Air Force Special Operations Combat Controller Jack Fanning is a hero. He survived five tours in Afghanistan. Then the unthinkable happened: his parachute failed and left him paralyzed from the neck down. Here is the amazing thing: he is not bitter. He is not blaming God. His attitude is: There is a reason for everything. He believes it was allowed to happen so he could help other Veterans who are disabled. Since he truly knows their pain, they listen to Jack.
I don’t know how I would react to such a tragedy and I pray I never have to find out, but I do know that when life smacks you in the face you have two choices:
- You can lay there and die, or
- You can get up and try.
Here are some takeaways from his testimony:
- Be thankful for what you have, because it could be taken from you at any moment.
- Faith in God will help you though the darkest hours you face.
- Your faith will sustain you; lack of it will restrain you.
- There is nothing good that comes out of remaining angry over what happened. Bitterness is a deep root that can destroy you if you let it. Get rid of the root.
- Bad things can happen to good people, and good things can happen to bad people. Life is not fair, so don’t be surprised by it.
- Whatever happens to you, find a way to get the focus on others. Regardless of how you feel at the moment, it is never just about you.
- You have to believe in yourself. When the tragedy happens, your true character is revealed. When you get squeezed, what comes out? I have to admit that I am sometimes embarrassed at how I react to things. I am working on responding vs reacting.
- Some storms you know are coming and some you don’t. Prepare for both.
- There is life after a tragedy. Jack still shoots, hunts, scuba dives, and even jumps out of airplanes.
Jack Fanning is the real deal.
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