone! Need I say more? We have a few months left for the devotions and I was wondering if anyone would like to do a guest post. If you are interested in doing this please go to the guest post page.

We are looking for a post on:
Sept. 14
Oct. 5
Oct. 19
Nov. 2
Nov. 16
Nov. 30
Dec. 14
If none of these dates work out for you or if they are all filled, we are flexible so we can work something out.
I hope everyone has a wonderful week. God Bless!

Week 35

I know this is strange but for this weeks devotion I chose to have a bunch of music. I hope you enjoy ;-)