Living Your Best Life with April Osteen
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April Osteen Simons grew up in a loving home to well-known parents Pastor John & Dodie Osteen. She is the youngest of five siblings. While the Osteen family has had a very successful ministry, they’ve also faced tremendous challenges. When April’s sister, Lisa, was little, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and brain damage. They continued to pray and fight for their daughter. Little by little Lisa began improving. She began rolling over, holding her bottle, and doing things that she couldn’t do before. Eventually, Lisa was healed and went on to live a normal life.
In 1981, April’s mother was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer and was only given a few weeks to live at the age of 48. The family prayed and believed God, but also dealt with the emotions that come along with such heartbreaking news. Yet, as April watched how her mother faced death head-on, she was amazed at her trust in the Lord. As she heard her daddy cry out to God to spare his wife’s life, she saw her mother literally stand on the word of God.
One day when she approached her mother’s bedroom, she found her mom praying while standing on her Bible. Dodie refused to give up. April explains, “At that moment, Mama became my hero. As I looked into her eyes, I no longer saw death, but instead, I saw a soul surging through and through with life. God healed her and she is still cancer free. One of Dodie’s doctors documented, ‘I must tell you that knowing all the players and having seen all the tests and x-rays has made a tremendous impact on me. It is one thing to read about miracles, but it is another to sit by and watch one happen.’”
On January 23, 1999, April’s father died suddenly after a heart attack at the age of 77. The family was shocked and heartbroken. Yet again, April was again profoundly affected by how her mother handled losing her spouse of 44 years. “She didn’t just sit back after the death of my father. She turned the page and blazed a trail forward,” says April.
While dealing with tremendous pain from sciatica, April went to the doctor, barely able to walk. The doctor administered shots and April was trying to get her mind off the pain. So, she looked at her doctor and said, “Your skin is so beautiful, what do you do?” Surprised, her doctor responded, “Really? It must be the chemotherapy.” Surprised, April had no idea what this woman was going through until she spoke about her diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. In that moment, April felt led to share her mom’s story. The lady didn’t know who her mother was because April just referred to her as Mama. But after hearing about her mom’s miraculous survival, the doctor was moved to tears. She thanked April saying, “You are one of two people who heard of my diagnosis and gave me hope. Most people tell me how someone else died from the same thing. The other person who encouraged me gave me a book called Healed of Cancer by Dodie Osteen. It’s been my lifeline.” April told her, “That’s my mother’s book.” Out of billions of people in this world, God brought two people to the right place at the right time who needed hope.
FINDING YOUR FOCUS
April says it’s important to “focus on the positive and possible.” Being intentional about enjoying your day with a heart of gratitude is a choice. She admonishes us to not overlook all the miracles in plain sight.
Realizing that sometimes we get stuck in life, doing the same thing day in and day out, April shares, “We can become unmotivated and unfulfilled, longing for a change. But every day presents the chance to begin anew, to see circumstances and situations differently, and to choose the path that leads to a life that’s better than ever.”
April Osteen Simons shares encouraging ideas, gives hope, and adds humor as inspiration to help you get more joy out of each day in her book, "Better Than Ever." You can also learn more about April's ministry by visiting her website: AprilSimons.com.
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