Soulful 7 with John Wallace
Today’s guest on Soulful 7 Conversations is my superhero friend, John Wallace. We have been friends for over twenty-five years. I know John as a steady, kind husband, invested father to four children under the age of ten, a man of faith, and a well-accomplished and respected professional. Two years ago, John was admitted for what should have been a routine heart valve surgery and barely escaped with his life. If it could go wrong, it did. John would spend over a month in a medically-induced coma, suffer several strokes, a litany of infections, MRSA being the worst, and ultimately go on to lose both of his legs. As his doctor said, “You should not be alive, John Wallace!” But I would tell you my friend is more alive than I have ever seen him!
It is quite easy to live soulfully when all is right and good in your world. But what happens when life pulls the carpet out from under you or someone you love? Live long enough on this planet and life is going to disappoint, even bruise you: a divorce, a diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, aging, infertility, depression. We will all find ourselves in the dreaded, dark valley. And yet, listening to John, this is where we discover who we are, who God is, what we are made of, and what is actually important. Find yourself the night before the amputation of your legs and faith is no longer lovely rhetoric, but your life preserver. My friend and mentor, Clay Stauffer, once said: The reality of life is you are either going into a storm, in a storm, or coming out of a storm. If this is true, how do we handle the fragility without breaking? Listening to John, I was reminded of a piece of wisdom spoken by Corrie ten Boom: “When the train goes through a tunnel and your world gets dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and trust the Engineer to see you through.” Every day, some harder than others, we are given the choice to fold or grow. My friend John is a living giant!
I commend John for being so open about his journey, especially his physical and spiritual struggles. Adversity is always harder than you think. John has gifted us with many a nugget of wisdom to help us find our own way in the dark wood of life’s valleys. I especially loved hearing John’s new-found definition of love, his faith-certainty that God has a redemptive plan for your life and mine, and his steadfast belief that there is always hope. I promise you will come away from our conversation, inspired and buoyed in spirit!
An extra bonus:
John’s favorite scripture: “Let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
John’s all-time favorite song: “Stuff that Works” written by Guy Clark and Rodney Crowell
I got a pretty good friend
Who’s seen me at my worst
He can’t tell if I’m a blessing or a curse
But he always shows up
When the chips are down
That’s the kind of stuff I like to be around.