I attend Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Virginia. Our pastor, the Reverend Dr. Marshal L. Ausberry Sr. once gave a sermon on “purpose”. At Antioch, our purpose statement is “Loving God, Loving Others”. The sermon got me to think not only about our church’s objective but also about mine. I reflected on my direction. Prior to 2007, if you would have asked me what my purpose was, I would have told you many things that related to my career. I am sure I would have told you my purpose was to raise capital for my business, provide pay checks for my employees, provide a return for my shareholders, and I probably would have added provide for my family. After the events of May 12, 2007, my view changed. Not because I experienced a life-threatening illness. It came about because I felt God’s presence. At one point while I was struggling to recover, I was questioning everything around me. My wife said to me, “what if God allowed you to have two strokes, so you can show people you can recover from two strokes”. She also said, “what if God is using you to show people what He can do”. I must admit, when I first heard it, I was unconvinced. But as I allowed myself to be still and contemplate this possibility, I became open to the idea that she may be right. While I didn’t know if that was God’s plan for me, I also didn’t know that it wasn’t. I decided I needed to trust and surrender to Him. Once I made the decision to turn to Him, my recovery took off. Our Lord and Savior has provided me a near complete recovery.
If you were to ask me my purpose today, my reply would be much different answer from 2007. Today I would tell you that my purpose is to share His word. Today I have devoted my life to travel the country and talk about stroke prevention and recovery. I encourage folks facing challenges in life, whether medical or not, to turn to Jesus Christ. Place your faith and trust in Him. He is worthy.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.