The Drive to Survive to a Life Well Lived

Job Praying

When Job prayed for his friends, the lord restored his fortunes.  In fact, the lord gave him twice as much as before!  Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the lord had brought against him.  And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.  So the lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.  For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. Job 42:10-12

It was 27 years ago this past May that the car I was riding in slid into the opposite lane and was rammed in the side by a car going over 50 miles an hour.  It was three days after I had graduated from college and was looking forward to getting involved in some kind of job that I could use my business skills in.  I was in the passenger side of the car and I blacked out for a couple of minutes with the sound of metal and bone crunching in my ears as I passed out.  That May began my downward journey into a 21-year spiral into depression.  I spent a month in the hospital getting over a broken pelvis, compound fracture in my wrist and a broken arm and elbow.  All my ribs on my right side were broken and I had a punctured lung.  Thankfully, the car we had back then was solid steel and so if I was in one that was built today; I probably would not have survived.  It was so bad they had to use the Jaws of Life to pry me out of that car.  I had to learn how to walk again; I was a total mess.  Job lost most of his family and all of his wealth.  I can’t compare myself with the faith Job showed because I went through so many ups and downs during those 21 years of wilderness.  May has gone from being a curse to a blessing in my life.  The number 5 has a new meaning for me and that biblical meaning is grace and favor.

I cannot say it was all bad those 21 years because God was keeping me in the game.  My depression was very passive; it was not in my face day in and day out.  For me it was a let’s do the same routine over and over again.  I can’t say I didn’t feel God’s presence at this time nor serve Him, I just felt like something was missing from my life.  I had the drive to survive, but not really to live.  My eating was how I felt comfortable, but as my girth grew, I was becoming uncomfortable.  If you haven’t figured it out yet May is the fifth month and what I consider my rebirth month.  May 2008 began my upward journey into finding the spark of life I was missing.  The first thing God wanted to work on was my physical wellbeing, so I began a weight loss journey that would take off 242 pounds.  He provided me with the best support through an awesome friend that has become a significant part of my life.  So, May has become special to me because I keep seeing God’s grace and favor in that awesome month.  I had reached the end of my rope and my body was shutting down with heart failure, sleep apnea, and asthma.  The drive to survive kicked in and I was able to take off 100 pounds in 7 months.

May 2009 I began to learn how to run.  This was a goal of mine because I had learned the quickest way to lose some pounds was to do some awesome cardio.  God’s next step was to work on my spiritual.  I kept working on the physical, but the most important part was beginning; changing me on the inside.  When I was a child, I used to hate to run because I was never fast enough and I hated how it made me feel.  Trust me when I did that first minute of running I had the thought go through my head was I sure, I really wanted to do this.  I did a 30 day to 30 minutes of running program and slowly fell in love with it.  The first day I ran 30 straight minutes was the most awesome feeling in the world.  As I would add more time to my run, I would spend more time in prayer.

Fast forward, to May 2013, God blesses me with enough money to work toward a goal of helping others get to their goals and I enroll in a class that gets you certified as a personal trainer.  As God was changing my spiritual, my gratitude quotient became off the scale.  I wanted to give back, to show others how to change for the better.  So, I made it through the class and passed with flying colors.

This past May 2014, God has been working on my patience.  I had to do a 30-hour internship before I could be certified as a personal trainer.  My friend who helped with my weight loss is whom I trained with, but because they had to have a certain type of trainer, they rejected all my hard work.  I had to find a new one, and so God provided me with another and to the very last day I was able to get it done.  The last day of course was in May.

It took 50 days from Jesus’ resurrection for the Holy Spirit to be released to us.  That right there is God’s grace and favor.  Job in the above verses had lost everything, but God restored him two fold.  God restored my heath, strengthen my spirit man, taught me gratitude and patience.  I’m not going to say God made the bad stuff happen in my life, I will say He allowed it to happen, but He turned it all around for the good.  I can’t take full credit for the change in my life, yes I made some great decisions, but I have to give God all the glory.  Without the Holy Spirit in my life, the drive to survive would not have been there and I would never have learned how really to live.

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.

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