Saturday, 19 December 2015



The last few weeks, like a lot of the time, to be honest, has not been a fun time in my head. I have had numerous nightmares about various bullies I encountered during the majority of my school years. I saw one of them in public a couple of years ago (we were on the same bus) and I could not get off that bus quick enough. 

I am writing a relatively quick post here to remind everyone to not be a bully, especially at this time of year when we should be working especially hard to share love, peace and joy, regardless of your religious belief. 

There is no other way around it, except to say that bullying sucks and it hurts. Depending on our personality and other factors, we may be able to defend ourselves, just brush it off, or if you are like me, bottle it up for years and cause nightmares only a few months shy of your 30th birthday. It can make one feel inferior when dealing with any sort of confronting situation. It can make one's head say that avoiding humans entirely is the best option. It can rob the person of healthy sleeping and eating and eventually, cause that person to not even consider working or studying as their head is so muddled up. 

I am not writing this to come across like a sob story. However I am writing this as an encouragement to everyone, adults too as it does happen later in life, to stand up to bullying. Be a friend to the one who is being bullied and within reason, stand up to the bully. It is not easy, but the person being bullied will think you are an absolute legend and will be a true friend in return. Trust me on that one. So please, do not be a bully, but be-friend the bullied and stand up to the bully. No matter how old you are, you are never too young to make a positive difference.

Giving Up Is Not An Option,


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Sanka, you dead? - Cool Runnings

October 6, 2015

The date was October 6, 2007. Australia had just been knocked out of the rugby world cup by England. Now, some slight backtracking... For a few weeks leading up to this date, I was unwell, spending most of my time in bed, sleeping, with a fever, vomiting and most other sick symptoms you can think about. However, I was too stubborn to go to the hospital, thinking it was just a bad flu or something and it will pass. Yes, I have had the flu like that before and in me, the flu can last up to a month.

This wasn't easing up and instead of it progressively improving, it was getting worse. What was different on October 6 was my middle sister came into my room and basically yelled at me (yelling doesn't motivate me, but scares me) that I really need medical treatment and to eat something. I don't remember why, but I do remember eating KFC for dinner that night, throwing it straight up, having a shower and calling a friend to take me to hospital.

Given little choice considering how unwell I was, I was taken to Royal Perth Hospital. The time here would have been about 7:30 pm. The next three hours were a bit of a blur. What I do remember is there was a mad rush around me and I had a drip in me quicker than I can say "I hate needles". As it got to about 10:30 pm, I had about five medical professionals around my bed. They all looked me in the eye and diagnosed a blood and bone infection and stated they don't believe I will live another six hours. I remember looking each of them in the eye and saying the following: Okay, thanks for your medical opinion and expertise. However, you don't have the authority to tell me when I'm going to die. Therefore, thanks but no thanks. Now if you don't mind, I'm not feeling too well and I'd like to get some sleep. See you in the morning. Their reply: Sir, you won't live until the morning. Me: We'll see.

I did live until the morning. I woke up the next morning, still feeling pretty average, but well enough to know I was supposed to have breakfast. I wasn't given any and when I asked for some, they were in genuine shock.

Over the next 182 days until April 14, 2008 when I was finally discharged, I would spend most of my time sleeping, with two drips in me going almost constantly with antibiotics and pain relief. I had to have multiple blood transfusions and for a while there, had to spend some time in absolute isolation to prevent others getting it. I had to do crazy amounts of physio and OT to get my strength back up but I made sure I did what I had to do to get better (and more some days).

Upon leaving that hospital, I felt like I was Spider-man, that nothing could stop me or squash me. I went back to bible college and managed to finish my Cert. IV in Ministry (Youth) in 2009, finishing my time there in 2010.

The infection is incurable and is still in my system. I had to go back into hospital for the first half of 2013 with the same thing, but symptomatically I didn't feel as bad as I did in 2007. I'm two years hospital admission free and hoping to keep that going as long as possible ...

Giving up is not an option,


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

There Goes My Hero ... - Foo Fighters


I need to open this blog by apologizing for the lack of blog in August. I hope that in this blog you will discover why I was unable to blog last month.

In two and a half years of writing blogs, this is the hardest blog I have ever thought of writing.

On August 5, which is also mum's birthday, I got a text message from mum that basically said I need to come to her place. I put on a load of washing, had a shower and made my way to her house. Thinking it was just a mother wanting to see her only son on her birthday, I didn't think anything negative at all. When I got to her place, she made me coffee and she stopped me outside. Then mum said something that was probably one of the hardest things for her to do. On her birthday, she had to tell me, her only son, that her father was on his death bed, thanks to freaking cancer. I'm just going to say it now: cancer is a moron! I spent the rest of that afternoon/evening at mum's place trying to get my head around it and trying to be there for my family as best I could.

Two days later I was meant to have a medical appointment but that was cancelled, so I went back to mum's place to see my grandfather. That day I saw my aunt cry for the first time. That felt like a kick to the heart to see that. We were told the afternoon of the 7th he had a week to live. I tried to go to youth, but to be honest, my mind wasn't letting me stay there so I went home. I somehow managed to get some sleep that night, which is a relief because I wouldn't get any for the next two weeks.

The next day, at 12:57 pm, I got a call from my aunt: I think you should come now. I had a shower and went as quick as I could, both because I saw black clouds overhead and because I knew the urgency in what she was saying. By the time I got to mum's place, my grandfather had died 30 minutes earlier. I still hate myself for that. If I had a shower first thing in the morning like a normal person, I could have left straight away and would have seen him one more time. The rest of that afternoon/evening my family and I just sat at mum's place looking absolutely shocked, numb, sick. On Saturday August 8, 2015, the best man I had ever known had passed away.

It feels like someone has taken a huge chunk of me, seriously. Some days I'm functioning and getting things done and not letting my emotions get the best of me. Other days, like today, I can't get out of bed until after midday, am not hungry and really don't care for social interactions because everything just sucks.

He taught me how to treat a female as more than their bodies. He taught me that Jesus loves me, no matter what happens in this life or what I do or don't do and lastly, he is the one responsible for my simple sense of humour. He told me when I was a young kid that I need to learn to laugh at the simple things in life because with the situation God has put me in, I will get depressed if I can't at least laugh a little bit.

I can move on as best I can knowing that great man is in heaven, with his wife and a healthy body again. Apologies if this blog is all over the place and doesn't make much sense.

There goes my hero ...

Giving up is not an option,


Friday, 24 July 2015

For he still smiles, he's still strong - Pearl Jam


Today I was told some really bad medical news. I was told by my OT that both of my shoulders, not just my left one, have significant issues. He basically said that both of my shoulders are worn from all my life in a manual wheelchair.

Now, I have a choice: I can bawl my eyes out and whinge about it for the rest of my life and watch more than my fair share of day-time TV. Or, I can continue with my OT appointments and try and manage the pain and this new information as best I can, taking one day at a time and doing what I can to try and live as best I can.

I choose option two. I tried option one for the best part of a year to try and manage my left shoulder and it just made things worse. One thing I forgot was that keeping a joint so still for so long does more damage than good. I need to keep them moving and so even if I "can't be bothered", I'm going to do what I can to keep going. I refuse to fall into self-pity. Sure, it does suck and I acknowledge that. I am not pretending it doesn't. But I am refusing to let it control me or get to me. One thing God said to me not so long ago is that you cannot die physically from a shoulder injury. Therefore what I do now is put two fingers on my left side of my neck and take my pulse as I wake. If I can feel it, I get up and move.

I am back into serving at my youth ministry and I will continue to do that, even with this new news. The truth is there are people worse off than me and they find a will and a way to keep going. Therefore I don't think I really have a good excuse.

Tomorrow as you wake, feel your pulse. If you can feel it, get up without excuse.

Giving up is not an option,


Monday, 8 June 2015

Turn It Off


Over the past few weeks I have constantly had one simple thought: We are bombarded by literally thousands of thoughts each day, consciously or sub-consciously, but we don't need to act upon them all.

Most of us would agree that we cannot choose all of our thoughts, especially in the sub-conscious. Now I'm not going to try and go into a medical or psychological explanation of thought patterns because I'm simply not qualified to do so. All I aim to do here is to give my opinion on something I have come to realize through personal experience.

I have realized that while we may be bombarded by thousands of thoughts each day, if we are mentally healthy, we can choose what we accept and what we don't accept. We can also choose what we take in and what we don't. For example: on something like Facebook and Twitter, you don't need to read every single thing posted. I used to do that and it drove me nuts. Some things on social media are just plain stupid, let's be fair. And like I heard in a podcast recently, you really don't need to know the news that's happening on the other side of the world when it's 2 am in your local area. At 2 am, you need to go to sleep because in the words of Ted Moseby, nothing good happens after 2 am. If you find yourself reading, watching or hearing something and it's bothering your mental health, there's nothing wrong with simply turning it off.

In the last few weeks, I've watched enough news reports to know what's going on generally, but that's all. I don't read newspapers at all, mainly because I find them rather inaccurate. Also my time on social media has significantly declined. There is still definitely a positive to social media, especially for someone like me who struggles to leave the house at the moment and that is to keep in contact with humans, especially those humans I know who live outside of my city.

What I am trying to get at here is to encourage you to learn to sift through everything thrown at you and not take it all in personally because that will only hurt your mental/emotional health. However, don't turn it all off and use it as an excuse to be ignorant. Self-care for your mental health is good, ignorance is not. But that's a whole different angle and probably a blog for another day ...

Giving up is not an option,


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Too busy?


I have a serious issue with people who claim they are too busy. Busyness is far too often applauded in our society. We confuse it with thinking that because someone is busy that they are doing something awesome. In modern day Western Australia, that is often not the case. Often people are too busy in an effort to ignore people, their own thoughts, responsibilities, emotions and other things. It is a good thing to be hard-working, but not to the point of burnout or ignoring other parts of life. It can be good to just get over it and get on with it, but not all of the time. Sometimes we need to stop and deal with why we are really doing everything we do. My pastor has often said that he takes a metaphorical step back and has to assess everything we do at church because sometimes not everything that happens is for the best. Good things are not always the best things to get you to your goal.

We need to stop using "I'm busy" as an excuse to ignore our friendships and relationships in life. Yes, things like our phone and social media helps us to stay in contact with some people, but that should not be our default way of keeping in contact with others. There is no real substitute for face-to-face contact with others because you cannot have deep relationships in 140 character tweets, 160 character text messages or a Facebook status update. I have had no choice but to resort to doing this since August 2014 because of my health and trust me, it does not work in maintaining a healthy level of relationships in life. It has left me feeling pretty emotionally crappy at times.

However, in the midst of this, I am finding that through my blogs and use of social media (Twitter) that God is using me. In 2010, my best friend passed away from the effects of CF. I made her a promise only a few weeks before she died. I promised to do all I could to assist those living with CF and to find a cure. I have found there is a huge population of people living with CF on Twitter and so God is using me to do my best to encourage them to keep going. You see, whatever predicament you may find yourself in, God can and will use you for positive change in this world. You just have to say yes and be available, not too busy.

My challenge to everyone who reads this is to re-assess everything that you do and make sure it is helping you to get to your main goals. If it is, then great, keep going at it and be awesome! If it is not helping but hindering, then stop doing it. Stop believing the lie that you're too busy for God and for those that you love because the truth is, if you care enough, you will find the time and make yourself available.

Giving up is not an option,


Saturday, 4 April 2015

It's Okay


These last few months, since August really, my writing has declined because of physical health issues. I have been unwell with a deteriorating left shoulder. If you are able-bodied, that is not so much of a problem. However, when you are in a wheelchair, it is a huge problem. Think of it like a walking person having hip or knee problems. Therefore not much productive at all has happened in these eight months.

I was on some very hard medications which made the situation feel a lot worse, rather than better. These medications are supposed to be mid-range pain relief, but instead had a detrimental effect on my mental and emotional health, hurt my gut, my sleeping pattern and these painkillers are a big reason why I fell into a deep, dark hole of depression. There were nights so scary I thought I was not going to see the next day. Thank God I am still breathing - seriously! I was only on them for about eight weeks and have since vowed to myself and my family to never take that pain relief again.

Since recognizing a few weeks back this was a major contributor of my current issues, I have been looking at other sources of pain relief, without my GP, who prescribed me the other pain relief that made me feel terrible. I have now finally found some pain relief that relieves pain, is natural, legal and doesn't make me sick, physically or emotionally. As a result, I am feeling much better internally and am starting to think about going back into the real world and dealing with people soon. It won't be easy, but God is with me and will give me the grace and wisdom to help me.

For those that know me, I want to make one thing clear and that is I am not at uni studying. However, I am still technically in a role as a youth leader at the church I attend, Metro Church. And that brings me around to the title of this blog: It's Okay. I can't remember when it was, but my pastor's daughter, Rebekah, preached a message a while back about how it's okay. Even when you don't know what is going on at all, it's okay. Even when it seems like all hell is breaking loose and has you as it's target, it's okay. Why? Because God knows and if God knows, it's okay. Whatever you are facing at the moment, Christian or not, know that it is okay. The sun is shining, you are breathing and Jesus loves you, whether you know it or not. In closing, a quote from my favourite band, Switchfoot: "All that's in my head is in your hands." - Home by Switchfoot

Giving up is not an option,


Monday, 5 January 2015



You're my only hope. Those are four words from the song "Only Hope" by Switchfoot, also done by Mandy Moore in the movie A Walk To Remember. This is not a post about the song, those artists or even the movie. It is a post about hope and I just happen to be listening to this song as I write and thought I would give it a mention.

Without hope, we are as good as internally dead. Whatever may have happened in your life, whether you caused it, someone else did, good or bad, do not ever lose your ability to hope for tomorrow. Hope keeps us smiling through the rains of life. It keeps us literally pushing through in the last couple of km's of a city to surf. It keeps us watching every game, even if our favourite sports team are no good this season.

Some may call us naive and stupid for doing those things, but if you don't hope and you give up, what kind of life is that? I am all for sincerity and telling it like it is, but I am also all for being positive, especially through the drama of life.

I hope that 2015 will be full of love, joy and peace for us all. I hope that 2015 will see me return to study my Youth Work degree. I hope I do not see the inside of a hospital, either as a patient or visitor.

Again, some may say I am naive and stupid. I am not naive and stupid and I know that will not happen for everyone. Some will experience some pain this year because that's just life. However, I encourage those that do see some hard stuff this year to go through it with hope in your heart and a smile on your face at the knowledge that the sun will rise tomorrow. If you need to turn off your phone and tune out for a while to rest, do that. Whatever it takes for you to keep yourself hoping, as long as nobody gets hurt in the process, do that!

Giving up is not an option,