Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

How do you respond to life’s challenges? It tells us a lot about where you have your security.

Who’s with you in times of need? It tells us a lot about your belonging.

What do you make of your life after tragedy strikes? This tells us a lot about your purpose.

A friend of mine models healthy responses to challenges and tragedy better than most. He wouldn’t claim he’s anyone special. He would properly credit God and His sustaining power. And, yet, any of us who know God know it’s our choice whether to rely on Him or not.

BrandonMeganHuggingBrandon has given me permission to share part of his recent Facebook post here. His statements line up with his life. His faith isn’t fake. Either is his gratitude. They’re both very real. In 2006, when serving our country, Brandon’s entire body was riddled with shrapnel when his Humvee was damaged by a roadside bomb. Since then, he and his fabulous wife, Megan, and their two children have been through a lot. Because various leg surgeries haven’t alleviated pain, they recently decided to have Brandon’s left leg amputated above the knee. Imagine! For seven years, he’s endured more surgeries than I can count and now this.

How do you respond to life’s challenges? Who’s with you? What happens after tragedy strikes? I pray Brandon inspires you today. Read on….

“… My family and I have been blessed with family and friends that have lent us great love and strength, things for which there are no words. I have thought for little over a month on how to properly thank everyone. There are no words, gestures, or actions that would truly express how thankful I am. So much to say and so little space to say it, story of my life, but after great thought and reflection all I can do is say Thank You!

Thank you for the prayers, the support, the love, the strength, the food, the shoulders to cry on, the ears that listened, the patience as we stumbled, and most of all the hands that caught us and set us gently on our feet. I thank God every day for the people He has put in my life, the path that He has put before me, the struggles that I have learned from, and the journey that will one day take me home.

In the grand scheme of things we are only on earth for a short amount of time, we live and we die, the trick is how we live. What lessons have we learned along our journey, what people we have met, what lives we have touched, and how have we touched them? Did we do the right thing and aid others? Did we do the right thing when no one was looking? Can we live inside with the things that we have done?

No one is perfect, if that were true then we would not be human and no one would have anything to learn. Life is a lesson, a long road full of emotion and trials, no one can avoid it, but that does not mean you cannot use it.

I am 29 years old and still have a good amount of time to learn many things, but what I have learned are things that though they were hard lessons, they were lessons worth learning. I have learned that man can only do so much, that control is an illusion, that love should be cherished, children are fragile and should be protected, friends should not be taken for granted, family is forever, that the body can be broken but not the spirit, and that it is not what happens to you that makes you who you are but the manner in which you choose to react.

BrandonChildrenPushUpsI love my life, the people in it, and the decisions I have made. I am a strong spirited man that has many scars both physical and mental, one good hand and one bad, one great leg and half of the other, a beautiful loving family, and friends in abundance. God has blessed me and shown me many things that I never thought I would see, people that I am grateful for meeting, and lessons that I will never forget.

I am still breathing today because of all of this, because of God, my family, and all of you who have done and still are doing so much, and I get to participate. Thank You for everything, for being who you are and what you have allowed me to be a part of. Stay strong and dig in, it might be hard but it’s worth it!”

Are you humbled? I am. Let’s live strong and be grateful today.

If you’d like to follow Brandon and Megan on their journey, please “like” their personal blog: https://www.facebook.com/IWillWalkBesideYou