The Saving Grace of Hope + DVD Giveaway

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After the EMTs brought me in from my major car accident and the doctors and surgeons in the ER and OR did their part I was placed in the intensive care unit to heal. As life-threatening as those first weeks were, the first days were an hundred times more harrowing. My body was battered and broken and one big bruise. As difficult as the battered and broken parts were it was the “bruise” that was putting my life in danger.

Think back if you will to the last time you saw a black eye. Remember how the area around the eye swells and fills with fluid. Think now about my body as one big black eye. The accident had caused my legs to break badly enough that I slipped out of my seatbelt and “ping-ponged” around the front of my van. My body therefore, like a black eye, was swelling and filling with fluid.

The damage was so extensive that on about a third day after the accident my tissue became saturated and the fluid began to fill my heart and lungs. On that third day as my family came into the hospital the doctor pulled them to the side and told them that if they wanted to say goodbye to me they’d better do it that day, because I wouldn’t be around the following day.

Curious about what the doctor meant exactly my family inquired further about my chances. They wondered if the doctor meant I might not make it through the night or I probably wouldn’t make it through the night, to which the doctor replied that there was no chance I would make it through the night.

That night was as difficult a night as I have ever had in my entire life. My lungs would begin to fill with fluid and my ability to breathe was seriously compromised. The only way to alleviate the situation was to have a Respiratory Therapist come in and suction out my lungs. This required the RT to slide a tiny tube down my nose and into my lungs to draw out some of the fluid.

The process was painful but when they were finished I could breathe again. Unfortunately, my situation was so dire that 45 minutes to an hour after the procedure was finished my breathing would become labored again.

I would push my nurse’s call button and when the nurse arrived in my room I told her that I needed to be suctioned again. She reminded me that it had barely been an hour since I had been suctioned last and that because of the pain I might want to wait a little while. I told her that I didn’t feel like I could make it a little while, and regardless of the discomfort I needed to be suctioned. The RT would again come to my room and take some of the fluid out from my lungs.

All night long this process was repeated. Nearly every hour for the entire night I pleaded to have the Respiratory Therapist do the procedure and nearly every hour through constant reminders of the intense pain my pleas were heard and the procedure was done. It was difficult, it was hard, it hurt, and when the sun rose the next morning my hospital gown was covered in blood, but I was alive.

As I think about that night and what it took to stay alive the primary ingredient was hope. I hoped to live. I hoped to breathe. I hoped for the courage to endure the pain. I hoped for the intestinal fortitude to see the morning come. All I had to hold onto through that most difficult of nights was hope.

Luckily when the doctors told my family about the severity and potential fatality of the situation they elected not to tell me. This allowed me to hope. I never once considered that I might lose my life. Hope kept my mind focusing on the positive instead of becoming mired in the negative. Instead of wondering which hour would be my last, hope allowed me to think of every hour as one bringing me closer to new health.

There is a saving grace that comes with hope. Hope can change our hours as we think about our opportunities instead of our pitfalls. Hope can change our days as we concentrate on how things can become better instead of worrying about how things will become worse. Hope can change our lives by allowing us to maximize what we can do instead of being weighted down by what we can’t.

I am thoroughly convinced through my own experience and through those experiences that I have seen others overcome that 90% of success is waking up each morning with a little hope in your heart.

So hope; hope that things can be better, hope that you can accomplish your goals, hope that your life will be filled with the richest blessings of your dreams. Just hope, and let that hope chase all the fear and doubt from your heart.

Jh-

Leave a comment of something that brings you hope and one of the comments will win one of my autographed DVD’s (or click here to purchase your own). I can’t wait to see the things that bring you hope. I can’t wait for your hope to increase my own. Comments close at 9pm PST Tuesday, December 16.

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22 Responses to The Saving Grace of Hope + DVD Giveaway

  1. my stepfather has pancreatic cancer … next week, the doctors will confirm that & he will know what I already do. But when I see his eyes light up upon seeing his grandson (age 4) whom he adores that brings me hope. Hope that he will find the courage to fight this & hope that we will find the strength to support him & make his remaining time comfortable & filled with love & peace. Whilst you don’t often have the option to defy death, there is always hope that even if you can’t … the time you do have left can be fulfilling & provide happy memories for those that will be left behind.

  2. Tamera Newger says:

    Jason,

    I heard you speak at Creative Escape and have been following your blog ever since.

    What gives me hope is reading your blog, it seems a message comes through on just the days I need it most, you are very inspirational and have helped me more than you know

    Tammy

  3. Tricia says:

    What gives me hope is living in the now. Letting go of the past and not always looking far into the future, but enjoying now to it’s fullest. Knowing that now is all I truly have and to savor it and know that right now everything is okay. To be present in each and every moment of my life. I have had many ups and even more downs and I feel like I have wasted a lot of my “nows”, but not anymore, I want to live every second of my life now! Tricia

  4. Megan H. says:

    Jason- The thing that brings me the most hope is knowing what I have overcome in the past. My life wasn’t always on the right track and I have done and seen things that I am ashamed to admit. I remember the day I decided to turn my life over to GOD and it was amazing that in just a few short weeks I had the strength and the courage to take the necessary steps to get my life going in the right direction. I know that if I could make it through that dark time of my life and still come out on top that no matter what obstacles I may encounter in life I will prevail! We are all stronger, braver and smarter than we often give ourselves credit for and sometimes the best way to remember how great we are is to reflect on the past and see where we have succeeded and know we can do it again.

  5. Betty says:

    Jason
    I always tell you what great inspiration you are to me. I want to comment on what you said about it was your mindset that allowed you to keep on hoping…and so true that is. It is almost like…self fulfilling prophecy. There are many time when I challenge myself to overcome certain obstacles that I push myself to think positive or to countdown to the number of day until my challenge is over. And there are time when I’ve ended my challenge prematurely because I allow myself to “THINK” that it was over. It was never anything that’s as challenging as yours. But this Mind over Matter to me really does work…it is you that controls your body and up to you to allow your body to let its guard down and think it’s over or you can fight to see tormorrow’s light and won’t rest until you do so. Our minds are a powerful tool!!!

  6. Dana J says:

    I’ve only recent become a reader of your blog (through your wife’s link) and have truly felt inspired. You have such a gift with writing.

    Seeing my now 5 year old daughter cancer free brings me hope that she’ll live a long, wonderful life. She’s been through so much over this last year of her treatment including surgeries, chemo &, that I believe that she’ll grow up to do great things. I also hope that there will be a cure to cancer, of all kinds but especially childhood.

    Trials, tribulations and struggles make us stronger even though we may be quite frustrated.

    Thank you for your inspiration!

  7. Ali W says:

    Jason. Thanks again for another uplifting post which (as an earlier commenter said) always seems to arrive at a very pertinent moment. I am filled with hope when I see the small random acts of kindness performed by everyday people. In particular by young people and children. Their kindness and thought for others gives me hope that the future of mankind and the earth is a good one. I wish you and Kolette a wonderful joyous Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2009. Ali

  8. Julie says:

    Jason…

    We’re facing a lot of “stuff” around here with my father in law’s cancer….but what gives me hope is remembering that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow and we need to live each day in the moment.

    We also had prayers answered this summer when we found out our two year old daughter’s kidney reflux had healed up and surgery wouldn’t be required….it was amazing to see prayers answered for Ellie.

    Your blog is such an insipriation…..and gives me hope every time I log on to view it!

    Have a wonderful holiday season!

    Julie…love gerenoursly, care deeply, speak kindly, live with gusto, and most of all, commit it to God!

  9. My hope is that I can keep on being positive and a magnet to the world, in despire, negivitity, poverty, frustrations, depression, fatique, sadness.
    I have this incredible strength/gift, from God above, to always be HAPPY!

    My inspiration is finding friends like you Jason, and in turn you may find friends like me! People whom have had battles, struggles in their life’s and are so amazing to overcome each obstacle and talk to others, to help change the world.

    I remember as a child each time someone would say to me;”Michelle for what you go through now, will indeed make you a better person and much stronger one day” and it did. I am thankful and so ever grateful for the tough times in my life, as it brought great hope to me in this life now. :)

    thanks Jason!

  10. elinjanne says:

    Well Jason… I am looking at 50 and I have never been challenged. My mother gave me some good advice; be happy with what life deals you. My father taught me that I had to work for what I wanted. My life has been so easy, but I know that down the road there will be roadblocks. That’s where you come in. While listening to you I know that life can be good whatever happens. That gives me hope for the unknown future.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    -elin-

  11. Melinda Wilson says:

    A friend of mine told me about you and your wife. She attended CE and came home telling me all about the wonderful couple that she met! So . . . I have truly enjoyed your blog which as lifted my spirits. Thanks so much!
    My hope is found in my faith – Jesus Christ!

  12. Mary says:

    My dad. Our family is going through some rough times right now and we’re all separated and divided. Some of us are not talking to each other and its really hard. This is our first Christmas when we’re not together. My dad reminds me to just don’t think about the positive and focus on the good. I know we will get through this.

  13. Susan Kruger says:

    I just found your wife’s and your blog by accident, or was it an accident. I have found through many adversities that bitterness and anger does not help, but trying to live like Jesus and focusing on him makes me happy and helps me to love others which makes me happy. Relationships and friends and family make happiness not friends Christmas time always brings me hope and happiness.
    Thanks for your word Love Sue.

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