Hope and Spinal Surgery

Isn’t it interesting that on the day my book released, I was informed that I will be scheduled for spinal surgery? For the second time in less than a year, I have injured a disc in my lower spine. Part of which now needs to be amputated in order to alleviate pressure it is causing to a nerve. For me, the worst part of that is feeling tremendous guilt for injuring myself, again. This time doing something as trivial as bending into my patrol car.  Several people, including my neurosurgeon have warned me after recovering from my last injury without surgery that the possibility of this happening is very real.  However, I felt fantastic these last eight months, while being able to work out pain free five times per week. When this happened, I felt very deflated and embarrassed.

 ‘Redeem The Dream’ is a book about discovering hope despite life’s challenges.  A true story to include accounts of adversity, injuries, food insufficiency, fatherlessness, physical & emotional abuse, suicidal thoughts, fear of failure, depression, chasing dreams, exploitation and even human trafficking. Most of you will be able to relate to many of these elements on some level. Now that this story is out in the world, I am looking forward to engaging people in an honest conversation about hope. I am not one to proclaim to have all the answers, but I am confident that there is always room for another story in the context of hope. 

Something that I am continuously discovering on my life journey is that no matter what is happening to or with us, we need community. Not just any friends, but friends that will lift us up and are ready to listen to us without judgement. Recently, I have been consumed by how my injury has temporarily incapacitated me.  And how long the workman comp process is taking to get me to the other side of this, so I can go on with my life.  It has been over a month, and the end still seems so far away.  The mental strain of guilt for not being at work with my beat partners keeps getting worse.  No matter how many times I remind myself that this is not in my control.  It got to the point where I allowed that to consume my thoughts in such a way that I lost sight of how far God has allowed me to come already. How incredibly blessed I am. Right now. When a friend reached out to check up on me, I told him that I am not doing too great.

Over coffee the next day, I shared what was going on.  He listened, and reminded me how great my life actually is.  I have a beautiful family, and a job that still pays me while I am injured.  In no time, we started cracking jokes, laughing once I realized how all I needed to do was shift my focus on my blessings.  As soon as I did, I was filled with renewed hope and confidence.

Fighting to maintain the right perspective is such a key to our hope.  And it appears that this is not a one-time thing.  It needs to be a consistent habit.  Do you have people in your life that help you keep a positive perspective and call you out in a loving way when you fall of the wagon?  Please do whatever it takes to have at least one person who can take on that role for you. 

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