When life is going smoothly, it’s easy to think that you’re in control. That was the case for Mark Moore. At 46 years old, he was at the top of his game: a successful businessman, loving husband and father, amateur athlete, and active in his church. But Mark says there was an important piece missing: he was living like he was in control of life from Monday to Saturday, and God was in control on Sundays.
One day, everything changed.
“In 2007, I suffered my first stroke. I went to hospital and then, two days later, while I was in hospital, I suffered my second stroke. Due to complications from the second stroke, they had to perform lifesaving brain surgery, and I ended up being in the hospital for six weeks, in basically a medically-induced coma.”
“It rocks you. I’m 46, at the top of my professional career and my life, and it really rocked me. Everything just hit me, wow I’ve had two strokes. I can’t move. I’m lying in a hospital bed.”
In the midst of the pain and fear that he would never walk again, Mark says a powerful memory came to his mind.
“I remembered as a young child in New York City, my mother used to tell us that God will only give you what He knows you can handle. It hit me in that moment, and I had not thought about that for about 25 years. It was powerful that it came to me at that moment. It helped me, no doubt about it, because I was being overwhelmed with everything that was going on in my life.”
Mark faced a difficult road to recovery; he had to relearn many basic skills like brushing his teeth, balancing in the shower, and tying his shoes. This challenging time helped him learn to rely on God for strength:
“I had to relinquish control. That’s what I found was the biggest thing. Of all of the things I had done during my career which had helped me be successful, it was (about) controlling the process. In terms of recovery from the stroke, I really had to surrender and give control to God. That was when the recovery completely turned around; I was able to afford a complete recovery.”
Eventually, Mark relearned to walk. On the advice of a friend, he started running as a part of his therapy, listening to gospel songs for motivation. Just one year after his strokes, Mark ran in a5K race!
Now a spokesman for the American Stroke Association, Mark shares his story around the country to raise awareness and hope. He credits his family and friends for supporting him and pointing him back toward God:
“My friends were very helpful by being empathetic and sympathetic. They would also remind me to turn to my faith.”
“When things are difficult, sometimes it’s easy to turn away from our faith, and there were times, as I struggled with recovery, and recovery from a stroke is real, it keeps coming at you. There were multiple nights when I was being beat down by the challenges of this recovery and I was losing my faith, and my friends were very helpful by simply reminding me, don’t lose your faith, don’t turn away, go back to your faith. That helped me, and it renewed and refresh my spirit.”
A stroke of faith