4 “P’s” I’m taking with me into 2016

2015 kicked off with quite a bit of promise before I was sentenced to my bed for the greater part of the year. Yet in the midst of a trying year, I proposed to Stephanie and graduated with my business degree from the University of Cincinnati.

As I reflect back on 2015 and look to the year ahead, here are four main takeaways I’m bringing with me into 2016:

Pump trial 7_20141. Perseverance

This year consisted of days on end staring at the ceiling and deprived of sleep with one physical issue arising after another, leaving me feeling like a punching bag. I often found myself thinking, “Can’t I catch a break?”

Lying on my back in the middle of the night, I contemplated the truths of the Bible:

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial…”

“Consider it pure joy when you encounter trials of various kinds.”

James 1 promises that these trials develop perseverance and make me mature and complete. Throughout seemingly endless physical trials this year, I could trust God was developing perseverance in me that ultimately is for my good. Not to mention my ability to trust God and press forward with faith that the best is yet to come was multiplied like never before.

2. Prioritization

Having only a couple hours a day upright in my chair for much of the year forced me to be strategic. I needed to leverage the limited time that I did have out of bed. Some days that looked like simply finishing an assignment; other days, using the small window of chair time I had for lunch with a friend to face-to-face. Throughout the process, I was honing my ability to prioritize- because I had no other choice.

Heading into 2016, how can I put first things first? I want my time to reflect my priorities.

3. Perspective

You and Me ForeverIt may be easy to get frustrated in the moment. Is this going to last forever? Looking back at the year, I have to keep in mind that a given moment is just a snapshot in the entirety of my life, and this life is just a sliver in the lens of eternity.

To further drive home this point, Stephanie and I are working through Francis Chan’s book, You and Me Forever; subtitled, “marriage in light of eternity.” With our wedding approaching in 2016, keeping things in perspective and preparing for how to best leverage our marriage in light of the fact that this earth is only our temporary home will be a focus in the new year.

4. Promise

With my college degree officially in hand and a soon-to-be spouse to share life with by my side, the positives of this year undoubtedly outshone the difficult days.

With 2015 in the rearview mirror, I’m excited for what’s ahead.

2016 is shaping up to be the best year yet.

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Stephanie back in action on the YouTube channel with this week’s video taking a look back through the highs and lows of 2015:

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11 thoughts on “4 “P’s” I’m taking with me into 2016

  1. As always, Ryan, THANK YOU For the gift of perspective that you give to all of us. You are a true champion of the faith. An example. A powerful light for Christ. I, too, believe with you that 2016 will be your best year yet for you and Stephanie! “Above ALL you can dare to ask or imagine, according to HIS power at work within you…” for the glory of God! Bless you and Stephanie. You are a power couple in the Lord. It will be exciting to see God’s plans continue to unfold in your lives.

  2. Love reading your blog Ryan! Recently had a Spanish speaking SCI patient in rehab and I wanted him to hear about Christ from your perspective and send him your link. If anyone ever offers you free translation services to your blog let me know and I’ll email it to him haha! Happy new year, thanks for being a blessing to a random acquaintance in Tennessee 🙂 hope the family is doing well, too!

    • Christina,

      I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a request like that ha! Great to hear about PT in TN. I’ll be on the lookout for a translator and keep me posted on how the SCI PT is going.


  3. Learning the importance of the 4 P’s: Perseverance, Perspective, Promise, and Prioritization in life has taken me 57 years. God has taught you them already! This teaching will bless all who read.

  4. Thank you for being so vulnerable and letting others have an up close look at your life! You are an inspiration! Many blessings for an incredible 2016 as God continues to heal your spirit, soul, and body! Love you!

  5. Ryan,

    In 1994 at age 15, I was injured in a diving accident which left me a C5 C6 quadriplegic. After several months I regained movement in my arms, but have no function of my hands, so I use assistive devices to feed myself and brush my teeth. As you can relate, the last 21 years have not been easy, but by God’s grace they have been blessed. So much has gone on that I could not explain it all in this post, but I want to share with you the main reasons I have chosen to reply. 1st reason is that I want to tell you that I admire what you are doing with your blog and videos. God has been laying something similar on my heart to do, and you are an inspiration. 2nd reason is that I want to let you know that you are on the right track and persevering by faith is the only way to face the obstacles of life in general, and especially with a disability. Last reason is that I would like to offer you some advice, or more so share with you what I do. In the last 10 years, I too have had to spend a great portion of my time in the bed. I too finished college during that time online, and have since started a part-time job. What I would like to share with you, is the fact that I did a lot of my work and still do on the computer while in the bed. Actually, I am writing this post to you while lying flat on my back. I use a hospital table that rolls up under the bed to hold my laptop computer that is equipped with voice recognition software (Dragon). I do not have the head of the bed elevated, just My head laying on about a 2 to 3 inch pillow. The computer is close enough to me then I can see everything on the screen and I use a headset with microphone for voice recognition. Now I did not have the mouse beside me on a book as I can move it around somewhat, but I mostly use the voice recognition to click things and to write. I do not know if you have tried a set up similar to this, but I wanted to share in case you had not. Thanks for being open with your life and I wish you many blessings in the future.

      • Yes, I am considering blogging and writing. I would like to do an inspirational blog with the tagline Persevering by Faith, One Day at a Time. I like to do devotional writings, so my posts would be the exploration of biblical topics that would help build people’s faith. I would also like to do videos just sharing and encouraging others as they go through the difficulties of life. I have all of these ideas and desires, and I feel the Lord calling me to it, but I keep procrastinating. I have so much to say and share and do, but I am afraid it will not all come out right. I have vowed to conquer my fear and kick procrastination in the butt this year. I have been through a lot in the last 21 years, all of the hardships you are familiar with as a quadriplegic, but I have also suffered the loss of both my parents and dealt with the challenges of the last 7 years trying to pay for and arrange daily care. However, the Lord has been with me every step of the way. Blessing me beyond measure. I just want to help others to rely on Him through their struggles. I pray that I am as courageous as you and soon I will be online too 🙂

        • Tiffany, it sounds like you’ve been through an awful lot. It’s encouraging to hear about your faith throughout. Please keep me updated on your future blog endeavors. I highly encourage you to get started!

          P.S. When I first posted in September 2013, I was freaking out about letting other people in 🙂 I’m glad I did! Here’s the first post: http://flatonmyback.com/2013/09/18/truly_human/

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