Why is Brad so happy today?

In the summer of 2006, a string of ‘bad’ things began to happen in and around my life. And lets just say, that ministry, friendship & education weren’t all going in the way I had dreamed. From mid 2006 – early 2008… life was hard. I was depressed, lonely and pretty angry with God and a few people. (And by writing that now, I don’t mean to say that it was all God’s or those people’s fault…)

My blood pressure started to spike, my weight started to climb and my overall attitude plummeted.

I took the advice of my amazing wife Stephanie and ministry mentor Larry Sherman and began to make some big personal changes.

1. I started meeting with a Life Coach. (This guy is part mentor, part therapist, part goal oriented encourager and overall ‘lets look at your life with some very HONEST eyes’ kind of guy.) He helped me to walk through a valley in my life. And God used him to bring me out on the other side. From him I learned to better delegate, trust, empower and encourage the leaders around me. It has been a revolutionary change in many ways. Ultimately, this helped to save my life and ministry.

2. I got a new personal physician. He helped me watch my blood pressure, heart rate, etc… and spoke into my life about the long term effects of stress and overeating. He also helped me learn the value of vitamins and food supplements that could enhance my health greatly.

3. In the past 8 months I started working out and focusing greatly on what foods I eat, drinks I drink and basically anything and everything that I put in my body. I started this because I realized I had become an idolater. I went to bad foods when I was stressed and angry. When I should have gotten alone and with God, I chose to run to people and food. So now, I make an effort to take appropriate amounts of time alone & with exercise & most importantly… prayer & study (time alone with God.)

I’ve really been feeling better. An entire new life kind of better. I feel like a new person.

Jesus has used these and other details in my life to remake me inside & out. I owe it all to Him & His love and devotion to our relationship. When I had given up on much of it… held on to countless things that I blamed on God… and ultimately lost a great deal of hope… Jesus stayed devoted. Jesus didn’t quit. Jesus never left.

Today I had my first doctor’s appointment in 6 months. The doctor smiled and laughed all the way through our time together. That hasn’t happened in one of my doctor’s appointments in years. He actually said that I could be his ‘poster child for healthy success stories.’ He said that I was in ‘perfect health.’ He just couldn’t believe the change.

I haven’t heard anything like that for so long.

Just 2 years ago the negative trajectory that my health was taking threatened everything. My life with Stephanie and the boys… My role as a pastor… My friendships…

And to stand where I am today from where I was such a short time ago… its amazing.

Thank you Jesus and all of the friends who have helped me.