Pastor Stephen's Blog
Tuesday, October 11 2022
It has been two years since I originally wrestled with the demonic COVID-19 virus. My family had to navigate their way through a tragic nightmare during this time in our journey of life as well! Here we are two years out, and my world has truly changed forever. On this anniversary of me being discharged and released from the hospital, I thought I'd share a brief summary on how things transpired from my first sniffle to where I am today, and how the writing and publishing of the book, “COVID-19 One Family’s Journey”, came to be.
I worked as a Registered Nurse throughout the pandemic taking care of COVID patients in January of 2020 even before we knew what we were dealing with. Once the medical community did recognize we had a challenging pandemic upon us, I jumped in full-force to assist and do my part. After working an average of eighty hours a week in various units around Louisiana; inevitably, I was infected with COVID-19 in September of 2020. This was well before vaccines were readily available and at a time when we had very few medications to treat the virus. From my first onset of symptoms, to the day that I was finally discharged from the hospital, forty days had lapsed. I could have never imagined just how tough the battle would actually be. I spent a month in the hospital, and three of those weeks were in ICU, while eight of those days I was put on the ventilator to rest my lungs. After making it home, I was in a wheelchair, I was oxygen dependent, and it took me three months to recover to my new normal.
While in ICU and before I ended up on the ventilator, I had started journaling some, and I was taking a few random pictures here and there. I had a lot of time on my hands in between the periods of fighting for each breath, so I began jotting down a few notes in a composition notebook my good friend Bronson had brought me. Once I made it home, and I was recovering, I had even more time on my hands with very little to keep me busy. I spent most of my time eating, sleeping and exercising with my Physical Therapist, Meagan. Much of the remaining time, I spent reviewing my medical records, reading all of the social media posts that had been submitted during my hospitalizations and writing out my testimony of what I had experienced day to day as the pieces of the puzzle were coming together. Once I combined all of these things, and I added the pictures, all of the information just erupted into the makings of a very strong first draft of a manuscript. Once I had figured out the timeline of my illness, my hospitalizations and my final discharge, and I had them properly laid out, I began to make journal entries documenting my day to day recovery. Things began to evolve rapidly at this point, and it was hard to stop the daily experiences I was having with God’s bright light shining all over them. It was such a blessing to see so many things the Lord had done, and I had no real clue of the magnitude of it all until I began piecing the puzzle together at my kitchen table. I was truly overwhelmed and blown away about what God had done and what He was doing in the moment. I was getting more and more excited as I sat in anticipation of what He was going to do next!
I eventually recovered, and I went back to work as an RN on the COVID units just before Christmas of 2020. Just after the New Year passed, my part-time position at Live Oak Church transitioned into a full-time role as an Associate Pastor and Pastoral Care Minister. This had been a desire of my heart for a very long time, and I was ecstatic! Over those next few months, I was working my two jobs again, and life had taken on a deeper and truer meaning than ever before. I was working hard and struggling to get my stamina back, but I was also getting as much constructive criticism as I could as I revised the various drafts of the manuscript. By May of 2021, I had enough encouragement and support from my family, my friends and our Church body to move forward with publishing the book. This is when I started working with Christian Faith Publishing, Inc. (CFP) The board of review at CFP approved the manuscript within twenty-four hours of submission, and within the week, the process had officially begun. I was overjoyed! Authoring a book was on my bucket list of things to do, but I had no idea it would come so soon! I was thinking I would be in my late 60's or early 70's!
Today makes two years since my final hospital discharge, and my world has truly changed forever. There have been so many lessons learned, but in order to see most of them, you will have to read the book. J
To summarize the top three lessons learned, I will say this:
Love you all!
Watch and/or Listen to this awesome podcast interview with the author:
Read this great news article about the author's experience:
To purchase the Book or Kindle version:
To purchase the Book or Nook version: