Brian's Letter :
I read your message tonight. I believe with all my soul that the Lord takes us down rough and difficult roads to better prepare us for whats to come. During the lowest points, we find out who we truly are. Not the person we want everyone to think we are, not the person we want ourselves to be, but the person we truly are. At this point the Lord reveals things to us that only in that state of being would we understand or appreciate.
While I was in the Army, times were tough. My wife and I were arguing all the time. We were so broke we would go without eating so my little one would have a good meal. During this time my heart began to turn black. I read an article about a few Army Rangers who died during training in Florida. At that moment I realized that that is what I wanted to become. I began to train 7 days a week. I would walk to work and back home. I would carry a 60lb ruck sack everywhere I went to build up my strength and endurance. After about 9 months of training i built myself up to a level that i was able to max the physical training tests with ease. I was able to run 6 miles with a 50lb ruck in under 58 min. The worst part is that i began to view others lives as nothing more than a target.
One day I was watching TV and I was struck with a pain in my chest that was indescribable. After being balled up in the fetal position for 15min the pain went away. That following Monday I went to sick call. They sent me to the clinic to get some X-rays and the next thing I knew I was asked to sit in a wheel chair. When I laughed and said they had the wrong guy, and that I was here only for some X-Rays he repeated my name from the chart and asked me again to get in the chair. I was taken into the emergency room where I was informed that my lung had collapsed. They began to cut off my boots and my uniform. During this time all I was able to think about was if I was going to be able to attend Ranger school. When the doctor came and and explained to me what was going to happen I again asked him if I was going to be able to make Ranger school. He gave me this look and followed it with a "No, I'm sorry you will not". My heart sank. I trained so hard to get to that point and it was all gone.
I was then sent to Portsmouth Naval hospital. I was then put through the most painful experience of my life. I was given a new intern doctor who I was lucky enough to be the first patient he inserted a chest tube in. He did no give the medication time to set in before he began to cut and place this tube in my chest. He placed it in too far and as a result it was stabbing my on the inside. To make a long story short this same doctor had to place a total of 3 separate chest tubes in during a 3 week stay.During my stay at the Naval hospital i had a total of 3 separate room mates. Each of these roommates were Christians and a very good support for me. The problem was I was not ready to hear what God was telling me. I still thought I was tough enough to make it on my own. Even with these roommates talking to me and reading the Bible I was stubborn and did not give in. Finally when i was at my lowest. I was literally so sore, so broken that i just could no get the willpower to do anything. That night I told the Lord that I give up. I told him that he won. He was greater than I and that I understood that. I also told him that from that point on I would rely on him to get me through.The next day I received another Doctor. (I informed the previous doctor and medical staff that if he walked into the room again I would end his life). This new doctor was not an intern but the head Thoractic Surgeon of the hospital. Needless to say he corrected my lung issue and I was of there in 4 days. While I did have to go back a month later and have a section of my right lung removed, I was at least out of there for now.
Since that initial walk through the valley of darkness I have had a few more walks with the Lord; back surgery for back pain being one. Over the years I have endured a far amount of pain. It was to the point a year or so ago that if I was not in pain I thought something was wrong.
I believe the Lord has blessed us with these experiences to bless not only ourselves but others. Your story is a powerful one. One that will touch many people. I believe that our sacrifice and willing to endure these situations will bless someone who is going through trials of their own. The Lord will not give us more than we can endure. Each person goes through these trials alone. They may have friends and family willing to help, but at the end of the day it's just you and Jesus taking that walk.
We all stray during these trials. What counts is that we get back on the road and stand our ground. When the end comes any sacrifice we make will by no means be worthy of the gift Jesus has waiting for us.
I know I have rambled on and on. I only wanted to say stay strong. At times, we are reminded about the trials we have been through. This can be sad and very emotional. The good news is that we made it through those trials and came out a better, stronger child of Christ.
I don't regret what I have been through. The Lord saved my soul that day I was watching TV. I did not realize it then, but I realize it now. That too me is worth any price.