Anger, Endurance for the Journey, Fear, Healing, Loss, Relationships, Words of Endurance

Two people are better off than one,
for they can help each other succeed.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

One of the hardest things for me on my journey through suffering was to receive help from others. I always wanted to endure on my own – not rely on anyone but myself. Unfortunately, the journey becomes extremely lonely and difficult when we try doing it alone.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.

Being an amputee, I need a lot of physical support. Initially, I tried to do everything on my own – dress myself – put my luggage in the overhead bin – hang our Christmas lights. Pride got in the way. I did not want to humble myself and ask for help so I would struggle through the task becoming frustrated and then angry. It was not a pretty picture.

I have learned through the years though that I do need physical help – though humbling, it sure makes life a lot easier. Jan now tucks my pockets, puts my belt through the loops where I cannot reach and ties my shoes. When someone offers to put my luggage in the overhead bin – I gladly accept his or her help. As for the Christmas lights – I no longer hang them!!!!

“Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life.
Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend.”

Going through the valley, I also needed emotional support. I needed the listening ear and understanding heart of a trusted family member or friend. I needed a ‘safe person’ to whom I could open my heart – share my fears and doubts – cry with – and not be judged.

Fortunately for me, I found that ‘safe person’ in Jan. She has listened to me, cried for me because I could not, just held me when there were no words and loved me when I did not deserve it. But at the same time, I can’t tell you how many times she has given me a swift kick that has challenged me to move forward again.

It is personal interaction such as this – the gentle hug and the swift kick – that helped me take those first steps forward. It can come only from someone tangible – someone you can touch, feel, and see. When someone reaches out to me, I experience the awesome gift of God’s expression of love towards me.

“Modern research echoes what the Bible has said for centuries: people who have intimate connections in which they are vulnerable and honest generally live better, function at higher levels, and heal faster than those who are isolated or distant from others. We all need the fuel of love and relationship to continue growing and healing.”

When I experienced the dark night of the soul, I desperately needed spiritual support. During this time, I had no desire to even pick up the Bible to read. That was when Jan would step in and offer to read to me – to encourage me. She became my Bible. I was humbled.

The majority of this time I didn’t feel like praying but that was when my closest friends would come alongside and pray for me. In my darkest moments, I often would receive a call or a card from a friend or group from church saying that they were praying for me. I was so grateful that they stood in the gap for me – this encouraged me to move on.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another—
and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Remember my friends, while there are seasons in our lives for giving – there are also seasons for receiving. As humbling as it may be, learning to receive will lighten your burden and help you to endure the journey.

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Healing, Hope, Perseverance, Words of Endurance

Endurance is what pushes the athlete to achieve the next level. It’s what keeps the explorer trudging upward over the next mountain range. And endurance is what enables those who are suffering to face another setback, to take one more painful step forward and to do so without losing heart.

From a very early age, I had a deep, inner drive to succeed, to conquer whatever challenge came my way. It was as if the passion to endure was woven through the very fiber of my being. Enduring the process of intense competition was part of who I was. It was second nature to me. This drive served me well on the road to becoming a professional athlete.

It also served me well when I was first diagnosed with cancer and was told that outside of a miracle I would never pitch again. When I started rehab, I didn’t know how much I would have to endure in order to get to a place where I could even stand on the mound and throw a baseball, much less pitch at the Major League level. But I loved the challenge of the process and taking on that physical challenge came very natural to me.

After my comeback, the cancer returned. There were more surgeries, radiation, a relentless staph infection and amputation – physically I was weaker than I had ever been with barely the strength to take one more painful step forward – I could not believe it – there was no personal drive left.

What surprised me even more was that because of the physical affliction I became weak emotionally and spiritually – along with the physical pain I also experienced a deep depression and a dark night of the soul.

Unfortunately, when you are facing physical affliction, your physical being is not the only part that is challenged. We are physical, emotional and spiritual beings and all are interdependent. It is impossible to have one part of our being impacted without the impact being felt by all three parts.

I was at the weakest point I had ever been … physically, emotionally and spiritually. I turned my eyes upon Jesus … the only step I had the strength to take.

My eyes are always looking to the LORD for help.
PSALM 25:15 (NCV)

DEAR FRIENDS, do not become weary and give up on your journey. Take that first step forward and keep your eyes on Jesus – who did endure the cross – who knows our pain – is seated beside the Father’s throne and intercedes for you and me.

And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Because of the joy awaiting him,
he endured the cross,
disregarding its shame.
Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;
then you won’t become weary and give up.
HEBREWS 12:1-3 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky