Since having the two strokes that nearly took my life, a number of people have asked me a question. They want to know if having a stroke was the worst day of my life? Well, that’s a good question. In fact, it’s an important question because it means I have to look at where my life was before the stroke, and where it is now.
So, here’s my answer! Having a stroke was the worst day AND the best day of my life. It was the worst day because it was scary and it was one of the first times I realized that I had no control over the outcome. It was scary for my wife and my family. When I found out that I had basically been asleep for nearly six weeks, I was scared all over again. I had to face the fact that I might not walk, talk, or think like Mark Moore ever again. In fact, I had to recognize that the old me might actually be gone. At that moment, it felt like the worst thing I could imagine.
As I struggled with those concerns though, I remembered my mother’s words, words I had forgotten, words she had spoken to me during her own health crisis. She said, “Mark, God will never give you more than you are able to handle.” Those words impacted me and turned me around. I was slowly able to stop thinking just of myself, and started thinking about God and what He could do and would do with my life now. He could pick up the pieces of this broken version of me and heal me, create in me the person he meant for me to be. That thought began to work in me and though I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I also knew that with God’s help, I could let go of old Mark and become a new man.
I like to think that God was okay with the basic ingredients of me, the person He already knew me to be. But now, I could offer myself to Him in a new way. I could focus on doing the things that really mattered, that were really meaningful in life. I thought about my beautiful wife, Brenda and our family and realized that if I worked hard at my recovery, God would help restore me. If I put myself in His capable hands, there wasn’t anything He couldn’t do. In fact, He could turn two successive strokes into the BEST day of my life.
It’s been a lot of work, but I have learned to be patient with myself and for my progress, and to be grateful to God for His faithfulness. I pray the same things for you.
And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
1 Peter 1: 4-6, NLT